Jurors indict public figures for theft - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Jurors indict public figures for theft

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June 22, 2005

Albany- Stealing money. That's what a Dougherty County Commissioner and a former state representative from Albany were indicted for Wednesday.

Commissioner Brenda Robinson-Cutler and former state representative Lawrence Roberts were both indicted by the Grand Jury, but in unrelated cases.

Cutler is accused of racketeering and theft. Roberts is accused of theft that centers around a real estate deal.

Roberts tried to sell his Albany business in 2003. After he left a closing with an escrow check for more than $109,000 thousand dollars, there were disagreements over the sale. A local attorney's office tried to stop payment on the check and asked Roberts to return the money.

Two months later, he ended up spending more than $4,000 and never tried to repay the money. He's charged with theft by deception and theft by taking.

Cutler is charged with one count of racketeering and 13 counts of theft by taking. Cutler, who has been a county commissioner since 2000, once worked with the Albany Resource Center or ARC.

She's accused of forging checks and stealing the money from eight people she knew from working at ARC. Cutler's case is a state case being handled by the attorney general's office and does not involve the Dougherty District Attorney's office.

"I consider Brenda a friend and I'm upset that this has occurred and I'm sorry," said District Attorney Ken Hodges. "But of course, if she did what she's alleged to have done, I certainly wouldn't condone that."

The indictment also says Cutler had her mother, sister and two of her friends hired to work with ARC. Then she had them cash some of the checks and bring the money back to her.

The attorney general's office couldn't tell us Wednesday night how much money Cutler is accused of stealing or if her family and friends who allegedly cashed checks are facing any charges.

Cutler's racketeering charges fall under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. It's a pattern of breaking the law to make money.

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