MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia nonprofit may not be able to press criminal charges against an executive accused of improper credit card charges because of an earlier agreement.
The Telegraph of Macon reports that Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia wants former Chief Financial Officer Tim Ligon prosecuted, accusing him of more than $76,000 in “personal, unauthorized transactions" on a company credit card.
A non-criminal complaint that Goodwill filed Aug. 23 in Morgan County said that Ligon, who lives there, made the purchases over the last seven years. Ligon was fired this spring, the complaint said.
A report written after the original complaint, states that Goodwill “was not seeking criminal prosecution of this case, but simply needed a law enforcement incident report to provide to their insurance company.”
Goodwill had earlier sent Ligon a letter giving him until Aug. 7 to repay the $76,593. The report said that “Ligon signed and returned the letter to Goodwill, however he has not made any payments.”
Macon-based Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area serve 31 counties in Georgia and four in South Carolina. The group initially said it was working with its insurance company and law enforcement, It said Tuesday that its executive committee now wants criminal charges against Ligon in addition to restitution.
But Morgan County sheriff's deputies say prosecutors have concluded that the letter Ligon signed setting the Aug. 7 repayment deadline is a civil contract that shields Ligon from criminal charges.
“That is not a criminal matter,” Morgan County Chief Deputy Keith Howard said Wednesday. “That is a civil matter. They had a contract with Mr. Ligon.”
Macon-based Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area serves 31 counties in Georgia and four in South Carolina.
Ligon did not return a message seeking comment.
Goodwill President James K. “Jim” Stiff told The Telegraph that the organization filed its complaint in Morgan County because that's where Ligon lives and is where most of the allegedly improper purchases were made.
“So we’ve got now the interest in going to another (jurisdiction) within our territory that might prosecute him. So I think that’s kind of the next step,” Stiff said.
He declined to specify any of the items that Ligon is said to have bought using Goodwill’s credit card.
“It’s things,” Stiff said, “that when you look at it you go, ‘That’s obscenely obvious that that’s got nothing to do with Goodwill.’”