Covington clerk accused in department store theft

A Covington city clerk moonlighting at a department store faces theft charges.

Clerk Tonya Raquel Grier, 41, of Social Circle, was arrested on three counts of theft by deception in Rockdale County, according to a Conyers police report.

Conyers police were called to a Kohl's department store July 19 by a loss prevention officer, who said Grier had been pocketing cash by making fraudulent returns. The store officer had reviewed videotape of Grier using a customer's receipt to fraudulently pocket $113.

Grier, according to the police report, told officers she had been creating fraudulent returns for four months.

She turned herself in July 20.

Covington Mayor Kim Carter said Monday Grier is on paid administrative leave.

Covington City Manager Steve Horton said Grier's duties included handling money, such as payment of utility bills. Horton described Grier as an "excellent" employee. He said a regularly-scheduled audit "in the immediate future" would identify any malfeasance in the department, but he doesn't think any has occurred.

Horton said Grier is still with the city because of a "presumption of innocence."

"The bottom line is this is a court process and a lot of things can happen between now and [a possible conviction]," said Horton.

Covington, in Newton County, is about 30 miles east of Atlanta on I-20.