A former Sumter School District employee accused last year in at least one anonymous letter of misusing funds has been charged by the state Grand Jury that is alleging public corruption.
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Charges for Vivian “Libby” DuBose include three counts alleging embezzlement and misconduct in office, according to a news release and Robert Kittle, an attorney with the state Attorney General’s office.
The first count of embezzlement alleges that DuBose, while serving as the district’s former director of early childhood development, purchased — or caused to be purchased — a variety of consumer-type goods and unlawfully converted at least $10,000 of those purchases to her personal use.
A second count alleges she unlawfully received payment for “training” that she didn’t conduct or was not properly certified to conduct and, in so doing, unlawfully received more than $10,000 of improper compensation for personal use.
Count No. 3 is for misconduct in office and alleges DuBose committed acts and omissions in breach of her job duties as a public official and operated contrary to her duties as the district’s program director.
After at least one unanimous letter was circulated in the spring of 2017 and an audit by the state Department of Education found financial improprieties in the district’s program, the State Law Enforcement Division took over the case to investigate the allegations.
Kittle said Friday he couldn’t specifically discuss if SLED brought an investigative report to the grand jury or if the jury subpoenaed witnesses and did its own probe before issuing the charges.
DuBose faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison if convicted in consecutive sentences, along with a fine in the court’s discretion that is proportional to the embezzlement amount, the release says.
The case will be prosecuted by State Grand Jury Section Chief Attorney General Creighton Waters and Senior Assistant Attorney General Brian Petrano. It is not known at this time when the case will be heard in court, Kittle said, if it proceeds without a plea.
DuBose's attorney, Paul Porter with Cromer, Babb, Porter and Hicks LLC of Columbia, said Friday his firm stands behind her. DuBose filed a lawsuit in June against the district and others in an employment case, asserting she is innocent on all accounts.
"We stand behind Libby 100 percent," Porter said, “and we remain committed to represent her in her employment case and vindicating her in a court of law.
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