In late January The News-Banner reported that there had been potential misuse of funds by an Appling County Board of Education employee, specifically in the area of School Food Service. At that time Superintendent Dr. Scarlett Copeland told the newspaper that concerns were reported to the system about the potential misuse of funds by School Food Service Director Erica Pinkney. The school district conducted an internal investigation and Pinkney offered her resignation that was unanimously approved by the Appling County Board of Education.
Next the system asked the Georgia Department of Education to perform an audit of the Appling School Food Service accounts. Following an audit of the School Food Service accounts it was determined that $11,000.00 was missing from the accounts. The school system filed a required report with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission regarding Pinkney. Copeland lastly reported that the situation had been turned over to law enforcement for further investigation and potential prosecution.
On Monday Sheriff Benny Deloach reported to The News-Banner that following an investigation by the GBI into the theft of funds from the Appling County Board of Education, Erica Schamine Pinkney, age 43, of Decatur, was arrested and charged with theft by taking. Deloach added that a judge set bond at $28,100.00 and Pinkney was later released on bond.