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BOE member Riggins charged in lunch scandal

Dougherty County School Board member Velvet Riggins gets into a waiting vehicle shortly after being booked on two counts of falsifying information on a school lunch application and one felony count of offense by a public official.

Dougherty County School Board member Velvet Riggins gets into a waiting vehicle shortly after being booked on two counts of falsifying information on a school lunch application and one felony count of offense by a public official.

ALBANY — Dougherty County School Board member Velvet Riggins was booked at the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning on charges related to allegations that she falsified information on a school lunch application.

She is charged with one felony count of offense by a public official, and two misdemeanor counts of falsifying information on a free or reduced cost school lunch application.

The one count of offense by a public official carries a $5,000 bond, and the two other counts each have a bond of $1,000. She was booked and released on a personal recognizance bond.

The charges against Riggins come on the heels of similar charges against Morningside Principal Gloria Baker, who was charged last month, along with her husband, Charles, with falsifying lunch applications.

The cases are similar except that as a public official Riggins is also charged with a felony, specifically Georgia statute 45-11-1 (a), which reads in part: “If any public officer or other person shall steal, embezzle, alter, corrupt, withdraw, falsify, or avoid any record, process, charter, gift, grant, conveyance, or contract ... he shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment and labor in the penitentiary for not less than two years nor more than ten years.”

School system attorney Tommy Coleman said on Wednesday that the board’s options are limited in regard to possible discipline against Riggins even if the allegations are proven to be true.

“The board does not have the power to remove her from office, only the Governor’s Office has that power and only if she is convicted of a felony.” said Coleman. “The most the board can do is censure her.”

Because of the felony charge, the complaint will be forwarded Gov. Nathan Deal’s office. Deal will then appoint an administrative tribunal comprised of Attorney General Sam Olens and two school board members from outside Dougherty County.

That tribunal would investigate the charges and recommend to the governor whether Riggins should be from office until the case is resolved.

Riggins has retained the services of Albany attorney Mark Brimberry.

Comments

TrixibelleBento 2 years, 4 months ago

Whoopsie-daisy! Another one bites the dust!

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waltspecht 2 years, 4 months ago

If the Felony charge sticks, one of the School Board four is gone.

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shep 2 years, 4 months ago

Velvet you didn't !!!! I can't believe they are booking a distinguished member of our school board for falsifying information. What a joke the board has become from it's leader on down.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 4 months ago

Word is, when the Baker story broke, the schools were bombarded with people wanting to change their "free lunch" status. So maybe something good will come outta all this.

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TheBoss 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope the DCSS Police have done a good invesgitation or Baker & Riggins will own the system and the DCSS Police Chief and Loyd will be gone. Bush will see to that.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 4 months ago

This is fraud. Anyone convicted should lose their jobs, no questions asked. Until we start getting serious with holding people to a higher standard and forcing people to act ethically, then we're never going to improve. It's a shame that you have to force people to act ethically though.

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boyoboy 2 years, 4 months ago

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Corruption running rampant!

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retireddcss 2 years, 4 months ago

The DCSS SY2011-2012 FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE SCHOOL MEALS FAMILY APPLICATION FORM DOWNLOADED FROM THE SYSTEMS WEB SITE HAS THREE SIGNATURE LINES FOR OFFICIALS TO DETERMINE, CONFIRM AND VERIFY THE APPLICATION. WHAT DOES THE SYSTEM EXPECT OF THESE INDIVIDUALS? ARE THEY ALL AT THE INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL OR THE CENTRAL OFFICE? WILL THIS DEGENERATE INTO ANOTHER LACK OF SUPERVISION WITH THE SYSTEM BEING REQUIRED TO REFUND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR FRAUDULENT APPLICATIONS.

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VSU 2 years, 4 months ago

Bad thing is, even if this board member is gone, the good ol boy system will put another bad person in there. They would not be able to tolerate a person that goes by the rules.

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T_Paine 2 years, 4 months ago

"The good ol' boy" system doesn't grant board positions, it is the wonderful Albany voting populace you have to thank.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

I talk to several DCSS teachers this week and they confirm many peoples wanting to change they lunch status, sending lunch money alls of a sudden when they have not sent any lunch money all year so far. What describe whats in they mind? They just think they is entitled for some reason. What reason? They not poor. They not downtrodden. They basically running the whole show at this point so what is they reason?

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whattheheck 2 years, 4 months ago

Once the public teat produces money for those feeding on it, weaning is almost impossible to do. It is hard to give up free money that is so easy to get. Guess we will have to pull them off one chiseler at a time.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 4 months ago

This witch hunt reminds me of the way they caught Al Capone. They couldn't convict him on rackateering...so, they slid in from the back door and hit him with tax evasion.....

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TheMember 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's not accept the fact they are stealing from us, let's just stand up behind our brothers and sisters. Is that the way you view everything? Are you the one who will not rat out the black man? WTH coach? wrong is wrong and I don't care if the person is white, green, black or purple.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 4 months ago

who mentioned color? think before you speak.....and read posts carefully.....try again....

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TheMember 2 years, 4 months ago

I am wondering why you would say a witchhunt??? The lady did wrong and as in every other post that involves a black person you have some lame excuse or some lame comment about why they should not be in trouble. It is time to punish these people, what I mean by "these people" I mean anyone who lies, cheats or steals from the taxpayers or anyone else. So you keep protecting and calling it a witchhunt all you want, but wrong is wrong.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 4 months ago

I speak on many issues, not just those involving Black people. You obviously have a problem with Black people because it has struck a nerve with you. I cant protect them no more than anyone else. I sometimes offer a perspective that counters the accusing side. Simply to make you think. As far as the 'witchhunt" remark is concerned........when the DCSS/BOE is as disliked as much as this one is for so long now.......its obvious.....

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bubbavet 2 years, 4 months ago

ANOTHER LIE FROM THE REV. TALKING OUT OF YOUR BUTT AS USUAL

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TheMember 2 years, 4 months ago

Coach I absolutely have zero problems with black people, I have many friends who are black and I will be the first to say I have a problem with thieves whether they are black or white. Both have a problem with admitting when they have done wrong, but it is obvious this lady will not step down if she is found guilty. On another note, I think applications should have the applicant be assigned a number instead of putting their name and then let the most qualified get the job, I don't give a S&it what color they are, but don't give the job just because of skin color. That is what makes people become racist. People need to learn to earn it and stop expecting it.

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Budz 2 years, 4 months ago

You tell"em Sister Ruby...go girl!

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43cop 2 years, 4 months ago

Now if they would just check BUSH closer, maybe he would take Murphee down with him.

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Cartman 2 years, 4 months ago

IF she has done this and had a sense of decency; she would resign from the board. What an example for our children. I hope the prosecutors realize that she indeed CAN BE an example for our children. Is there no end to the shame of the Dougherty County school board?

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Justice4Moma 2 years, 4 months ago

The ones who need to show Albany that you are ready for change,need to do the right thing here.Let it go to court.If you steal,you are a theif.What makes any diffrence if the person doing the stealing is in High places with High people behind them.Stop the Corruption.Any other theif would spend jail time.And i am saying if they are found guilty.Good ole boy system needs to stay out of it.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully she will spend some time in prison like her brother did. This family seems to be BAD news for Albany.

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