GALVESTON

A grand jury Tuesday indicted a former city employee in connection with the theft of public property.

Tifney Scott, 45, of La Marque, was indicted on a charge of theft of property between $1,500 and $25,000, according to the indictment.

The charge against Scott was enhanced because the alleged theft happened while she worked as the city of Galveston’s purchasing supervisor.

The indictment doesn’t detail what Scott is accused of stealing. The alleged theft happened in early January 2014, according to the indictment.

Scott worked for the city from June 29, 2006, to September 21, 2015, according to city spokeswoman Marissa Barnett.

Barnett and other city officials declined Wednesday to comment about the indictment or the circumstances around it.

Scott had not been arrested as of Wednesday afternoon, according to court records. Scott declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday.

The indictment accuses Scott of using deception and her status as a public servant to obtain money from the city. The indictment also lists Tammy Jacobs, the city’s assistant director of finance, as a victim of the crime.

The indictment also suggests thefts might have happened before Jan. 1, 2014.

The indictment set Scott’s bond at $10,000.

The charge filed against Scott is normally a state jail felony, which is punishable by up to two years in a state jail or a fine not to exceed $10,000.

However, the Texas Penal Code allows prosecutors to seek a higher charge, to the next highest category of offense, if the accused person was a public servant and if that person used her status to obtain the property.

A third-degree felony theft charge is punishable with a fine of up to $100,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

The purchasing supervisor “performs and/or supervises staff engaged in the procurement of good and services for the city,” according to a job description provided by the city on Thursday.

The job involved procuring goods and services, including equipment and tools, and serving as the city’s purchase card administrator.

A purchase card is a city credit card used as a replacement for petty cash and small regular purchases, according to a purchasing policy posted on the city’s website.

The description was from July 2015, when Scott was still employed by the city. Barnett said parts of the job description had since changed.

It’s the second time this year a Galveston employee has been charged with a crime connected to jobs in city government.

Police officer John Rutherford in February was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, misuse of official information and evidence tampering. Rutherford was accused of using information accessible to him as a police officer to aid accused drug dealers in avoiding arrest.

Rutherford’s case has not yet gone to trial, according to court records.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(4) comments

Christopher Fleury

How did they catch that from years ago?

Rusty Schroeder

And we have a person or persons at the courthouse losing a half million $$'s to fraud, and nobody has been identified or got their picture in the paper. I wonder how that investigation is going?

George Croix

If this were a TV whodunnit the answer would be somebody is busy dividing up the loot.....

Ron Shelby

The important thing is that they did find it. The message is you will get caught so don’t do it. We’ll come after you even years later.

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