By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Former Monroe Public Works director guilty of bribery

A former Monroe Public Works director pled guilty in federal court for bribery on Friday.

Hugh Stephen Worley, 53, of Bethlehem, Ga. entered a plea of guilty on August 28, 2015, to one count of bribery before the Honorable C. Ashley Royal, U.S. District Court Judge, in Athens, Ga., according to Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

Worley served as Director of Public Works for the City of Monroe in Walton County, Georgia for approximately seventeen years. He was terminated in January of 2013 for "violations of personnel policies and procedures." One such violation involved the rental of an Asphalt Paver from a local company.

In 2008 or 2009, Sims Paving, Inc., a Monroe business, acquired an Asphalt Paver that could be used for small patching and paving jobs. Worley went to see the owner, Mr. Sims, about a paver that could be used for smaller jobs, such as paving the driveways in the City of Monroe Cemetery. In 2012, Sims and Worley came to a verbal agreement that the City would rent the paver for a total of $20,000 over four months. After the agreement, Worley told Mr. Sims on four separate occasions that he could use $1,000. He did not tell Sims about his need for the cash until after the agreed upon Paver rental. Fearful that Worley would renege on the rental deal, Mr. Sims gathered $1,000 together on the four separate occasions. The Paver was never used to pave the cemetery driveways. It sat idle at a cost of $20,000 to the City of Monroe.

Worley admits he engaged in illegal course of conduct with Sims.

Worley will be subjected to up to 10 years of incarceration and a $250,000 fine. He will also have to forfeit up to $28,771.61.

"We count on those who work in local government positions to do their jobs with integrity and recognize that they are the stewards of the citizens' tax money and trust," said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore. "Instead of using his skills and resources to help the people of Monroe, Mr. Worley used his position to enrich himself at a cost to the people he was supposed to be serving."

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Athens division and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Danial Bennett.