Where are they now? Convicted officials have served a third of prison terms

Once considered three of the most influential politicians from Augusta, if not in the state, Charles Walker, Linda Schrenko and Robin Williams are now finishing up the first third of their federal prison sentences.


Each is currently residing in a federal minimum security prison. Mr. Williams, a former state representative, was sent off in September 2005. He was followed shortly thereafter by Mr. Walker, a former state Senate Majority Leader, in November of the same year. Ms. Schrenko, a former state school superintendent, was imprisoned nearly a year later in July 2006.

Their falls from grace, particularly that of Mr. Walker and Ms. Schrenko, cost Augusta political muscle it has yet to regain. Here's a look at where they are now and when they are expected to be released from prison. Although there is no parole in the federal system, prisoners usually are released to halfway houses at least six months before sentences expire.


The former state schools superintendent who made an unsuccessful bid for the governor's seat is scheduled to be released from prison on Aug. 29, 2013. Ms. Schrenko taught school in Columbia County before becoming the first woman and first Republican to hold the statewide office for eight years.

Ms. Schrenko pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering for stealing $600,000 in federal funds intended for educational services for deaf children and those in the governor's honors program. She was funneling the money to her gubernatorial race.

Ms. Schrenko is serving her time in Coleman Correctional Institute, a minimum security facility in central Florida.

Her associates in the scheme: campaign manager Richard Leonard was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $3,000; her assistant superintendent Merle Temple will remain at the Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, S.C., until Oct. 24, 2013; and South African businessman A. Stephan Botes is scheduled to be released from the federal prison in Post, Texas, on June 2, 2013.


The former Georgia Senate Majority Leader is scheduled to complete his sentence Sept. 26, 2014.

Mr. Walker spent two decades in state politics, becoming the most powerful senator in government. A sharecropper's son, Mr. Walker became a millionaire businessman with more than 1,600 employees, according to reports in The Augusta Chronicle.

Mr. Walker lost his seat in the 2002 voter uprising against Democratic office holders, but won it back four years later.

Mr. Walker was convicted of 127 felony charges committed in various schemes to line his pockets with other people's money. Mr. Walker used his position as a political and civic leader to cheat advertisers for his Augusta Focus newspaper, two public hospitals, campaign contributors, and the CSRA Classic charity event he founded. In addition to $200,000 in fines and court fees, Mr. Walker paid $698,047 in restitution.

Mr. Walker is currently being moved from one prison to another, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Web site. He was in the Estill, S.C., federal prison.


The former lawmaker is scheduled to be released July 20, 2014.

Mr. Williams spent a decade in the state House of Representatives. He positioned himself into leadership roles by building consensus with Democrats. He outran several questionable incidents, but in 2000, a political newcomer, Sue Burmeister, beat him. Mr. Williams ran for Augusta mayor two years later but didn't make it past the primary.

He was convicted in 2005 of schemes that bilked more than $2 million from the former Community Mental Health Center of East Central Georgia.

His associates in the schemes who were also convicted: C. Michael Brockman was sentenced to serve six years but died in February 2006; pharmacist Duncan Fordham is scheduled to be released from the Federal Prison at Maxwell Air Force Base on March 1, 2009; lobbyist and former Atlanta Braves pitcher Rick Camp was released from prison March 28; and lobbyist M. Chad Long was released Jan. 11.

Mr. Williams is also listed as being between prisons. He started his prison sentence in Estill.