Brooks Co. Extension Agent accused of stealing money - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Brooks Co. Extension Agent accused of stealing money

BROOKS CO., GA (WALB) -

A south Georgia extension agent is accused of stealing tax money. Johnny Whiddon just retired as the extension coordinator in Brooks County. Investigators say he misused thousands of dollars meant to help operate his office.

Johnny Whiddon is out of the Brooks County jail on a $120,000 bond. The University of Georgia Police Department charged him with 22 felony counts of theft by taking and 47 counts of unlawful use of state resources.

Officials say he was diverting money through accounts that were set up to run his office as the Extension Coordinator in Brooks County.

His attorney Byron Watson says he's innocent. "Some of the accounts that are in question are routinely audited at the request of state officials and county officials. So the charges did come as a shock to Mr. Whiddon."

Whiddon has been the Extension Coordinator for nearly 30 years. He works out of the Agriculture Building in Quitman.

Watson says they've started their own investigation into the accusations and will be looking into the audits.

Whiddon is accused of taking more than $11,000, and more than $7,000 was deemed as unlawful use of state resources.

"Mr. Whiddon wants to clear this up more than anybody. So he has nothing to hide," said Watson.

UGA officials say Whiddon retired from this position May 1st.

The Brooks County District Attorney will decide if this case should be taken to a grand jury.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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