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Grand Jury hears CNS case, true bills are issued

A Grady County Grand Jury has indicted a former city employee on seven counts stating she should stand trial for giving away free city cable and internet services. The Grand Jurors also indicted Cairo’s former fire chief and three others for allegedly accepting the services without paying.
The indictment sheds more details on the scandal that first became public in July when Tiffany Erin Fowler was arrested along with her husband, former Cairo Fire Chief Don Towne, her father, Jimmy Whigham, and two others, Allan Womble and Christine Tuning.
The indictment explains a charge of computer theft against Fowler, stating that she “did knowingly use a computer and a computer network outside of the authority she had as an employee of the City of Cairo and with the intent to obtain cable television services, the property of the City of Cairo, by deceitful means and artful practice in that the accused did provide cable television services for herself and others without paying the City of Cairo for said cable services,” between June 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2008.  
Counts 2-5 accuse Fowler of deceptively giving cable and internet to Towne, Whigham’s residence and business, and to Tuning.
Count 6 indicates Fowler obtained free cable for herself between October 2006 and Dec. 31, 2008.
Count 7 accuses Fowler and Tuning, “individually and as parties concerned in the commission of a crime,” with the offense of making a false statement between April 15, 2008 and April 23, 2008. The indictment states they created a work order for addition of cable television and internet services in the name of another city employee without his authorization.
Counts 8 and 9 accuse Whigham of theft of services for knowingly having free CNS cable and internet at his residence and home. In Count 10, Tuning is accused of the same offense. Allan Womble is accused of theft of services in Count 11, and Towne’s theft of services indictment is laid out in Count 12.
Towne’s employment with the City of Cairo ended weeks before his arrest so he could take another job in Barrow County as fire chief, but that job was retracted after Towne’s arrest. Fowler worked in the City of Cairo’s Energy Services Department and handled CNS customer services related activities.
In December 2009, city officials called for a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe into the alleged theft of $150,903 from city coffers after a forensic audit by city auditor Tom Carmichael revealed the discrepancy.
GBI Special Agent in Charge Steve Turner told The Messenger in July that the theft of city funds is “linked” but is a different part of the investigation.
District Attorney Joe Mulholland could not be reached on Tuesday for comment on the Grand Jury’s action on the investigation into the missing funds.

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