Forsyth’s payroll clerk accused of dipping into former employee’s checking account

Mary Linda Black
Mary Linda Black

The city of Forsyth’s payroll clerk is accused of unlawfully accessing a former employee’s checking account and using it to make an insurance payment for just over $150.

Mary Linda Black, 56, was arrested Tuesday on felony identity fraud and misdemeanor theft by taking, according to a news release from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Misdemeanor theft in Georgia is $1,500 or less. State lawmakers raised it a few years ago from $500 or less.

Black was arrested after an investigation by the sheriff’s office into a complaint made by the former employee, who was not named in the release.

The former employee discovered the incident when she saw a charge of $152.20 to Geico in October 2018 from her banking account and reported it to authorities, said Anna Lewis, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

“The City of Forsyth has notified their employees of the possible breach and has asked the employees to review their banking accounts for any abnormalities,” the release said.

The notice to employees went out Wednesday, Lewis said.

City officials, including City Manager Janice Hall, cooperated fully with investigators, the release noted.

Black was released from jail Tuesday on her own recognizance, which means she did not have to post bail. She was not reached for comment.

Becky Purser has covered breaking news as well as crime and courts primarily in Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. She’s now exploring topics that impact the lives of children, parents and the family. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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