The Transylvania Times -

SBI Probes Mishandling Of County Funds - Brevard, NC


June 1, 2017

A former staff member of the Transylvania County Transportation Department is being investigated for allegedly mishandling funds.

According to Transylvania County Manager Jaime Laughter, the investigation involves a county employee who is no longer employed by the county.

She said the case has been turned over to the N.C. State Bureau of Investigators.

“In the process of our interim Transportation Director Jonathan Griffin’s research to find ways to improve transportation services, we realized that we saw some evidence that led us to believe there could be some criminal involvement,” Laughter said. “And that’s when we turned it over to investigators, first calling the Sheriff’s Office, and then they engaged state and federal investigators.”

Laughter said the county is cooperating with the investigation and making sure they have everything they need.

To be transparent, Laughter issued a press release which can be found on Transylvania County’s website.

According to the press release, “Transylvania County Government is committed to protecting public trust by being a transparent and accountable organization. For this reason, any time there is suspected mishandling of the funds entrusted to our organization, administration will take immediate action to investigate and engage law enforcement as appropriate.

“Unfortunately, such a situation has arisen as a result of review of the operations of our Transportation Department involving staff no longer employed by Transylvania County. The issues that have been identified have been reported to the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office and the county is cooperating completely with state and federal investigators on this case. In order to support the investigation and assure that justice is served, staff will be unable to comment on any particulars regarding this case.

“In the meantime, Transylvania County Transportation is under the highly qualified leadership of interim director Jonathan Griffin. Mr. Griffin has taken action to prevent any future issues and is developing recommendations to restructure and improve transportation services so that the mission to serve the public is attained. The transportation staff will continue to serve our citizens with the same high level of customer service our clients expect.

“We issued the press release because we started to realize that the word was getting out in the community,” Laughter said, “and ultimately we would rather be up front that we have an issue and address it to follow protocol so that no other issue arises.”

As of press time, calls to the SBI had not been returned.


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