Terrilynn Brown, 50, used an office at the plant to fax false time sheets to the staffing agency, Utilities Director Tom Wiedmeier said.
She is charged with felony theft by deception, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
After Brown forwarded the time sheets, the agency billed the city and has been reimbursed $86,456.20 for work Brown did not perform.
Wiedmeier said the city’s last construction contract requiring her clerical work ran out at the end of 2012, but she claimed hours worked through Aug. 29 of this year.
Police say that Brown’s former supervisor, Paul Nesmith, signed a blank time sheet, which Brown would make copies of to submit time for pay.
Brown had previously worked for CH2MHill, the city’s former manager of the plant but somehow maintained access to the office, Wiedmeier said.
The issue surfaced when a utilities assistant director inquired about using the office space, he said.
Wiedmeier said he looked into the status of other temporary staff at the plant and found information on all of them but Brown.
He said city and law enforcement officials think she was acting on her own.
The city hopes to recoup the losses under an insurance policy carried by the temp service, he said.
Staff Writer Travis Highfield contributed to this report.