ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — Officials confirm a former government employee has been arrested for allegedly taking money, meant for the county she worked for, and depositing in her own account.

Tracey Patrick, who worked for the Rockdale County Department of Transportation, was arrested Jan. 26 on charges of Theft by Conversion. The arrest comes after an internal investigation concluded Patrick, who worked with the department for 10 years, allegedly deposited a check for $43,000 into a personal account on Dec. 14, 2017.

Officials told 11Alive Patrick worked in the accounts receivable department of the Rockdale County DOT, and worked with money coming into and being paid out of the department. As such, she would have access to county funds. The department confirmed Patrick was no longer employed there as of Jan. 8.

Officials told 11Alive's Christie Etheridge they first became aware of the alleged theft after a member of upper management noticed something fishy. They immediately began an internal investigation.

"Once we learned about it as a county, we took swift action," said Rockdale County Board of Commissioners Chief of Staff, Corey Hambrick. "We have zero tolerance here at Rockdale County."

Right now, county officials are investigating whether this was the only time Patrick allegedly deposited money meant for the county. The investigation, which includes the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, is also looking into whether Patrick also spent any of the money she's accused of taking.

Hambrick said Patrick is cooperating with the investigation, but said it's still disappointing to have this happen.

"Of course, it's unfortunate that this particular incident had to occur, but once again, we wish her well and her endeavors," Hambrick said. "(We hope) we send that message that here at Rockdale County, misappropriation of funds or anything that might even suggest that there has been things pointing toward criminal activity, will not be tolerated."

Officials told 11Alive they are in the process of trying to recover the money.

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