2018-02-09 / Front Page

Magistrate office employee faces embezzlement charge brought via SLED probe

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

A day after a Cherokee County Magistrate’s Office employee was charged by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) with embezzlement of public funds, the total amount of money allegedly involved remains unreported.

Angela Gregg Mabry, 49, of White Oak Road, was accused in an arrest warrant served Wednesday with embezzling more than $10,000. The charge stems from a SLED investigation that was confirmed last June after a periodic review of magistrate court bank statements turned up irregularities, it was reported at the time.

While SLED spokesman Thom Berry said it would be inappropriate for him to discuss specific details, as the case is still considered open, he could confirm that “based upon information developed during our investigation, the amount that is believed to be missing is substantially more than the $10,000 threshold that the law requires for the charge.”

A call placed to Cherokee County Chief Magistrate Julian Wright on Thursday, without any questions even being posed, was immediately referred by a person who answered the phone to Cherokee County administration and subsequently to SLED.

Interim Cherokee County Administrator Bill Blanton, who was recently appointed to serve until a permanent administrator is hired by council, said Thursday he has not yet been informed by SLED or the attorney generals office, which is prosecuting the case, about any details of the investigation.

The magistrate’s office reportedly handles its own personnel matters and the status of Mabry’s job with the office couldn’t be confirmed either with Wright’s office or the South Carolina Court Administration office in Columbia. Robert Mc- Curdy, assistant director of the South Carolina Court Administration office, said he could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

Last June, when the investigation began, former county administrator Holland Belue confirmed two magistrate court employees were put on leave without pay, although he declined at the time to identify them, according to The Gaffney Ledger archives.

According to a copy of the arrest warrant filed against Mabry, SLED alleges the embezzlement occurred between July 1, 2016, and May 30, 2017.

“To wit: in her position at the magistrate’s office, the defendant (Mabry) was entrusted with processing payments and receiving monies on behalf of the magistrate’s office,” according to the warrant. “The defendant was also entrusted with collecting money from payments processed by other clerks and depositing the money to the bank. An audit was conducted that revealed discrepancies with the amount of money received by the defendant, and the amount actually deposited into the magistrate’s office bank account. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the defendant received and fraudulently documented/ processed over $10,000 in transactions of public funds, thus depriving Cherokee County.”

The warrant was signed by Circuit Court Judge Keith Kelly.

Mabry was booked into the Cherokee County Detention

Center at approximately 2 p.m. and reportedly was released just before 5 p.m. after posting a $10,000 bond set by Magistrate John B. Cook, who serves as the county’s weekend magistrate.

It was unclear if Mabry has retained an attorney.

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