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Ex-employee arrested for stealing from Newton County Home Builders Assocation
Charged with 98 counts of theft by conversion
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The Newton County Home Builders Association's former executive officer, Andrea Hammond, was arrested Friday and charged with stealing from the organization.


Hammond is charged with 98 counts of theft by conversion, a misdemeanor. The charges stem from purchases made with a Newton County Home Builders Association credit card. She was reportedly allowed to use the card to purchase items for the association, but according to Covington Police Lt. Paul Dailey, she was using the card to purchase items for herself, reportedly to the tune of several thousand dollars.


The charges that detectives are certain were for personal use were things like dog treats, workout clothes and haircuts, and all were made gradually over a period of four-and-a-half years, according to Dailey.


“We reviewed the financial records with the home builders association and found several questionable purchases on the credit card,” said Dailey. “It was obvious some of them were not for the home builders association.”


The theft was discovered when the association’s treasurer allegedly discovered some improprieties. Hammond was reportedly confronted by the board at the association and given the opportunity to resign from her position with certain stipulations. She did resign, but according to Dailey, she violated several of the stipulations which caused the association’s president, Jared Rutberg, to press formal charges on behalf of the organization.


“It is an ongoing criminal investigation and the Newton County Home Builders Association has no comment. We want to allow the authorities to do their job without interference,” said Rutberg.