Economic damages from public employee’s theft can include salary earned on days crimes were committed

Topic: Employment, Decided by: Judge Walker 
Docket Number: 2316048 , Decision Date: May 12, 2023 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

This matter involved a determination of the economic damages a municipal employee was liable for after committing theft-by-taking crimes related to his work.  The Court rejected the agency’s proposal that a portion of the damages should equal the employee’s salary during the seven-month period in which the two thefts occurred.  The Court instead concluded that a more “reasonable assessment” was that each of the thefts—which appeared to be singular incidents rather than an ongoing conspiracy—occurred over the course of two days.   Thus, damages should be equal to two days’ worth of the employee’s wages.  Additionally, the Court ordered damages based on the salaries of city employees who investigated the thefts, as well as the costs of the administrative proceeding before this Court.

Update as of 5/16/2024: Petition for judicial review remains pending before the Superior Court of Spalding County, Case No. 23V-0514.

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