Central Georgia mayor accused of misappropriating nearly $65K from city funds suspended by Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp suspended a Central Georgia mayor on Tuesday after being indicted on numerous felony counts of stealing from his city.

Brandon Holt, the mayor of Pineview in Wilcox County, was arrested in January following a GBI investigation that accused him of stealing roughly $65,000 from the city of less than 500 citizens. Holt was later released under bond.

The alleged theft of public funds occurred between June 26 and October 11, 2023, according to Holt’s arrest warrant, acquired by 13WMAZ. It accuses Holt of executing 75 transactions using the mobile payment app Cash App to transfer funds from the city of Pineview’s general account to his personal bank accounts.

District Attorney Brad Rigby and Wilcox County Sheriff Steve Mauldin requested that the GBI investigate Holt on October 20, only nine days after the last Cash App transaction is thought to have occurred.

Following the GBI’s investigation, Holt was charged with 75 charges of theft by taking, one for each purported Cash App transaction.

In March, a grand jury indicted Holt on multiple felony counts of theft by taking. The governor’s office claims to have received Holt’s indictment on March 13, 2024, and that a “Review Commission” was formed 15 days later to “determine whether the indictment relates to and adversely affects the administration of the Office of the Mayor of Pineview such that the rights and interests of the public are adversely affected,” according to the executive order.

On Thursday, the commission’s report was delivered to the governor’s office, and they concluded that “the indictment of Mr. Brandon Holt does relate to and does adversely affect the administration of the Office of the Mayor of Pineview, and that the rights and interests of the public are adversely affected.”

The Commission recommended that Holt be suspended from office, and Kemp issued the executive order on Tuesday. You can view the entire order here.

“Mr. Brandon Holt is hereby suspended from office immediately and without further action pending the final disposition of the case or until expiration of his term of office, which ever occurs first,” according to the decision.

However, the 34-year-old mayor has previously been accused with stealing.

In 2022, Holt was arrested in Bibb County on two counts of felony theft by deception and nine counts of financial identity fraud.

According to an indictment filed in Bibb County Superior Court, Holt is accused of “fraudulently” utilizing the account number of Macon Asphalt, a Macon construction company owned by Willy Buckland, to transfer monies to his William & Fudge and Bridgecrest Financial accounts.

Both organizations offer loan services, according to their websites.

According to the indictment, Holt exploited Macon Asphalt’s account numbers to embezzle $22,196. The indictment further shows that the alleged thefts occurred in transactions from 2018.

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