Wife charged as accessory in theft of Nixa funds

Saturday, February 28, 2009 | 3:08 p.m. CST; updated 4:22 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 28, 2009

OZARK — Another person has been charged in the theft of as much as $500,000 from the southwest Missouri city of Nixa.

Paula Covington was charged Friday in Christian County with being an accessory to the theft.

She is the wife of former Street Department Superintendent Larry Covington. He and former city worker David Griggs were arrested earlier this week and charged with felony stealing by deceit.

The probable cause statement alleges Larry Covington approved bogus invoices from fictitious companies he and Griggs created. The city then paid money to the accounts of the bogus businesses.

City policy allowed Covington to approve invoices for less than $2,000.

Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Ron Cleek estimates $400,000 to $500,000 has been stolen since the scheme allegedly started in 2004.


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