A Cobb grand jury says Ron Papaleoni, the former general manager of the Lake Allatoona Preservation Authority, wrote checks adding up to tens of thousands of dollars from the government agency's account for personal use, reports the Marietta Daily Journal.
The nine-count indictment was handed down Dec. 12, the MDJ says. The Lake Allatoona Preservation Authority, which is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the commissions of Cobb, Cherokee and Bartow counties, was created by the Legislature in 1999 to protect the lake, the Marietta paper adds.
Authorities say Papaleoni used the money to make back payments to the Internal Revenue Service and for church offerings, and that he made payments to his wife, Angela Papaleoni.
The MDJ reports, Papaleoni, who lives in Acworth, is available to perform as Santa Claus for private or corporate functions, according to his Facebook page, and that was what he was getting ready to do when reached by phone on Monday.
"I really don't have anything to say," Papaleoni told the MDJ. "What the grand jury has handed down is one thing, but I have not been served anything, and the Sheriff's Department has agreed to wait until after the holiday because I do Santa, and that's information you could really go to town with and crucify Santa, and that's why I wanted everybody to hold off until after the holidays."
The MDJ said Papaleoni cut the phone call short, saying he had to go perform.