By Greg Gullberg
June 16, 2013
Quitman, GA - A Brooks County man wants to clear his name. He's accused of using his job to steal thousands of dollars from the University of Georgia.
UGA Police accuse Johnny Whiddon of diverting more than $11,000 into his personal account. Whiddon is the Brooks County Extension Coordinator, working through UGA, from this office in Quitman, a position he's held for more than two decades.
His attorney, Byron Watson, maintaines he's innocent.
"These charges come as a shock to Johnny Whiddon, to his family, and frankly to anybody who knows Johnny Whiddon," Watson said.
Whiddon is charged with 22 felony counts of "Theft by Taking" and 47 misdemeanor counts of "Unlawful Use of State Resources".
Watson says Whiddon turned himself in to the Brooks County Sheriff's Office Thursday. He says that's a decision they made together after learning of the warrants for his arrest. Whiddon bonded out later that same day at a rate of $120,000.
"Once he learned that there were warrants pending, Mr. Whiddon and I arranged for him to turn himself in immediately," Watson said. "We have since opened our own investigation into the accounts that are in question in his case. So it's a little early for me to comment on his actual charges."
Watson says Whiddon is back home with his family in Brooks County waiting to hear from the District Attorney if they plan to take his case before a Grand Jury.