January 16, 2017


While Greg Williams was Jasper County’s county manager he was well known for falling asleep in the BOC meetings.  Was he was asleep while the Covington Housing Authority manager was buying thousands of dollars of Home Depot gift cards? 

We find it most interesting that a local accountant found this problem by filing open record requests, because he was “concerned about a practice that NO ONE ELSE SEEMED TO NOTICE.


The I-Team filed the following report.  (Highlighting is TWG’s.)

Gift cards snare popular Housing Authority manager

  • Randy Travis
  • Fox 5 I-Team Investigation

POSTED:JAN 12 2017 04:39PM EST

UPDATED:JAN 12 2017 11:42PM EST

 COVINGTON, Ga. – Longtime Covington Housing Authority property manager Erica Morris resigned amid a federal investigation into thousands of dollars in missing tax money.

Receipts obtained by the FOX 5 I-Team showed Morris bought more than 200 VISA gift cards at a local Home Depot, often at denominations of $100. She also paid $5.95 to activate each card.

Housing Authority manager

Morris worked at the Housing Authority for nearly 11 years. Residents said she sometimes let them pay rent late if they had a budget emergency.

“It hurt me so bad, I can’t believe,” resident Hope White reacted. “When I heard about it, when they said it was her I said no, it can’t be her.”

Executive director Greg Williams said the first he heard of possible financial wrongdoing came in September after Morris’ sudden resignation. He said no one should have been buying gift cards like that. He couldn’t explain why such wild spending wasn’t spotted by Morris’ bosses or auditors.

An outside forensic audit is almost finished. The inspector general for Housing and Urban Development is conducting its own investigation.

At the Alcovy housing complex where Morris was once in charge of 180 units, residents tried to imagine what $28,000 could have bought. That included the people who live near the neighborhood’s aging basketball court.

“We ain’t got no bleachers where kids can sit down,” lamented resident Lisa White.

They also don’t have a playground. Or swingsets.

“I can’t hate her,” resident Lisa White pointed out. “I can’t be mad. I can just forgive her. I can’t forget it.”

Local accountant Barry McIntosh originally filed the open records request for Morris’ spending. He did it as a private citizen, concerned about a practice that no one else seemed to notice.

“You’ve got entire invoices that are nothing but gift cards,” he explained to Housing Authority board members at a recent meeting.

“I’m hoping that through all this there can be an open, frank, honest discussion about where the failure was that allowed this to happen.”



Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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  1. Sick & Tired of Government Corruption says:

    The same Greg Williams that let the Rec director file false invoices to pay himself as an umpiring company without consequences? The same Greg Williams that refused to prosecute that Rec director when county equipment like a camera, weedeater, and a golf cart were at his house?

    Who does this executive director think is in charge at the housing authority? What does he get paid for, and paid much more than he is worth sitting at a desk doing nothing?

    The same people are hired over and over by different cities, counties, and agencies despite the track record they have. So sad government is such a rip off.

  2. Paying the consquenses says:

    We must stay positive?? If it weren’t for citizens, accountants or whomever reporting fraudulent activities they would keep stealing from taxpayers! How dare you say poor Erica Morris! She knew exactly what she was doing was WRONG! $28,000 a mere chump change? As I recall a few months ago Kevin O’brien, Newton County Fire Chief in jail for stealing over $16,000 on PCard. I’m sick and tired of paying high taxes for employees who think stealing from the government is okay!!!!!

  3. We Must Stay Positive! says:

    OMG! Are all accountants so negative? Always minding the business of public officials.Why can’t accountants be more positive and stay out of the business of local goverment ?
    Now poor Erica Morris and tired Greg Williams will be forced to answer embarrassing questions from the FBI just because some busybody accountant thought it his business to meddle in the affairs of Newton County government.
    Besides for a county like Newton which has given away millions of dollars to local “consultants” in legal fees and land development deals, $28,000.00 is mere chump change.It’s just the price taxpayers have to pay to keep the wheels of local government well greased.Get used to it.

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