City pays as Mayor’s case moves slowly

Gregory Carswell

Gregory Carswell

The City of Waynesboro has dished out nearly $10,000 in pay while its mayor sits on the court docket in another county.

In July 2020, Mayor Gregory Carswell was arrested in Statesboro and charged with felony theft by taking, identity fraud and theft by deception. He was also charged with forgery in the 2nd degree. The charges were related to his employment by a Statesboro title pawn business. In December 2020 a Bullock County Grand Jury indicted him on the charges, stating that he is accused of willfully and fraudulently using a Georgia License number, taking more than $11,000 in currency from a title pawn shop where he worked, and stealing at least $5,000 by intentionally creating fictitious accounts.

Carswell voluntarily took a leave of absence in May 2021, citing ongoing legal issues and the health problems of his son.

In a statement he said, “Upon obtaining a favorable resolution and my son goes through these series of issues, I look forward to returning and completing my term in office.”

Governor Brian Kemp officially suspended Carswell from his mayoral position that same month. Records show that since that suspension,

Carswell continues to collect a gross income of $830.00 per month amounting to a total of $9,828 since Kemp suspended him.

Carswell’s attorney, J. Grady Blanchard, filed a motion to withdraw September 7, 2021, stating Carswell failed to pay legal fees in a reasonable amount of time. Carswell is currently represented by Scott Brannen.

Nearly two years later, Carwell’s case is on the list for a calendar call set for April 12.

Following the city’s charter, Vice Mayor James Chick Jones assumed the role of acting mayor. Jones, who makes approximately half the salary that Carswell does, has received no increase in pay.

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