Judge sentenced for theft of more than $430k

Atkinson Co. Probate Judge

PEARSON, GA (WALB) - A former probate judge in Atkinson County, Margie O’Brien, now faces jail time after entering a guilty plea for her role in stealing almost a half a million dollars.

A grand jury originally indicted O’Brien on 81 counts of theft by taking and two counts racketeering.

According to the Atkinson County Clerk’s Office, O’Brien pleaded guilty to 10 counts of theft by taking for stealing more than $430,000.

“I’m kind of proud justice has been served," said one Atkinson County resident, Jason Joyner.

Thursday morning, Tifton Judge Gary McCorvey handed down a sentence of three years jail time and 30 years probation to O’Brien.

“When I first heard about it, I couldn’t believe it. I was just like ‘what?’ It really...it was really a shock to me," said another resident, Miguel Contreras.

“When I say I’ve known her, I’ve known her for several years probably about 10 or 12 years, but never in my mind I would’ve thought that," said Joyner.

“She’s paying for what they’re accusing her of having done. It is a little rough to hear," said another Atkinson County resident, Jesus Contreras.

Judge McCorvey also ordered O’Brien to pay back more than $309,000 to the county.

“She’s been blessed. That’s the only thing I’ll say on that. It could’ve been a whole lot worse," said Joyner.

Judge McCorvey is a special appointed judge from Tifton to avoid bias in the case because of O’Brien’s ties to the judicial system.

We spoke with multiple citizens about her ties to the community.

“There is a bit of difference in how I look at her but it’s not too much. I still believe she is a good woman," said Miguel.

O’Brien has been mandated to turned herself in Monday at noon, but many say that they don’t believe she the only one in the county that is guilty.

“It’s some crookedness going on in the county. I think that was just like the beginning of something that I think will get unraveled in the future," said Miguel.

We reached out to her lawyer for comment but have not received a response.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.