Colum­bus sus­pends city worker charged in theft from code in­spec­tors’ as­so­ci­a­tion

Ledger-Enquirer - - News - BY TIM CHITWOOD tchit­wood@ledger-en­quirer.com

The Colum­bus city worker ac­cused of tak­ing more than $12,000 from the code in­spec­tors’ as­so­ci­a­tion she was trea­surer of has been sus­pended with­out pay, au­thor­i­ties said Thurs­day.

Mar­sha Jean Thomas, 37, turned her­self in to po­lice Tues­day, when she was charged with theft by de­cep­tion for al­legedly tak­ing $12,671.18 from the West Ge­or­gia In­spec­tors As­so­ci­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to her ar­rest re­port. The thefts oc­curred be­tween June 1 and Nov. 1, po­lice said.

Thomas is an in­spec­tion ser­vices co­or­di­na­tor mak­ing $35,310 a year, ac­cord­ing to Reather Hol­low­ell, the city hu­man re­sources di­rec­tor. Thomas has worked for the city govern­ment since Oct. 4, 2010, Hol­low­ell said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors said Thomas, as trea­surer, had ac­cess to a credit card that she used for per­sonal ex­penses. The as­so­ci­a­tion for area in­spec­tors of­fers spe­cial­ized train­ing to help them main­tain their cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and of­fers col­lege schol­ar­ships for mem­bers’ chil­dren.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent John Hudg­i­son and vice pres­i­dent Robert Smith re­ported the theft, au­thor­i­ties said. Thomas turned her­self in Tues­day at the Pub­lic Safety Cen­ter and later was re­leased on $13,000 bond, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and Musco­gee County Jail records. She waived her Recorder’s Court hear­ing at 9 a.m. Thurs­day, so the case will go to Su­pe­rior Court.

Thomas works at Colum­bus’ 420 10th St. Govern­ment Cen­ter An­nex, where twice she was in­volved in af­fairs with su­per­vi­sors, ac­cord­ing to city records the LedgerEn­quirer ob­tained in 2015, af­ter then-Deputy City Man­ager David Ar­ring­ton re­tired on short no­tice. Per­son­nel files re­vealed that he’d had an af­fair with Thomas while he was in­terim di­rec­tor of in­spec­tions and codes.

The records also re­vealed that Thomas had had an af­fair with an in­spec­tions and codes as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, be­fore he left the depart­ment in April 2012.

Mar­sha Jean Thomas

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