4 public figures indicted in Bladen County - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

4 public figures indicted in Bladen County

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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Several employees in Bladen County were indicted Tuesday during a regular session of grand jury, according to District Attorney Jon David.

Four public figures were indicted for financial crimes involving the misuse and misappropriation of public funds, including the former superintendent of public schools in the county.

Former Superintendent Gregory Killingsworth retired in October 2010 with a handwritten note to the board.  He was indicted on one count of obtaining property by false pretense July 15, 2010.

Sandra A. Baldwin, a former counselor for Bladen County vocational Rehabilitation Services was indicted on 17 counts of obtaining false pretense from August 3, 2009 to June 24, 2010.

Former Vice President of Finance for Bladen Community College Kelly Ard Smith was indicted on two counts of obtaining property by false pretense from July 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

Mitchell Gerald Byrd, former Bladen County Fire Marshal, was indicted on 25 counts of obtaining property by false pretense from November 14, 2005 to March 3, 2009.

David said the District Attorney's Office feels it is important to hold people who serve the public accountable for their behavior.

"No one is above the law, particularly those of us who have been entrusted with the public's confidence," said David in a press release.  "As a team, we are committed to seeking justice in these types of cases."

Here is a breakdown of the indictments:

Killingsworth faces one count of obtaining property by false pretense. The indictment states that on July 15, 2010, he directed employees in the school system's finance department to issue a supplement check for $6,272 to his electronic payroll account without approval from the Board of Education.

Byrd faces 25 counts of obtaining property by false pretense. The indictment says Byrd pocketed money from November 2005 to March 2009. He is accused of receiving more than $11,000 in cash or refund checks from the recreation retailer Cabela's. It claims that he wrote purchase orders for items, then returned them for a refund without the knowledge of county government. According to the documents, he either cashed the refund checks or bought "non-approved" items with store credit.

Smith faces two counts of obtaining property by false pretense. The indictment says Smith received money, goods or services from various merchants by financial transaction card fraud. The indictment says it happened between July 2010 and October 2010.  The transactions had a value in excess of $500 dollars.

Baldwin is charged with 17 counts of obtaining property by false pretense. The indictments say she received $1,039.50 in cash from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.  

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