<b>W'burg Housing Authority Executive Director arrested</b>

James Lovitt

WILLIAMSBURG -- Williamsburg Housing Authority Executive Director James Lovitt Jr. was arrested Monday for second-degree forgery and abuse of public trust.

On August 23, Lovitt, 52, of Williamsburg, had been placed on administrative leave with pay due to an ongoing investigation by the Williamsburg Police Department that has had FBI involvement.

Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said the department began investigating Lovitt about a month ago and his department executed a search warrant at the Williamsburg Housing Authority office with assistance from the FBI.

"We're still investigating, we're still looking at financial records," Bird said on August 23. The charges against Lovitt indicate the amount exceeds $10,000 but is less than $100,000.

The FBI assisted the Williamsburg Police Department on the electronic part of it, Bird said, but the FBI's involvement could expand.

"If we find anything that meets their threshold, then there is a possibility there could be federal charges, but right now we're still going through financial records and there's a lot of them, so it may be a little while," Bird said.

Bird said the department began the investigation after receiving information in regards to some misappropriations with the finances at the Williamsburg Housing Authority.

Bird said the department will present the findings to the Whitley County grand jury.

Bird said in addition to the FBI, the department has been working with the HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) Office in Louisville and the HUD Office of Inspector General out of Memphis, Tennessee.

Mayor Roddy Harrison said the Williamsburg Housing Authority Board was informed of the investigation by Bird.

Lovitt's administrative leave with pay was made effective immediately on August 23 during a special-called Housing Authority Board meeting. The administrative leave is pending a conclusive investigation and also pending the results of the investigation, the director's name will be removed from all accounts, Harrison said on August 23.

Lovitt has held the position of executive director for about five or six years, Harrison said. Lovitt had been an employee for 14 years prior to becoming the executive director, according to Housing Authority Board Chairman Johnny Brown.

As executive director, Lovitt maintained the day-to-day operations of the Williamsburg Housing Authority.

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