Former Superintendent Wilson arrested for theft in Pickens

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Theft

JASPER, Ga. – Warrants were served for the arrest of of Pickens County Schools’ former Superintendent Dr. Carlton Keith Wilson on charges that include both Theft by Deception and Theft by Taking.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Adult Detention Center have release the arrest records and warrants on Wilson, who was held in custody on $5,000 bail. Allegations say that these thefts occurred between November 2021 through January 2022. Dr. Wilson became Superintendent of Pickens Schools in May of 2017. He later resigned amid numerous emergency meetings called by the Board of Education in December 2019.

According to the warrants, in May 2020, Wilson served as the Victim Witness Coordinator for the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. This came with an annual salary of $42,500. In September 2021, the Pickens Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved a Shared Leave Policy allowing employees to donate unused leave time into a Shared Leave Bank. Also in September 2021, the documents state that Wilson sustained injuries in a car accident. Fully expending his own leave, he applied to receive donated leave hours through the Share Leave Bank and was approved.

Theft

Former Pickens Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson

During his leave, he allegedly began going to the Appalachian Gun Range, a business he owns with a partner and at which he was a firearms instructor. Detectives have investigated the business’ bank records stating that proceeds from the courses “are essential to the success of the company.” In January 2022, Wilson requested additional leave until April 2022, saying his doctor would not release him to work and that he had blood clots in his lungs and leg.

According to the Detectives investigation, during the approved leave time that lasted through January, they state that approximately 138 individuals took courses at the range. The warrants state that Wilson said he taught most of those courses. Under the charge of Theft by Deception, it is noted that Wilson received over $6,300 in payroll checks through the Shared Leave Bank. They go on to state that these payroll checks were deposited into a private account which they allege were used “almost solely for online gambling activities or to pay gambling debts.”

The warrants go on to note the Theft by Taking Offense as Wilson’s alleged operations through Scouts of Hill City Inc. (SHC Inc.), a non-profit organization. As an individual looked to donate 10 acres of land to the Boy Scouts of America in 2009 and were referred to Wilson, the land was eventually donated to Hill City Elementary PTO Inc. with the expressed intent to be used solely to benefit the Boy Scouts in Pickens County.

After BSA Troop 288 disbanded in 2015 and Cub Scout Pack 288 disbanded in 2016, the land was deeded to SHC Inc. in 2018. In 2021, SHC Inc. re-registered with Georgia’s Secretary of State with Wilson as the CEO. The land was split into two tracts and sold in September 2021 for $14,000 each with the funds, minus closing costs, deposited into the SHC Inc. accounts. The warrants state that this money was then used through checks written, payments to personal credit cards, and cashback to Wilson in order to fund “his participation in online gambling activities and payments of debts derived from online gambling activities.

According to documentation, that alleged activity included $1,520 cashback on September 9, 2021, a check for $9,000 on September 10, 2021, a check for $5,000 on September 21, 2021, a check for $5,000 on October 10, 2021, a direct electronic payment to a personal credit card for $5,000 on November 1, 2021, and a check for $900 on December 1, 2021.

These charges were filed with the Superior Court of Pickens County on April 19, 2022. See the full documents of these arrest warrants linked.

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