Covington clerk arrested for theft

Photo by Josh McComas

Photo by Josh McComas

COVINGTON -- City of Covington Clerk Tonya Raquel Grier, 41, of Social Circle, was arrested and charged with three counts of theft by deception, a misdemeanor, last month, according to a Conyers Police Department report.

The arrest stems from multiple incidents at Kohl's in Conyers, in which Grier, who holds a second job there,is alleged to have made fraudulent returns in order to steal money from the store.

In July, the loss prevention officer at Kohl's was contacted by corporate and alerted to irregularities in returns processed by Grier, according to Lt. Jackie Dunn.

"They were seeing multiple returns on one receipt in one day, which apparently is a flag. The loss prevention officer watched a video of a legitimate return. After the customer left, the suspect did additional returns on the remaining items on that receipt and removed money from the register and pocketed it," Dunn said.

The incident occurred on July 19 and Grier turned herself in the following day after being notified there was a warrant for her arrest.

Grier is alleged to have taken more than $100 in the July incident; Kohl's is still investigating previous incidents, Dunn said. Grier told police the behavior had been going on for about four months, Dunn said.

Grier is on paid administrative leave with the city pending the outcome of the case. Her duties have been assumed by Deputy Clerk Audra Gutierrez. City Manager Steve Horton said the matter was discussed with the city attorney.

"Our position right now is that the courts have not dispatched of it ... I don't think we're giving her anything that anybody else wouldn't want, and that is the assumption that everyone is innocent unless proven guilty," he said.