A former police chief is pleading not guilty after he was charged with taking more than $75,000 in public funds.
Former Manning Chief Blair Shaffer is denying the FBI charges that he deposited the money into personal bank accounts in 2015. According to indictments, investigators say most of the more than $78,000 came from drug seizures. The indictments claim Shaffer spread the money across more than 60 deposits of $5,000 or less between September and November 2015.
The FBI believes Shaffer made the deposits over time because federal law requires banks to report any deposits or withdrawals over $10,000.
Shaffer was fired in July, but the town did not cite the accusations at the time. The Sumter Item reports town mayor Julia Nelson had given “safety concerns” as a reason, although later grievance hearings mentioned the federal investigation. According to the newspaper, Shaffer claimed Nelson fired her out of “retaliation.” The town council ultimately upheld the termination.
The FBI also accuses Shaffer of lying to them during their investigation.