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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Josh Marcus

Prosecutor accused of using government ‘piggy bank’ to pay for dog cremation and shopping at Target

Hall County Sheriff’s Office

A Georgia prosecutor was indicted and arrested for allegedly taking thousands of dollars of government funds meant for crime victims and instead spending it on personal expenses.

Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard, whose position includes prosecuting low-level crimes like DUIs, is accused of taking at least $4,200 from public coffers and spending it on a variety of personal expenses, including a restaurant bill, college test preparation, a pillow at Target, and even the cremation of a dog.

The indictment, certified on Tuesday in state court against Woodward, contains 24 felony charges, including 13 counts of false statements in writing and 11 counts of theft by taking.

It follows a 2022 investigation from the Georgie Bureau of Investigation, launched after local news outlet Fox 5 Atlanta uncovered receipts showing Woodward spending office funds on noise-canceling headphones, jewelry repair, and other personal matters.

“As a public official, Hall County citizens trusted Solicitor Stephanie Woodard with their community’s interests,” GBI director Chris Hosey said in a statement on Tuesday. “This indictment illustrates that no one is above the law and must be held accountable for their actions. Working with our law enforcement partners, the GBI remains committed to following the facts and bringing to light evidence in public corruption investigations.”

A mugshot of Stephanie Woodard, a Georgia prosecutor accused of spending thousands of dollars in government money on personal expenses, who was indicted on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Hall County Sheriff’s Office)

At the time, Woodward told Fox 5 “Some personal education expenses and other items submitted were confused as victim expenses by mistake – and have since been reimbursed by me personally."

The prosecutor, who remains in office, has continued to deny wrongdoing.

​​"The decision by the Attorney General’s Office to institute charges against her in this absurd indictment is unfathomable and a waste of court time and taxpayer dollars,” her attorneys said in a statement following the indictment.

“She absolutely committed no crime, but yet she has been viciously pursued by the GBI for years. They have harassed her family, including her children, during which time the agents were aware of ongoing severe health issues that they were facing."

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