IVEY, Georgia (41NB/WMGT) - The City of Ivey's Water Superintendent is facing theft charges after he allegedly stole money from city funds.
Ivey Police Chief John Richards tells 41NBC the city clerk noticed unusual charges on Kenneth Helms' city issued credit card. Richards says he used that card to pay for his dentist and phone bills as well as get a thousand dollars in cash advances. Richards believes this had been going on for about six months.
Richards requested the GBI investigate. Special Agent JT Ricketson says agents found enough evidence to arrest and charge Helms with theft by taking. Ricketson says he could face additional charges. He's currently booked in the Wilkinson County jail.
Ivey Mayor Ann Evans says Helms has been the city's Water Superintendent for 10 years. Richards calls Helms a friend and a good employee. He tells 41NBC it is hard to believe that he has been arrested for this crime.
According to arrest reports, this isn't Helms' first run in with the law. The Federal Bureau of Prisons says Helms was sentenced to 21 months in a federal prison in Atlanta back in 2003. He was charged with attempt to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Last year he spent a few weeks in the Wilkinson County jail on child molestation charges which were eventually dropped.
Richards believes the city was aware of his prior conviction before hiring him for the job.
Evans says she is meeting with the city attorney and council on Friday to discuss Helms' employment.
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