W’burg Housing Authority Executive Director arrested for abuse of public trust, forgery
Williamsburg police arrested the suspended executive director of the Williamsburg Housing Authority Monday morning in connection with an investigation involving “misappropriations with finances” at the housing authority.
Williamsburg Police Lt. Bobby Freeman arrested James R. Lovitt Jr., 52, of Williamsburg, and charged him with second-degree forgery and abuse of public trust over $10,000 but less than $50,000.
Lovitt was booked into the Whitley County Detention Center at 10:44 a.m. Monday, and is scheduled to be arraigned in Whitley District Court via video arraignment from the jail Tuesday, according to the detention center’s website.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird confirmed Monday afternoon that the arrest was in connection with the housing authority investigation, which is still ongoing, and that additional evidence would be presented to the Whitley County Grand Jury in October.
The Williamsburg Housing Authority Board of Directors voted during a special meeting on Aug. 23 to suspend Lovitt with pay pending the outcome of a conclusive investigation by the Williamsburg Police Department, which is being assisted by the FBI.
The board also voted to remove Lovitt’s name from all housing authority financial accounts “effective immediately” pending the outcome of the investigation.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison, who is a member of the housing authority’s board of directors, said that Bird notified him in early to mid-August concerning the investigation.
The investigation started about four weeks ago when the department received information about some “misappropriations with finances.”
The police department with the assistance of the FBI executed a search warrant at the housing authority looking at financial records.
Williamsburg Housing Authority Board Chairman John Brown said that Lovitt had worked for the housing authority for approximately 14 years before being named executive director about six years ago.
Lovitt replaced Boots Hamblin as executive director of the housing authority. She retired in 2013, according to her Facebook page.
As director, Lovitt oversaw the day-to-day operations of the housing authority.
For more information, see Wednesday’s edition of the News Journal.