Special to the Journal
On August 1, 2013, Valaree Dubberly, of Baxley, Ga., pleaded guilty to Racketeering (O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4(c)). Dubberly is a former director of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) offices in Telfair and Wheeler Counties.
While employed by DFCS, Dubberly opened business credit card accounts with Wal-Mart in the name of the Telfair and Wheeler DFCS offices. She then used these credit cards to charge thousands of dollars of personal purchases. In addition to the personal items, Dubberly purchased numerous shopping cards (Wal-Mart gift cards), and used the Telfair and Wheeler credit cards to “reload” these cards with funds. She is alleged to have stolen $10,959.50 of State money through this scheme, which she actively concealed for a period of three years, from January, 2005 until October, 2007.
Dubberly was the director of the Telfair County DFCS office from October, 1990 until May, 2008. She was also the director of the Wheeler County DFCS office from June, 2007 until May, 2008, at which time she was terminated from both positions.
Judge Jon F. Helton sentenced Dubberly under the First Offender statute to five years probation, 250 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and restitution in the amount of $1,838. The remaining money was recovered from the defendant prior to the plea.
Assistant Attorney General Laura Pfister prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Sue Keenan and Cindy Reddish of the Department of Human Services.