Former Richmond employee indicted in Georgia for corruption

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jan 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-26 13:42:16-05

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia indicted a woman for corruption days before she resigned from her job with the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities.

According to the attorney’s office, Raytosha Elliott worked as an engineering operations manager for the Georgia Department of Defense between 2007 and 2012.

In that position, the U.S. Attorney’s office alleges Elliott received thousands of dollars in kickbacks in exchange for steering contracts to companies run by her friends who never did the work.

Elliott was indicted on January 16th.

CBS6’s Melissa Hipolit learned Elliott began working for Richmond’s DPU on November 18th, 2013 as an operations manager.

It does not appear that prior to the indictment, Elliott had a criminal history that would have been picked up by a background check, however, CBS6 found that a simple Google search reveals some serious red flags about her employment history in Georgia.

For example, Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services banned Elliott from practicing business in the state for 18 months.

Elliott’s debarment happened in June of last year, five months before she was hired in Richmond.

Why was she banned?

In its decision, the state indicates Elliott used favoritism when granting bids to certain companies to promote her own business interests.

When CBS6’s Melissa Hipolit went to ask the Department of Public Utilities if they fully vetted Elliott during the hiring process, she was told that was a question for the Department of Human Resources.

Tammy Hawley, a spokeswoman from the Mayor’s office, told Melissa that as of June, the City of Richmond conducts background checks on all new hires.

When Melissa asked her if any red flags came up while hiring Elliott, Hawley said she had never heard of the woman before Melissa started asking questions.

Hawley said she would have to ask the Department of Human Resources to find out what happened.