Former Georgetown County official charged in embezzlement case

Wayne Emerson Gregory Jr. (provided)

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) - A former Georgetown County administrator is facing embezzlement charges after deputies say he made several fraudulent purchases while employed by the City of Columbia.

According to the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, Wayne Emerson Gregory Jr. was arrested after officials found that between January 2010 and September 2013 Gregory used a county purchasing card for personal purchases.

Officials allege Gregory walked away with more than $100,000 in the nearly three-year span. He was serving as Georgetown County's economic development director at the time, officials said.

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson said Gregory was fired on Tuesday after his arrest was made public. Gregory was serving at Columbia's economic development director.

"Based on the allegations, I have directed my staff to conduct a full internal review of all Economic Development operations conducted during Mr. Gregory's employment with the City of Columbia," Wilson said in a statement. "We will also work together, as a team, to ensure that this incident will not impact the continuation of service provision and we remain focused on the important economic development initiatives within our city."

She also named Ryan Coleman as the acting economic development director.

On Tuesday, deputies and state police executed a search warrant on Gregory's home and arrested him. He was taken to the Georgetown County Detention Center.{}