GBI arrests Catoosa official on theft charges

GBI arrests Catoosa official on theft charges

November 20th, 2010 by Andy Johns in News

Former Fort Oglethorpe building inspector Mark Lindsay

Former Fort Oglethorpe building inspector Mark Lindsay

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

FORT OGLETHORPE -- A former city official and Catoosa County Commission candidate is accused of receiving vehicles, jewelry, sunglasses and clothes from a woman who allegedly stole $138,000 from the antique mall where she worked.

City building inspector Mark Lindsay turned himself in to authorities Friday after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that he had been charged with three counts of felony theft by receiving stolen property and one count of felony theft by taking.

The cell phone number on Lindsay's campaign material from his failed run for the County Commission was not working Friday morning.

Jerry Scott, special agent in charge for the GBI, said Lindsay's case was linked to a Fort Oglethorpe police investigation.

Earlier this month, Fort Oglethorpe police arrested Deborah Ann Holt, 48, of Ringgold, Ga., and charged her with forgery, embezzlement and theft for reportedly siphoning off $138,625 from the Gateway Mall on Cloud Springs Road, where she worked as a manager.

Holt was released on bond shortly after being taken into custody.

Lindsay made bond quickly on Friday and was released from custody, officials said.

Lindsay and Holt had a relationship, according to investigators, but authorities would not discuss the nature of the connection other than to say they were not family members.

Authorities said Holt gave Lindsay numerous gifts, including cars, a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle, sunglasses, clothes and jewelry.

Under the law, theft by receiving includes instances where a "reasonable person knew or should have known" the items he received were ill-gotten.

Lindsay resigned from his post as the city's building inspector Thursday night, according to City Manager Ron Goulart. He said he was surprised by the news and explained that the charges don't have anything to do with Lindsay's work for the city.

Lindsay's resignation letter did not give any reasons for his departure, Goulart said.

"I felt pretty comfortable that it doesn't involve the city, any city property or anything to do with the city at all," Goulart said.

Goulart said Lindsay had worked for the city in various roles for 14 years and had a "perfect record."

Contact staff writer Andy Johns at ajohns@timesfree or call 423-757-6324.