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Barrow County chief deputy tax commissioner arrested on felony theft charge

Patricia Ritchie

By Joe Johnson

Barrow County's chief deputy tax commissioner was arrested Thursday for allegedly stealing over $25,000 in taxpayer money.

Patricia Ritchie, 59, of Winder was taken into custody on one count of theft by taking following an investigation by the Barrow County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation was launched on Nov. 2 when county Tax Commissioner Jessica Garrett notified the Sheriff’s Office that there were missing cash receipts from her office's motor vehicles account, according to the BCSO.

The BCSO's Criminal Investigations Division has been actively investigating the allegations and on Thursday secured a single arrest warrant on the theft charge.

According to investigators, no other accounts associated with the Barrow County Tax Commissioner’s Office appear to have been compromised, the BCSO said, however the investigation was ongoing.

Precise amounts resulting from the thefts are not known at this time, the sheriff's office said in a news release, however investigators have confirmed the amount to be “more than $25,000.”

The tax office issued a statement for residents to know that “all motor vehicle transactions were processed correctly and everyone’s tags are valid.”

Upon her arrest Ritchie was transported by deputies to the Barrow County Detention Center. Bond has not been set as of the issuance of the the sheriff's news release.

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1 Comment

Izzy Mendalbaum
Izzy Mendalbaum
Nov 17, 2023

Oh my. Don't ya wonder what she was thinkin'? You know there's a guy involved.... Oops.

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