Employee Theft at Greenbriar

The Greenbriar Children's Center is all about helping children, but it looks like one employee had anything but that in mind. The employee worked in Greenbriar's finance department for some five years, but Greenbriar believes the employee had only been stealing from them--and more importantly, the children--for the past year.

"We think this is despicable," Yvette Johnson-Hagins, Greenbriar's executive director, told us. "We never want it to happen to another agency again."

The center is an organization dedicated to helping abused, abandoned and neglected children. It relies heavily on donations from the community, like last week's check presentation from Wal-Mart. But this year, one of Greenbriar's own employees took advantage of others' generosity.

"Unfortunately, several days ago, we uncovered a situation of possible employee theft and misuse of agency funds and properties," said Johnson-Hagins.

Greenbriar won't say how much money or property the employee may have gotten away with. The problem was discovered just last Friday in the midst of an annual audit.

"This person is facing criminal charges, we intend to pursue this case very vigorously," Johnson-Hagins promised.

For now, Greenbriar wants the community to know the problem has been taken care of and it just wishes its children had not been the victims.

"A person who would do something like this would certainly be robbing from children, children who come to us without anything," noted Johnson-Hagins.

Greenbriar terminated the employee as soon as it found out. We put a call into Savannah police, and they are investigating, but so far no arrest has been made.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com