Former GBI official charged with racketeering

A former top official with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was charged Wednesday with racketeering for allegedly using state credit cards for hundreds of personal purchases.

According to the warrant for her arrest, Sandra Putnam spent $87,243 over a three-year period. The warrant said she used the card assigned to her as well as the P-cards of seven other GBI employees.

Putnam, who had been with the GBI 21 years, is accused of forging receipts and other documentation to support the purchases of 363 items, including a television, leather sofa, tires and lawn furniture.

Putnam turned herself in at the DeKalb County Jail Wednesday afternoon, and her bond was set at $100,000.

An investigation of Putnam began earlier this month after the state Department of Administrative Services, the purchasing agent for state government, told GBI Director Vernon Keenan there was suspicious spending associated with several cards assigned to the GBI. On Aug. 18, Putnam resigned in lieu of termination.

Putnam could not be reached Wednesday but in her resignation letter she wrote, “I just want to give a humble, heartfelt and sincere apology to you, the command staff and to the men and women of GBI.”