Former Georgetown County Director of Economic Development arrested for embezzlement

Wayne Emerson Gregory, Jr, has been fired by the City of Columbia. He was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with embezzling public funds during his time as the economic development director for Georgetown County

Wayne Emerson Gregory, Jr., 36, a former economic development director for Georgetown County is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 in public funds.

Georgetown County sheriff's investigators arrested Gregory Tuesday in Columbia, and charged him with Embezzlement of Public Funds over $10,000.

About one month ago, the sheriff's office was notified by the Georgetown County administrator's office about a number of fraudulent purchases made by the Gregory between January 2010 and September 2013, according to a news release from the Georgetown County sheriff's office.

They say the purchases were made between January 2010 and September 2013 using a purchasing card. They say he then converted the funds for his own personal use.

At the time of his arrest, Gregory was the economic development director for the City of Columbia. He has since been fired from that position.

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson issued a statement following Gregoryâ??s arrest. It says in part:

â??While employed with the City Of Columbia, Wayne Gregory served as the Economic Development Director. Mr. Gregory started working for the City of Columbia on September 3, 2013 and was terminated today, April 1, 2014. As of today, Ryan Coleman will be the Acting Economic Development Director and will serve in that role until further notice. Mr. Coleman serves as the City of Columbiaâ??s Development and Business Manager in the Economic Development Department. Mr. Coleman has been employed with the City of Columbia since 2006 and has held previous positions in the Office of Business Opportunities as the Small Business Liaison and in the Economic Development Department as a Business Liaison. â??

Gregory is currently being taken to the Georgetown County Detention Center to await a bond hearing.

WACH-TV contributed to this report.