By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times
Federal officials have launched an investigation into Jefferson County in connection with an alleged embezzlement scheme involving several hundred thousands of dollars, according to sources.
At least one Jefferson County employee has been fired after an internal investigation. The FBI has a criminal investigation underway and the amount involved ranges from $200,000 to $375,000, according to people familiar with the matter.
Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos today declined to comment on the investigation.
“I am not able to comment on any investigation, we will always work with any agency with any investigation and take appropriate action,” Petelos said.
Efforts to reach the FBI for comment were unsuccessful.
Sources say the alleged scheme took place in the county’s information technology department and involved phones and tablets purchased with taxpayer dollars. However, the devices were not used by the county, sources say.
The investigation will likely expand to other individuals and/or entities who may have played a role in the alleged scheme, sources believe.
This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.