Rockdale's new deputy human resources director of was fired June 4 after the county learned of an arrest warrant in Cobb County for allegedly using government financial cards for personal purchases.
Chris Corey, 44, of Powder Springs, was arrested and released on $75,000 bail bond in Cobb County on June 4.
Corey, who had formerly been Smyrna's director of human resources and a 14-year employee with that city, was fired Feb. 4 after the city began an internal investigation into allegations that he used government purchasing cards for personal purchases, according to a February article in the Marietta Daily Journal.
According to the arrest warrant, Corey was charged with at least 14 counts of unauthorized financial transaction by card, one count of theft by taking and one count of false statement.
Some of the purchases tied to the charges dated back to 2004 and continued to January 2009. They ranged from smaller purchases to charges in excess of $14,000 for numerous items at retailers like Longhorn’s, Copelands of New Orleans, Target, Amazon.com, Trader Joe’s, J. Christopher's, Omni, CVS, Krogers, Publix, gift cards for auto repairs and a monthly fitness program at Step it Up Fitness.
In the warrant, Corey allegedly admitted to some of the improper purchases and had logged some of the purchases as authorized transactions, although they were not, and did not log other transactions.
Corey, who began working for Rockdale County on May 4, was fired Thursday, according to Rockdale County Human Resources Director Arthur Reese.
"Although he has not yet had his day in court, we cannot afford to wait on a verdict to determine if he has a future with Rockdale County," said Reese, in a released statement. "We do not believe he can serve effectively while these charges are pending. In our capacity as an employer, the only correct business decision is to terminate him."
Reese said the interview panel that reviewed Corey’s record was aware that the city of Smyrna had fired him for allegedly improperly utilizing a city purchasing card, but was not aware of the extent of the allegations against him.
"All indications were that he had been a trusted department head who had worked for the city of Smyrna for more than a decade and that a dispute involving his purchasing card usage had led to his separation with the city," said Reese. "Now that we have learned the scope of the allegations, we will sever his relationship with Rockdale County."
Corey had not been issued a county purchasing card and did not have access to county funds, according to the statement released by the county.