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Ex-Richland One purchasing manager arrested in P card probe

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – SLED officers have arrested a former Richland One School District purchasing officer in connection with an investigation into P.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said Travis Antonio Braddy was charged with twelve counts by the South Carolina grand jury. The indictments allege Braddy misused school resources and used his position to use school funds for personal gain. In total, the indictments say $23,171.41 in public funds were misappropriated.

Braddy, 43, resigned from his position on May 27, 2021. The district demanded it for insubordination.

He is currently detained and housed at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Richland One spokeswoman Karen York released a statement in response to Wilson’s announcement,

“The discrepancies were discovered through our system of internal controls and checks and balances. We turned over what we found through our investigation to law enforcement. Additionally, there are different levels of authorization for P-Card holders depending on the positions they hold in the district and their purchasing needs.

Braddy is charged with:

  • A Chief of Office Misconduct
  • Three counts of embezzlement, value less than $10,000
  • One count of embezzlement worth more than $10,000
  • Four counts of using an official position for personal gain
  • Three scythe heads

Counts one through eight allege that he used public funds to reserve rooms for himself at a Columbia-area Hilton Garden Inn using P cards for non-school purposes. He is further accused of falsifying hotel bills that were given to the district.

He allegedly used the bills to claim that school money spent on hotel rooms was used to buy excess personal protective equipment at the hotel for the school to use during the pandemic. Investigators say this fraud shifted $3,358.16 of public funds for his personal use.

Counts one, nine, and ten show Braddy renting a 2020 GMC Yukon for personal use. The money had been approved to hire a box truck to deliver protective gear to the school. Braddy continued to use the truck even after his resignation. Investigators said the entire bill was sent to the district. It cost $10,425.25 in public funds.

RELATED COVERAGE

  • WIS News 10 investigates spending by Richland County officials on county-issued cards
  • Attorney General Asks to Investigate Richland One Purchasing Cards, District Responds

Counts One, 11 and 12 allege that Braddy used a fake purchase order to substantiate payment to a shell company. Investigators said the account and the company were under the control of someone closely associated with him. This allowed $9,388 of public funds to be used for personal purposes.

If convicted, he faces up to 54 years in prison.

Attorney General Wilson said:

“Overuse of P cards and lax enforcement of procurement policies and procedures can lead to the misuse of taxpayer dollars intended to benefit our state’s schoolchildren,”

“This office will continue to be aggressive in pursuing allegations of school P card and supply abuse throughout South Carolina.”

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