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Posted: January 19, 2017 4:36 p.m.

Covington mayor makes statement on housing authority

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said he is working closely with the Housing Authority of the City of Covington after reports of missing money within the authority surfaced last year.

The housing authority initiated an audit of its financial department after a theft by an employee was suspected. Greg Williams, executive director of the housing authority, filed a report with the Covington Police Department (CPD) Oct. 26 stating the alleged theft occurred between January 2015 and September 2016.

The amount of missing funds has not yet been determined, according to the CPD report. A forensic audit conducted by Yeager & Boyd, an accounting firm out of Birmingham, Alabama, was initiated to determine an exact total.

Johnston made a statement about the authority during Wednesday night’s council meeting. That statement is listed below:

“Recently you may have seen the Covington Housing Authority in the news for the wrong reasons,” Johnston said. “We have received some inquiries about those reports and there seem to be a number of people who think the Covington Housing Authority is affiliated with the City of Covington and operations here at City Hall. I want to be very clear that the actions and day to day business of the Housing Authority is in absolutely no way affiliated with the City of Covington.

“The City of Covington has no control over their financial decisions. The Housing Authority is exactly that: an Authority, much like the how the Newton County government has no control over the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority. You will not see the Housing Authority in any City of Covington Audits.  Its members serve five-year terms and have control of full operational oversight of the Authority and its finances.

“With all that being said, we are very troubled to learn of the alleged misuse of funds and are confident that all investigations will be thorough and any improper conduct prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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