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Swansea’s mayor to turn himself in next week and face arraignment on charge of embezzlement

Lexington, SC 07/20/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Jerald Sanders, Swansea’s mayor who is currently suspended after being indicted on several charges by a Lexington County Grand Jury, will be arraigned next week. He has been charged with one felony count of embezzlement and one misdemeanor count of misconduct in office.

According to Jerry Bellune of the Lexington County Chronicle, his hearing will be held at 10:30 am, Tuesday, July 27, in courtroom 3B of the Lexington County Judicial Center. Robert Kiddle, spokesman for the SC Attorney General’s Office, said that Sanders has agreed to turn himself in at that time.

Sanders, who is a minister and pastors the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in North, SC, was in his first term as mayor of the small Lexington County town when accusations of financial improprieties arose. Doris Simmons, a member of Swansea’s Town Council and an accountant by trade, became suspicious that something nefarious was going on when Sanders would not allow her or Council Member Michael Luongo to see the town’s financial records. SLED began looking into the matter shortly after that.

After he was indicted, Governor Henry McMaster moved quickly to suspend Sanders from office. He made it clear that Swansea’s Mayor Pro Tem Woodrow Davis would be acting mayor until a resolution in Sanders’ case could be reached.

If convicted on the felony embezzlement count, Sanders could be sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay restitution that is at least equal to the amount of funds taken.


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