Barrow County commissioner Steve Worley was indicted last week on theft and bribery charges stemming from his former job in Walton County.
His future on the BOC remains undecided and will ultimately be decided by a commission formed by the governor’s office.
Worley’s legal troubles stemmed from his time as public works director for the City of Monroe. The federal indictment alleges Worley was willing to accept $4,000 in bribes to influence what company was used for rental equipment. Also, the indictment claims Worley used $6,400 of government funds to obtain a Ford F700 truck for his personal use to repair his driveway. Worley has been on the Barrow BOC since 2009.
Worley was arrested following the indictment last week and quickly bonded out for $10,000.
Worley assumed the post in 1996 for the City of Monroe and in 2007 was named Public Works Employee of the Year by Keep Georgia Beautiful. But two invoices raised flags with City of Monroe officials and an internal investigation was launched. Worley was eventually terminated in January 2013, not long after beginning a new term for the Barrow BOC, for violation of personnel policies and procedures, which included “violation of city policies including but not limited to; abuse or theft of city property, the willful making of false statements to supervisors, officials, the public, boards, commissions or agencies.” “It was a very bad mistake and it has cost my family and me dearly,” Worley previously said. “God has a plan for me and he’ll show me the place to go.“When you’re a department head you are on a higher pedestal and lead by example. I failed to do that and I accept that and I hope the (public works department) and city learn from that. Pride and power got control of me and let it get the best of me.”
Barrow County Chairman Pat Graham said Worley’s future as a public official is to be determined at the state level.
“I am aware that Commissioner Worley was indicted by a federal grand jury but have no other information regarding the case because it does not involve Barrow County,” she said. “In this set of circumstances Steve Worley’s ability to continue serving as an elected official would be determined by the governor’s office.”
If Worley were to resign a special election would be held to fill his seat on the BOC.