But Cobb County Superior Court Administrator Tom Charron said Friday that immediately after the arrest he asked the drug court to reinstate policies designed to prevent thefts.
“These are basically procedures they had all along but had kind of had gotten away from for no other reason than the lab had become extremely busy,” he said.
On Nov. 16, 55-year-old Tomasita Reavis of Marietta was charged with felony theft by taking on accusations she skimmed cash from the county department’s bank bag and cash drawer.
She was released from the county jail the next day on a $25,000 bond.
Charron said that in the past, only lab technicians were handling money but after they moved the lab about a year ago, they’ve allowed administrative assistants like Reavis to handle money.
Since the lab moved into its new location in the Cobb County Superior Courthouse, the load for its three full-time and one part-time lab technicians had increased dramatically, Charron said.
“We are doing a lot more alcohol and blood testing than ever before,” he said. “Courts are using our services in the drug lab outside of the drug court itself.”
Charron said defendants on bail, probationers and anyone involved in domestic relations cases could be required to be tested for drugs.
“We’ve seen a big explosion, which is a good thing, because we can do it a lot cheaper and it does generate revenue to the county,” he said.
Charron has reminded the staff that when funds come in, they not only have to be logged into the system and a receipt issued, but at the end of each day and each morning the cash must be accounted for by at least two employees.
According to the warrant, Reavis was filmed on surveillance cameras taking $5,655 sometime in October.
Charron said they are preparing an official audit for the district attorney, something that’s never been done before, to determine if more money was taken.
“We’re fairly sure that we can isolate it to when the lab moved from the old Superior Court building because that’s when the lab funds had to be taken by lab techs and when we opened the new facility … so a little over a year ago,” he said.
Charron said they don’t believe anyone else was involved in the alleged thefts.
“Based on everything that’s come to my attention, we are satisfied that it’s isolated to this one person,” he said.
Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said the case was turned over to his office sometime in September and that portion of the investigation continues but anything before that is being handled by Charron’s office.
Reavis was contacted by phone for comment but the call was not returned by press time.