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Indicted coroner resigns

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 5:29 PM
Last updated Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 1:54 AM
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Indicted Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten submitted his resignation, effective today.

Tuten, 70, has been banned from the coroner’s office where he worked for nearly 36 years when he was arrested on a theft charge Dec. 20. He had been on paid leave and has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of theft and five counts of violation of oath of office.

Richmond County Probate Judge Harry B. James III appointed chief deputy coroner Mark Bowen to complete the remainder of Tuten’s current four-year term that began in 2012.

Bowen will be sworn into office Saturday at 10 a.m. in suite 1000 at the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse.

Tuten submitted a voluntary suspension to the governor’s office on Feb. 7. That left the Richmond County’s coronor position empty because no one could be appointed to the job unless Tuten resigned. The coroner’s salary is $65,000 a year.

According to the indictment returned in January, Tuten is accused of stealing cash, vehicles and other property from deceased people, and keeping money for burial services and the sale of property that should have gone into the county’s coffers for several years.

Specifically the indictment alleges the following acts:

-- The March 23, 2006, misappropriation of a 1992 Chevrolet Lumina that belonged to Renard Williams;

-- The Feb. 26, 2010, misappropriation of cash that belonged to Myrna Todd;

-- The Sept. 28, 2010, misappropriation of cash that belonged to Billy Joe Fletcher;

-- The Feb. 17, 2011, misappropriation of money that belonged to Elliott Hankinson Jr.;

-- The Aug. 26, 2011, misappropriation of a 1998 Ford F 150 pickup that belonged to Richard Krajacic;

-- The Nov. 29, 2012, misappropriation of money from Shane R. Hobbs’ estate;

-- The April 5, 2013, misappropriation of cash that belonged to Bill Luckie;

-- Accepting and keeping payment for the burial of Hobbs;

-- Selling property that belonged to Krajacic and keeping the proceeds;

-- Selling property that belonged to Fletcher and keeping the proceeds;

-- Taking money to bury Todd and Hankinson and keeping the proceeds;

-- And selling property that belonged to Renard Williams and keeping the money.

Comments (9) Add comment
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LillyfromtheMills
12579
Points
LillyfromtheMills 02/20/14 - 07:48 pm
5
0
Crooks

Among us - and they run our services

TrulyWorried
12257
Points
TrulyWorried 02/20/14 - 08:41 pm
6
0
Sad state of affairs

our county, state AND nation are in. America - the proud - where did she disappear to???

corgimom
27816
Points
corgimom 02/20/14 - 10:54 pm
4
0
WHY would he do such a thing?

WHY would he do such a thing?

Little Lamb
43827
Points
Little Lamb 02/21/14 - 12:31 am
5
0
Tuten vs. Allen

At least Tuten did the honorable thing and resigned. Kay Allen is still ducking and dodging.

It is time for you to follow the lead of Grover Tuten and resign, Ms. Allen!

corgimom
27816
Points
corgimom 02/21/14 - 07:07 am
2
0
I don't think it was

I don't think it was voluntary.

He is not an honorable man.

ctchpln
211
Points
ctchpln 02/21/14 - 08:08 am
1
2
Tuten

I have worked alongside the Coroner's Office for many years. Not in my wildest dreams did I think Tuten would commit these alleged crimes. My confidence in Mark Bowen in being Coroner is great. There is sadness for Tuten.

my.voice
4654
Points
my.voice 02/21/14 - 09:20 am
1
2
Mark Bowen is a terrific

Mark Bowen is a terrific individual. He will be a great coroner.

Red Headed Step Child
4006
Points
Red Headed Step Child 02/21/14 - 09:57 am
0
2
@myvoice

I agree - I know him personally and he is an awesome individual. He will continue to do that department proud.

GiantsAllDay
9063
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/21/14 - 11:18 am
3
1
Next up: Bowen grants Tuten a

Next up: Bowen grants Tuten a full pardon.

truthsetmfree
85
Points
truthsetmfree 02/22/14 - 07:32 am
0
0
Coroner's Office

Mark Bowen is a terrific guy, so was Grover Tuten, once upon a time. How is it that Bowen and Tuten worked together for the last 12 or so years and Bowen had no clue what was happening right under his nose? Bowen a supposedly skilled investigator knows nothing, but the new guy picks up on it in no time...I am hoping someone runs for the office in 2014 and the voters of Richmond County has the good sense to clean that office out and start fresh.

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