DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The chief of staff for former DeKalb County commissioner Elaine Boyer has been indicted on six counts of theft by taking and three counts of making false statements, Channel 2 Action News has learned.
Bob Lundsten is accused of using his county
-issued P-Card for personal purchases, including a tow truck and repair bill for a personal vehicle, jewelry at Pandora and several grocery store bills.
The purchases came to light after an investigation by Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer questioned Lundsten in April 2014 about his use of the county debit card.
"To have my integrity challenged -- it was disheartening and upsetting,"
said Lundsten, who explained away personal purchases as mistakes.
has written checks to repay county taxpayers nearly $1000 since 2012.
But he did not repay three specific receipts which contain handwritten notes explaining that they were office expenses, one for drinks and supplies at Kroger, and two more for shipping at a UPS store.
"There was evidence presented to the grand jury that it in fact was not for business purposes," DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said after the indictment.
James told Fleischer that his case is based on the records.
Lundsten is not facing any charges relating to the purchases that he repaid.
Last April, Lundsten applauded the purchasing card changes made by interim CEO Lee May, and blamed his confusion over card use on a lack of training.
"The CEO's changes are going to help mandate that and make it very clear to everybody and clarify what was before, at best, a murky policy and situation," Lundsten said.
Lundsten also claimed that his boss, Elaine Boyer, who has since pleaded guilty to similar charges, told him that personal spending was allowed as long as it was repaid.
Boyer was sentenced in March to 14 months in prison for
misspending on the county purchasing card. She racked up more than $15,000 in personal purchases.
Fleischer asked James whether he believes Lundsten's claims that he didn't understand the policy.
"I think the real issue is whether or not a jury is going to buy it," James replied.
James said he is concerned about DeKalb County's reputation for corruption.
He said he is still reviewing other officials' spending and added, "I can't really comment on what we have coming, but I can tell you we are still looking into evidence and making decisions."