Former Salem employee could face jail time for alleged embezzlement

Kari Williams, the former technology director, faces five charges

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

SALEM, Va. - A former Salem employee could face jail time for allegedly stealing money from the city.

Kari Williams appeared in court Friday for an arraignment on five counts of embezzlement.

A city spokesperson said she served as the technology director for nearly four years and was no longer an employee as of Tuesday.

The crimes are Class 4 felonies. If she’s found guilty, Williams could face a minimum of two years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine for each count, totalling 10 to 50 years and up to $500,000 in fines if she’s found guilty of all five.

At least one of the incidents happened Aug. 16, 10 News learned from court proceedings.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 6. A special prosecutor will be brought in for the case. Williams said in court that she is hiring a lawyer.

The city of Salem could not provide more details, including how much money Williams will be accused of stealing, because the case is being turned over to a special prosecutor, Bobby Lilly, who is the commonwealth’s attorney in Giles County.

The specific position Williams held is called the chief information officer. According to the city’s website, it’s the head of the Infrastructure and Enterprise Services branch of the Technology Systems department.

Patrick Morton has been named acting chief information officer, according to a city spokesperson.

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