BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – We’re digging deeper into claims of misused funds in the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. A report from the county auditor has been released. This comes just a day after the Sheriff turned over grant money to the board of commissioners.

“There are a lot of questions that still need to be answered,” said Burke County Manager, Merv Waldrop.

Questions still left unanswered even after Sheriff Alfonzo Williams turned over bank statements to the county auditor.

“At least he turned over the remaining amount of funds for the grant, but we’ve got to determine how much of this 217 thousand is housing authority money so we can record it and deposit it into that account and how much of it is Vogtle grant money,” said Waldrop.

Burke County Manager Merv Waldrop is talking about grant money from the Waynesboro Housing Authority and Plant Vogtle. He says those grants were supposed to go to the county… but ended up with Sheriff Alfonzo Williams. Williams reported during a commission meeting that -he- was using funds from a grant to lease a building. Waldrop says commissioners knew nothing about it.

“We started asking questions and found out that he had gotten the housing authority grant in September before the end of our fiscal year and it was not disclosed on our financial report, so that’s an issue,” said Waldrop.

He says the Plant Vogtle grant was also awarded in September… but the sheriff didn’t mention it until April… and that’s what fueled the audit.

He says, “The surprise came when we got the bank statements and we saw expenses that seemed unusual and then we got copies of the credit card statements”


Waldrop says one questionable expense, in particular, was credit card statements with a lot of travel… but no receipts. He adds travel typically isn’t included in a grant.

“Is it county related or is not county related?,” asked Waldrop.

“We reconcile the bank statements every month we made sure that the transactions belonged to us and we signed off and then paid the bill. So, before all of this came out we didn’t get an itemized bill,” said Sheriff Williams.

And there’s this: the Sheriff’s office paid more than $5,000 to Katerworks for a Christmas party. It also shows several deposits and withdrawals without a record of where the money came from or was going.

“We’re pretty much recording the facts and the board will have to determine what is the proper remedy for this.”