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ATLANTA – A former chief magistrate judge in Pickens County has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced Thursday.

William “Allen” Wigington was found guilty of 44 felonies and five misdemeanors for a variety of crimes, including racketeering, forgery, theft by taking, unauthorized use of a financial transaction card and violating his oath of office.

“Mr. Wigington violated the public’s trust in the worst way, and he will now serve time for his deceitful behavior,” Carr said Thursday. “The theft of taxpayer funds will not go unpunished, and we will continue to root out this type of public corruption in our state.”

An investigation into Wigington’s crimes began when the secretary of a Masonic lodge in Jasper where he was treasurer noticed in 2019 that he had paid his personal credit card bill using the lodge’s bank account.

A joint investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Pickens County Sheriff’s Office last year revealed Wigington had been using his county-issued credit card to purchase thousands of dollars of personal items from Amazon. He also was found to have been billing the county for trips in 2017, 2018 and 2019 that turned out to be family vacations.

In another incident, a local defense attorney gave Wigington $200 to buy a suit for a high school student who had been selected to participate in a mock trial. Wigington pocketed the money instead and used his county purchasing card to buy one suit for himself and another for the student.

Wigington was appointed chief magistrate judge in Pickens in 2011. He resigned early last year because of the charges.

Carr said Wigington will serve five years of his sentence followed by the remainder on probation.

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