Port Wentworth official jailed


SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Port Wentworth Mayor Pro Tem Vincent Hogan spent the night in jail.


Hogan turned himself in to the Chatham County Sheriff's Office just before 9 a.m. Wednesday on charges he falsified election documents. With no bond set in his case, Hogan remained in the Chatham County jail Wednesday night.

He is scheduled to be arraigned today in front of Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbot, who will decide on his bond.

Port Wentworth City Councilman James Curry called Hogan's case "unfortunate for his family and unfortunate for the citizens of Port Wentworth."

"I hope the best for him," he said.

City Councilman Jud Bowers said he is ready for Port Wentworth to "take care of business and put this behind us."

Homebuilder Fred Williams, who is behind several Port Wentworth developments and was the primary contributor to Hogan's campaign, said the charges came as a surprise.

Williams said Hogan was a pro-growth resident and that supporting his candidacy was a "natural thing."

The Chatham County grand jury has charged Hogan with hiding his criminal past in order to run for Port Wentworth City Council.

In 1999, Hogan pleaded guilty to federal charges that he Fed Ex-ed $116,820 in counterfeit $20 bills from Atlanta to New York, court documents show. U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Shoob sentenced him to five years probation with six months in home confinement, 500 hours community service and a $3,000 fine in December of that year.

Hogan was convicted on two counts of forgery in South Carolina, in addition to the federal conviction, for passing a fake $20 bill at a Charleston grocery store. He was sentenced to 20 months probation and owes the state of South Carolina $103 in 12-year-old fines for court costs, according to Charleston County court records.

On Dec. 22, the Chatham County grand jury charged Hogan with false swearing on the notice of candidacy and affidavit, a document he was required to sign when he ran for office.

Under Georgia law, a person convicted of moral turpitude is not eligible to run for office until 10 years after completing the sentence for the crime. Hogan's probation didn't end until 2004. The person's civil rights also must be restored before running.

The notice of candidacy, signed by Hogan on Sept. 2, 2009, swears he met those requirements.

Hogan said last week he will plead not guilty to the grand jury's charges.

Hogan's attorney, Richard Darden, could not be reached Wednesday afternoon.



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