Housing authority sues ex-directorSuperior Housing Authority filed a civil suit against its former director Debra Waterman to recover money stolen from the agency that provides subsidized, low-income housing.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
Superior Housing Authority filed a civil suit against its former director Debra Waterman to recover money stolen from the agency that provides subsidized, low-income housing.
Waterman, 51, in January pleaded guilty in Douglas County Circuit Court to two counts of theft in conjunction with personal purchases she made on the housing authority’s Visa card while she served as director between 2002 and 2008. A deferred judgment of conviction was entered on the felony theft charge, and Waterman was sentenced to one-year probation and 90 days jail for the misdemeanor theft charge. She was also ordered to pay $10,000 restitution and undergo personal counseling.
The $10,000 would be taken from funds the housing authority still owed to Waterman, according to information provided to the court.
The civil case seeks additional reimbursement, including but not limited to $22,172.38 in money owed to Waterman that is being held by the housing authority.
“The said sums would be an offset to the amount owed to Plaintiff by Ms. Waterman,” the complaint states. That sum would be determined by the court.
The theft came to light in September 2008 when Superior Housing Authority staff noticed charges on the card that did not appear to be related to the agency’s business. The credit card had been issued to Waterman in July 2002 for business expenses such as travel, business meals and purchasing supplies, according to the civil complaint. A special agent from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and housing authority staff reviewed a list of credit card charges without receipts and determined a total of $71,838 in credit card charges did not have receipts between 2002 and 2008 to show what was purchased, according to the criminal complaint.
Waterman denied charging that much for personal use. She told authorities that she believed she charged approximately $10,000 in unauthorized personal charges, according to the criminal complaint.
The former director has 45 days to respond to the suit, which was filed last week.