WAYNESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A small-town mayor facing criminal charges was suspended from office Friday by an executive order issued by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
The order suspends Waynesboro Mayor Gregory Carswell until his case is decided or until his term expires, whichever comes first. The executive order cites Carswell’s indictment on identity theft, theft and forgery charges.
The order says that Carswell agreed to the suspension.
Carswell announced two weeks ago that that he was taking a leave of absence to deal with personal and legal issues, The Augusta Chronicle reported.
“It is with deep regret and mixed emotions that I come to you today that I’m going to take a leave of absence,” the newspaper reported. “In the best interest of the city and of the citizens and for my family, I need to take a leave of absence to make sure that I’m there for them.”ADVERTISEMENT
The newspaper reported that Carswell, who took office in 2017, had turned himself in last July after being contacted by the Statesboro Police Department and was released on a $10,000 bond. He is accused of taking $11,920 from Check Into Cash, where he was employed, by fraudulently refinancing a title pawn account and creating a fictitious title pawn account.
Waynesboro has a population of about 5,700 people. The city is located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Augusta.
According to his biography on the city’s website, Carswell is the first Black man and the youngest person to serve as the city’s mayor.