Rick Keheley is the new director of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). After serving as the office’s interim director since August 2013, Keheley began his new role in February.
“I am extremely honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve in the capacity of Inspector General,” he said. “I am privileged to work side by side with such a dedicated executive leadership team, district health directors and a professional staff.”
Keheley will lead the office’s efforts to prevent fraud statewide and promote efficiency throughout the department’s programs. Keheley served as deputy director of the OIG since 2011, and he assisted with the office’s efforts to detect, eliminate and prevent fraud in Georgia’s WIC program. Working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Georgia’s WIC program saved taxpayers millions of dollars through aggressive investigation and prosecution of fraud in the past two years.
“It is the goal of OIG to continue to look for methods to improve on fraud prevention and working with USDA and others to safeguard our public funds,” Keheley said. “We continue to look at ways to improve the audit function in all DPH programs as well.”
Before his career at DPH, Keheley had an esteemed career in Georgia law enforcement. He worked for 31 years with the Cobb County Police Department, earning the rank of Major before his retirement. He worked in the patrol and detective bureaus, which included the organized crime unit, crimes against persons unit, criminal investigations unit and Marietta/Cobb/Smyrna narcotics task force. He also served as a special agent in charge in the Office of Investigative Services for the Georgia Department of Human Resources and investigated major cases with the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office.
DPH Chief of Staff James Howgate welcomed Keheley to his new role.
“Rick possesses the right mix of skills and experience to lead the OIG through what are usually complex and difficult situations,” he said. “He knows the department, he knows the goals and mission of the OIG, and we know he’ll excel in this new role.”