Salem’s chief information officer for the past four years has been accused of embezzlement and is no longer employed by the city.

Kari Janel Williams, also known as Kari Walls, was arrested Monday and charged with five felony counts of embezzling public funds. She has been released on $5,000 bond.

According to court records, the offenses are alleged to have occurred in August and December 2018, but no additional information has been made available.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Bowers said a special outside prosecutor, Bobby Lilly from Giles County, has been tapped to handle the case.

Williams, 39, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Salem, and her preliminary hearing is currently set for Sept. 6.

It was unclear Thursday whether Williams has legal representation.

Williams was hired as the city’s CIO in November 2015. She was placed on leave in late June, according to city spokesman Mike Stevens.

“As of July 30, 2019, she was no longer employed by the City of Salem,” he said in an email Thursday.

Stevens said Patrick Morton has been in charge of the technology department since Williams’ leave began and has since been named acting chief information officer.

The CIO plans, develops, evaluates and coordinates the implementation and maintenance of Salem’s information technology, according to the city’s description of the position.

Get breaking news delivered straight to your inbox with our email newsletter.

Recommended for you