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Georgia judge arrested and charged with theft

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PICKENS COUNTY — A Georgia judge has been arrested and charged with theft and violation of his oath of office.

According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Pickens County Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington was arrested at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office began a review of financial documents for Pickens County in mid-December 2019. During the review of these documents, sheriff’s officials say questionable spending activity on the Pickens County credit card issued to Wigington was identified.

After an initial review, Sheriff Donnie Craig reached out to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office to discuss the findings. Following this, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested to assist with further investigation.

According to the sheriff’s office, investigators also learned of an additional situation involving a local nonprofit organization, where Wigington served as the Treasurer. In this case, investigators say they found that Wigington had taken funds from the nonprofit organization to pay personal debts. Investigators also determined that Wigington allegedly attempted to remedy this action by taking funds from the Magistrate Office to reimburse the nonprofit organization.

Following an investigation that has been ongoing for more than a month, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at about 3:30 p.m., the GBI executed a search warrant at Wigington’s office to gather further evidence for the case.

Warrants for Judge Wigington’s arrest were obtained by the GBI. The warrants include the following:
• 3 counts of Unauthorized Use of Financial Transaction Card (O.C.G.A. 16-9-37(b))
• 6 counts of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. 16-8-2)
• 1 count of Violation of Oath by Public Officer (O.C.G.A 16-10-1)

Wigington turned himself into the Pickens County Adult Detention Center at 7:30 p.m. and is currently on a $50,000 bond. This case is being actively investigated at this time.

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Thom Chandler
Thom Chandler is the editor of The Georgia Sun and has been writing, editing and managing websites and blogs since 1995. He is a lifelong Georgian and one of those increasingly rare Atlanta natives.

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