DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer said she will plead guilty to charges she stole more than $90,000 from the county over a period of several years.
Boyer served as commissioner for 22 years. Her term was set to expire in 2016.
"I think it's important to remember that the vast majority of officials are honest, hardworking people," said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates. "But it is troubling when you see someone here who was sworn to serve the people of DeKalb County, and instead was using the funds of the county like her own personal piggy bank."
Yates said she would like Boyer to serve jail time though she did not say what sentence would be appropriate.
Boyer was one of the commissioners accused of improperly using their county issued credit card.
The U.S. District Attorney's offices alleges from September 2009 to November 2011, false invoices were submitted to Boyer's office for consulting services purportedly rendered by an assistant. However, no such services were performed for Boyer, constituents of District 1, or DeKalb County.
The complaint states that Boyer used the false invoices to authorize more than $78,000 in payments to the consultant. Documents said that consultant then funneled approximately 75 percent of the money he received into Boyer's personal bank account.
"Today is a sad day obviously for her, and really is more of a shadow on what is otherwise stellar career," said Jeff Brickman, Boyer's court-appointed attorney. "She has helped a number of people. She has done a lot of good for the people of DeKalb County, but unfortunately she has made some errors in judgment that she fully recognizes. She acknowledges that she has abused the trust of the folks in DeKalb County."
County leaders reacted positively on Tuesday to news that Boyer had agreed to plead guilty.
"It takes years to build trust, but only one day to destroy that trust," said Interim CEO Lee May. "So we have to be consistent in being open and transparent and being honest with the taxpayers dollars."
County commissioners said Boyer's open seat will be filled in the November election.
"This is a sad end to a long career in public office, but I think that she did the right thing," said Commissioner Jeff Rader.
Boyer is due back in federal court within 10 days.
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Thursday, March 27 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-03-28 00:56:41 GMT
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