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Terry Case

The former executive director of the South Pittsburg Housing Authority in Marion County, Tenn., faces arraignment Friday on charges he stole thousands of dollars from the public agency.

Terry Case, of South Pittsburg, also is a member of the Marion County Board of Education.

Case turned himself in Tuesday on an indictment charging him with theft of property between $1,000 and $10,000 in connection with an investigation of the housing authority that landed two other authority officials behind bars in July.

No one answered or returned messages left Wednesday at a phone number listed for Case in South Pittsburg.

All the charges in the three cases stem from an investigation by the Tennessee comptroller's office, 12th Judicial District Attorney Mike Taylor said.

Case, who is free on a $10,000 bond, is set to appear Friday for arraignment in Circuit Court, Taylor said. He said Case could waive his right to appear in person and instead have an attorney appear on his behalf.

The charge is a class D felony with a potential punishment of two to four years in prison, he said.

Marion County Director of Schools Mark Griffith called Case's arrest "very unfortunate, not only for the school system in the community but for the families involved, as well."

Case has been a school board member for about 11 years and was chairman recently until he stepped down in September to focus on his insurance business, Griffith said.

He said Case had served well as a school board member.

"We're still at the allegation stage," Griffith said of the charges. "It is totally outside the school system; it's related to his personal employment, although that had to do with the public."

Griffith said late Wednesday he hadn't been able to speak with Case about his status on the school board.

In July, former accounting director Janice Brooks and former public housing manager Leslie Jackson were charged with taking almost $230,000 from the South Pittsburg Housing Authority and the South Pittsburg Elderly Housing Authority over a four-year period.

In that part of the probe, officials said, Brooks used at least three schemes to steal at least $127,980 from the housing authorities. These schemes included making at least $100,368 in personal purchases on a housing authority credit card including hotel stays in Las Vegas, New Orleans and at a casino in Mississippi.

When the comptroller's office probe began in March 2014, housing authority officials including Case confirmed that an investigation was underway. Case was dismissed by the authority's board in July 2014.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@times freepress.com or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

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