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 said Monday that she expects to be on the Dougherty County Grand Jury docket when the body convenes on Wednesday.
“I expect to be on the docket, but I have not been officially notified,” Riggins said. “I am waiting to hear from my attorney (Mark Brimberry) to find out for sure.”
Riggins was arrested last December and charged with two misdemeanor counts of falsifying free or reduced school lunch applications and one felony count of Offense by a Public official. She is currently free on a $7,000 personal recognizance bond.
Riggins was scheduled to go before the grand jury early last month, but her case was delayed.
Her arrest came on the heels of three misdemeanor counts each of falsifying free or reduced school lunch applications against Morningside Elementary School Principal Gloria Baker and her husband John.
Baker was suspended by the Dougherty school Board for 15 days without pay.
South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mullholland was appointed as the special prosecutor to handle the Riggins and Baker cases after Dougherty County DA Greg Edwards recused himself because he personally knows both women.
On Monday, South Georgia Judicial Assistant DA Heather Lainer would neither confirm nor deny that the cases were on the upcoming grand jury docket.
Should the grand jury indict Riggins on the felony count, the DA’s office will send a report to the governor and if the charge is related to an elected official, he has the power to impanel a tribunal consisting of State Attorney General Sam Olens and two of Riggins’ peers — in this case, two school board members from different districts.
The tribunal would review the case, then make a non-binding recommendation to the governor, who could remove Riggins from office until the case is resolved.
Riggins is completing her first term as District 3’s representative on the DCSS School Board. That seat is up for re-election this fall.