Cops: Employee stole $71,000 from Atlanta court

A city of Atlanta staffer was arrested this week and charged with stealing $71,000 from the Municipal Court.

Airieal Vrejean Wright, who works in the clerk's office at the court on Garnett Street, was jailed Tuesday and freed Wednesday after posting $30,000 bond, according to the Fulton County jail records.

Efforts to reach Wright for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

An Atlanta police report on the alleged theft said the money was discovered missing Tuesday after a supervisor in the clerk's office said Wright failed to document a $15 overpayment by a customer.

The supervisor, Robenna Bosch, said the customer made the overpayment on Monday and returned Tuesday for her change, but the money was not returned to her.

Bosch said the office's policy is that any overpayment be documented and placed in an envelope for its return to a customer.

The supervisor, however, told police there was no documentation about the $15 overpayment and that when she looked further she discovered "large sums of money" missing from funds Wright had handled, extending back to February 2011.

Bosch said the only time money was not missing from Wright's cash drawer was when she was out on maternity leave.

Police said Wright admitted to taking the money on Tuesday and signed a confession detailing how she stole the money. The report, however, did not provide the specific details.

Last month, a former employee with Atlanta's Department of Watershed Management admitted he stole thousands of dollars in city equipment, which he said he pawned to fuel his heroin habit.

Jonathan MacDonald, 24, allegedly stole everything from solar panels to a stop gate arm outside the watershed facility on Monroe Drive. The thefts included 64 metal gratings with a replacement cost of more than $400,000.