The city of Columbia has fired its economic development director after he was arrested Tuesday on embezzling charges from a previous job.
The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office announced it had arrested Wayne Gregory, 36, on charges of embezzling public funds at his previous job as Georgetown County’s executive director of economic development.
The sheriff’s office said it was notified by the county administrator’s office about several fraudulent purchases made by Gregory between January 2010 and September 2013. Investigators said he used a pre-paid Georgetown County purchasing card to misappropriate more than $100,000 in county funds for his own personal use.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office and State Law Enforcement Division traveled to Columbia on Tuesday and met with Gregory at his home. The Sheriff’s Office said Gregory was arrested after agents and Columbia Police officers executed a search warrant on his home. He was charged with Embezzlement of Public Funds Over $10,000.
Columbia city manager Teresa Wilson said in a statement that Gregory was fired shortly before his arrest. “We will also work together, as a team, to ensure that this incident will not impact the continuation of service provision and we remain focused on the important economic development initiatives within our city,” Wilson said in an email, pledging to comply with investigators as needed.
Gregory was selected as Columbia’s economic director in September.
South Carolina Radio Network has previously interviewed Gregory, after Georgetown County landed an aircraft parts manufacturing plant in June.