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UPDATE: Town of Allendale Council holds emergency session after admin takes plea deal

(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 3, 2017 at 3:21 PM EDT
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Saturday, December 8, 2018

ALLENDALE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Town of Allendale is responding after News 12 reported Allendale Administrator DeWayne Ennis pleaded guilty Monday to stealing money from the city.

The release is as follows, from the town's attorney, J. Martin Harvey:

"On October 3, 2017, agents of the FBI and SLED entered Allendale Town Hall and shut it down, seizing Town records and interrogating Town employees, including the Town Administrator. In the ensuing 15 months, Allendale Town Council believes it has fully cooperated with the investigation. No one in the FBI or the Department of Justice has given the Mayor or Town Council any indication that the Town's cooperation was lacking in any respect. The last time the town's attorney questioned the status of the investigation, the response was noncommittal. Regrettably, no one in the FBI or the Department of Justice communicated with the Mayor or Town Council about the charges to which the news media has reported that the Town Administrator has recently entered a guilty plea. Council only became aware of this matter on yesterday, Friday, December 7. As of this afternoon, December 8, Council still has not received any official word of this latest development in the investigation. What Council knows about this matter is what has been reported in the news media, but what the news media has reported is enough for the Council to take decisive action. Believing that the most important action that Council can take at this time, and without knowing anything further about the matter, Council met this morning in an emergency session. Council deemed the matter to be an emergency because the media reports of the guilty plea came to its attention on a Friday afternoon, and it was not possible to notify the public or the press of a special meeting before Town Hall opened for business on Monday. Council takes very seriously the nature of the charges to which it is reported that the Administrator has admitted guilt. Council believes that the business conducted at Town Hall on Monday morning must be handled in as routine and professional manner as possible, without distractions and an undercurrent of distrust, and a meeting on Monday or later to address this disturbing turn of events would only contribute to diminished employee morale and the public's uncertainty."

News 12 will continue to follow this developing story.

Friday, Dec. 7, 2018

News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- New court filings show the Town of Allendale Administrator DeWayne Ennis pleaded guilty Monday to stealing money from the city.

The FBI and SLED raided the city offices last October saying they were looking into a public official.

Court filings show DeWayne Ennis pleaded guilty to stealing more than $10,000 in federal grants and show Ennis used a bank card issued to the Town of Allendale to buy cars for his personal use and for the people who worked for him.

Documents show he also used the money for car and home repairs.

Court filings also say since 2015 Ennis siphoned money from the Town of Allendale by receiving payment for hours worked elsewhere.

Ennis could face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.


Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017

ALLENDALE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – The small town of Allendale Municipal Building is closed off to the public while investigators from the FBI and SLED raid town hall.

Investigators pulled box after box from the brick building and into a black trailer. Our cameras were rolling when the mayor of Allendale took off in a white Dodge pick-up truck shortly after we arrived.

But we were able to find him at his home later.

Kelly:

“Did you know they were coming today?”

Mayor Jackson:

“I knew they were coming to do the investigation, but I didn’t know they were going to bring that many people.”

SLED officials tell us they are working an active investigation into a public official. The mayor tells us City Administrator Dewayne Ennis was inside the building along with SLED and the FBI.

We were able to get video of Ennis stepping out for a phone call.

Mayor Jackson:

“He is in his office. They are in there with him.”

Kelly:

“Was he arrested or taken into custody? Anything like that?”

Mayor:

“No, no.”

The mayor denies any theft of taxpayers is going on.

“Ain’t nobody stealing no, no.”

He says he is confident any federal or state probe will prove no wrongdoing by town officials.

“We got a good financial director. She keeps up with the money. Everything runs through her… I feel pretty good. I don't think Mr. Ennis or any other person down there did anything wrong.”


ALLENDALE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are in the middle of an investigation at Allendale Municipal Building.

According to our reporter on the scene, state troopers are blocking the entrances to the parking lot while SLED and FBI investigators are working inside.

SLED has been at the building since 9:30 a.m. A SLED spokesperson says there's an open investigation concerning public officials, and they are not aware of any arrests at this time. The FBI confirmed they are working alongside SLED in the investigation.

We caught up with Allendale Mayor Ronnie Jackson who says he didn't know SLED was coming today and has no idea what they're looking into.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to News 12 NBC 26 for updates.

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