Ex-official pleads guilty to stealing
by Kim Isaza
newseditor@mdjonline.com
April 12, 2011 12:00 AM | 5616 views | 10 10 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - Chris Corey, the former human resources director for the city of Smyrna, pleaded guilty Monday morning to multiple charges of stealing money from the city. He was immediately taken into custody.

Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs sentenced Corey to serve one year in the Cobb County Jail, followed by 14 years on probation. She also ordered Corey to pay $121,000 in restitution to the city.

Corey, 46, of Powder Springs, had worked for the city of Smyrna for 14 years before he was fired on Feb. 4, 2009. His annual salary at the time he was fired was more than $82,000.

He was indicted by the grand jury last October on 16 charges, including theft by taking, making false statements, and multiple counts of unauthorized use of a credit card.

"The accused used purchasing cards issued to him by the City of Smyrna to make unauthorized purchases in the approximate amount of $120,841.17," according to the indictment.

The indictment accused Corey of using the city's American Express and Visa cards as far back as Oct. 1, 2004, for purchases at places like Kroger, Publix, Walgreens, Trader Joe's, Copelands, and Target, among others. The first charge of the indictment states Corey used the city's American Express card for "a monthly fitness program with Step It Up Fitness for his wife and himself and other transactions."

The false-statements charge stems from Corey signing activity logs for the city regarding the charges, "knowing some of the purchases were not authorized by the city," the indictment states. "The accused failed to supply the receipts on some occasions to conceal the items being purchased."

City spokesman Jennifer Bennett issued a statement on behalf of the city Monday afternoon.

"Our interest and duty in the process, on behalf of taxpayers, has been full restitution. We have full confidence in the legal process, and are in agreement with seeking full restitution," she said.

He was arrested on the charges in June 2009, and quickly posted $75,000 bond.

After his firing by Smyrna, Corey was hired as a deputy director in Rockdale County's human resources department. Officials there said they were aware he had been fired by Smyrna, but were not aware of the extent of the allegations against him. Rockdale also fired Corey after his 2009 arrest.

Comments
(10)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
mo money lost
|
May 04, 2011
the morons in charge of finances for these governments can even see money being stolen right in front of them. Embarrassing. Millions more are being stolen daily.
lechat
|
April 14, 2011
Didn't he know only elected officials are allowed to steal from us?
winde
|
April 13, 2011
No, the judge took all his pension wages owed,and benefits . He has no retirement.
Majoritix
|
April 13, 2011
will he keep his obscene government pension after he gets out of prison?
mk-absolute power
|
April 12, 2011
If you want to understand the degree of corruption in Smyrna Ga., read about Bell, Ca.

Same deal!

How much longer will the people of Smyrna allow themselves to be had?
Oldster
|
April 12, 2011
Good grief! It is called an "audit". When was the last time the city had an outside audit?

It is also called "management." Why isn't there someone overseeing reviewing the charges and comparing them to receipts?
hotinatlanta
|
April 12, 2011
You make over $82,000/year and you still have to steal from us tax payers? This seems to be very common in our State in all levels of government. I think we need to eliminate these purchasing cards. If you need to buy something for your job, use your own credit/debit card and submit an expense report. That's how the real world works. I don't have a company credit card - I have to use my own and then get reimbursed.
Cobb Bob
|
April 12, 2011
Judge Grubbs,

Why were you not complete in your sentencing to have Mr. Corey forfeit his retirement? Let me guess, it's because you are a civil servant too?!
Smyrna Citizen
|
April 12, 2011
How could this have gone on so long inside the City of Smyrna before it was caught? Smyrna must have had some very lax internal controls to permit an employee to steal money over a period of years before it was discovered. This is a classic example of public sector incompetence. If it took this long to catch what should have been obvious theft of a large sum of money, imagine how much of our tax dollars must be wasted or lost through mismanagement of resources by the City of Smyrna's elected leadership and administrative staff.
ex_cobb_employee
|
April 12, 2011
And he'll probably still be able to get his retirement with the county.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides