IVEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The City of Ivey's Water Superintendent is out of a job. City council voted to fire Kenneth Helms after he was arrested and charged with stealing city funds.
During a special called meeting Friday morning, city council unanimously voted to fire Helms.
"This is something we had to deal with, we had to deal with," Ivey Mayor Ann Evans said.
Evans says she first learned Helms allegedly misused his city issued credit card a month ago. That is when she says she approached him.
"I told him, I said, 'Kenneth we cannot do this anymore,' and I said, 'I did not give you permission to put anything like that on the credit card,'" Evans said. "No one has that permission."
But she was shocked last week to find more unusual charges on his card. According to credit card statements obtained by 41NBC, Helms allegedly used the card to pay for his dentist and phone bills as well as more than one thousand dollars in cash advances.
Evans says she was working with city council to figure out how to handle the alleged misuse of city funds.
"We were trying to come to an agreement within the government, the city government on how to handle this," Evans said.
"Were you not going to press charges if you found out anything?" 41NBC's Amanda Castro asked.
"No, no, no it wasn't that. We were going to go to him and I believe it was understood that they could try to work something out that he would pay it back to the city," she said.
But it was too late for that. Ivey Police Chief John Richards requested the GBI step in and investigators found enough evidence to arrest and charge Helms with theft by taking. Now Evans says it is time for the city to move forward.
"I feel like everything will work itself out and I feel like the council made the right decision," she said. "I want this situation cleared up and I think council has cleared that up today and we can go forward now."
Evans says the city has an employee who is in the process of getting certified to take on the Water Superintendent's job.
Helms is still booked in the Wilkinson County jail. His wife tells 41NBC they are looking to hire an attorney.
Wilkinson County District Attorney Fred Bright says his office will prosecute Helms. His case is scheduled to go before a grand jury for an indictment on August 19th.