Friday, June 15, 2012
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ALBANY — Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order on Friday naming a tribunal to review the April felony indictment of Dougherty County School Board member Velvet Riggins on four counts of school lunch fraud.
The governor appointed Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, Henry County School Board member Erik Charles and Tift County School Board member Shawn Utley to review the charges against Riggins.
The governor formed the tribunal as "a review commission to determine whether the indictment relates to and adversely affects the administration of the office of the Dougherty County Board of Education ..."
Deal also instructed the tribunal to make a written report to be delivered to his office within 14 days with a recommendation as to whether Riggins should be suspended from office, as required by O.C.G.A §45-5-6(e).
Riggins was indicted on April 25 by a Dougherty County grand jury on two counts of theft by taking, public record fraud and providing false information to obtain free school meals for a child.
The indictment stems from two 2011-12 free or reduced-cost school lunch applications filed for her children at Robert Cross Middle Magnet School and Lincoln Elementary Magnet School.
Riggins and her attorney, Mark Brimberry, appeared at an arraignment hearing on June 5 before Superior Court Stephen Goss, who gave Brimberry until June 19 to file motions in the case.
It will likely be early July before any more trial matters are heard.