The former chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia has been arrested and charged with stealing nearly $50,000 from the organization.
Landers Thomas, 51, Norcross, turned himself into Morgan County authorities on Friday, Nov. 17, four days after an arrest warrant was taken by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Thomas immediately bonded out of jail on a $50,000 bond.
According to the arrest warrant by GBI Special Agent Ronald Trubey, Thomas has been charged with one felony count theft by taking. The warrant alleges, in part, that Thomas “… did unlawfully take $49,770.67 from the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia through the use of debit card purchases and check purchases.”
In a letter, current President and CEO Bob Mackey, who was hired following Thomas’ separation in May 2017, said the organization “confronted the employee (Thomas) and immediately took steps to separate the employee from the organization; contacted proper local authorities, filed a report and continues to provide the authorities with information for their case against (Thomas).”
Mackey said “… the organization acted swiftly rectifying the situation and named new leadership, true professionals, who are more than qualified to step into their roles to better serve the children of our communities.
“Policies and procedures have been tightened to ensure that this will not happen again,” Mackey wrote.
According to Rachel Ward, vice president of marketing, Boys & Girls Club, missing funds “were covered by the corporate board, no donations were lost from the public and currently, as an organization, we have recovered $36,000 with expectations that the remaining balance be made good in the coming month.”
Thomas was hired by the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Georgia on April 20, 2015. At the time of his hiring, Thomas was touted as a “organizations, marketing and fund development professional with extensive executive level experience in public relations, branding, strategic planning and public policy with expertise in nonprofit administration…” a press release from the organization said.
The warrant alleges that the thefts took place sometime between May 1, 2015 and May 15, 2017. The warrant was signed by Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Trammell on Nov. 13.
The regional club directs operations for Morgan, Greene, and Walton counties.
Editor’s Note: Morgan County Citizen Publisher Patrick Yost is a member of the Madison–Morgan Boys and Girls Club board of directors.