PICKENS COUNTY, GA – At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2020, Pickens County Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington was arrested for multiple incidents of Theft and Violation of Oath of Office.
The Sheriff’s Office began a review of financial documents for Pickens County in mid-December 2019. During the review of these documents, investigators identified questionable spending activity on the Pickens County credit card issued to Wigington. After an initial review, Sheriff Craig reached out to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office to discuss the findings. Following the sharing of information with the district attorney’s office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested to assist with further investigation.
Investigators further learned of an additional situation involving a local nonprofit organization, where Wigington served as the Treasurer. In this case, it was found that Wigington had taken funds from the nonprofit organization to pay personal debts. It was determined that Wigington then attempted to remedy this action by taking funds from the Magistrate Office to reimburse the nonprofit organization.
Following an investigation that has been ongoing for more than a month, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at approximately 3:30 p.m., GBI executed a search warrant at Judge Wigington’s office to gather further evidence for the case.
The GBI obtained warrants for Judge Wigington’s arrest, which include the following:
• 3 counts of Unauthorized Use of Financial Transaction Card (O.C.G.A. 16-9-37(b))
• 6 counts of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. 16-8-2)
• 1 count of Violation of Oath by Public Officer (O.C.G.A 16-10-1)
Wigington reportedly made several questionable purchases for instance he made three separate transactions of $923, $848.31, and $317 from Pickens County Magistrate Court to give to aforementioned nonprofit with the “intention of depriving owner of said property.” He also allegedly charged $96.27, $137.82, and $343.84 on Pickens County government card for personal expenses at Hampton Inn in Kingsland, Ga, Doubletree by Hilton at Atlanta Airport, and Hilton Bonnet Creek Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
Judge Wigington turned himself into the Pickens County Adult Detention Center at 7:30 p.m. and is currently on a $50,000 bond.
This case is being actively investigated at this time.