Originally created 09/06/97

Chief pleads not guilty to embezzlement charge



WADLEY - Wadley Police Chief Jimmy Bartlett pleaded not guilty this week to charges he embezzled $80,000 from his grandmother, saying he only made bad investments.

"I made some investments in a situation where I had power of attorney. I listened to some advice from the bank and I used some bad judgment. I'm not an accountant," Chief Bartlett said Friday. "There was no criminal intent and hopefully, this will get worked out."

Chief Bartlett was indicted by a Bibb County grand jury last month on embezzlement charges.

The city council will not take action until the legal system works its course, City Administrator Grady Vance said.

"I don't believe action needs to be taken," Mr. Vance said. "I have the chief's statement that he will resign if illegal activity is proven."

Chief Bartlett, a former Macon police sergeant, headed up the 16-officer Wadley police force four months ago. He said he's gotten overwhelming support from the community.

"Speaking personally, the chief has done nothing but superb work for us," Mr. Vance said.

Chief Bartlett said the charges originated from a family member unhappy about how he was handling his grandmother's money.