MELROSE, TX (KTRE) - A former water manager for the Melrose Water Corporation is starting a decade long probation tonight.
First order of business for Jeffery Holliman is find work so he can start paying back the money he stole from the corporation.
"Mr. Holliman is a pretty smart guy and he's very computer savvy," said defense attorney John Boundy.
While he was manager, Holliman manipulated books and forged checks signed over to his own son and girlfriend.
"The guy was trusted and it went down hill, so it's just an unfortunate situation that we are just glad it's over with," said Melrose Water board member Jay Smith.
Holliman now has a felony conviction.
On top of that, it's for an offense contrary to honesty and good morals. Who would hire a guy like that?
"That's a double whammy that's going to keep someone from getting a job, but in this particular case he has some specialized education, training, and experience that's going to let him work independently where he can generate the kind of money to make that restitution," said Boundy.
As Holliman seeks independent computer consulting contracts, the Melrose Water board has learned to keep an eye on customer's money.
"Every meeting we have a read out of the checks, incoming and outgoing, and where they go to. More centralized accounting," said Smith.
The board is concentrating on following state regulations. A larger, improved water line to Chireno schools is nearing completion.
Holliman won't be a part of those changes.
He'll be too busy concentrating on changing his lifestyle.@
Other terms of Holliman's probation require him to stay away from his old girlfriend, pay attorney fees and do community service.