Federal Grand Jury indicts Clarkston councilwoman - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Federal Grand Jury indicts Clarkston councilwoman

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A federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted a Clarkston city councilwoman on Thursday, accusing her of embezzling thousands of dollars.

A federal indictment released Thursday accuses a council member in the DeKalb County town of Clarkston of embezzlement.

Known more for her smile and her fresh baked cookies, Clarkston City Councilwoman Joan Swaney now faces federal charges she embezzled tens of thousands of dollars.

What happened, according to the federal indictment, happened at the Clarkston Community Center where Swaney worked for nearly a decade.

The indictment says she wrote herself checks and used the center's debit card to withdraw cash for herself, totaling about 50-thousand dollars over a two year period.

No one answered the door at her home Thursday night.

Clarkston resident Bobby Conway told FOX 5's Chris Shaw, "From the people that I've heard who knew her, she was very sweet and generally likeable."

Other residents called Swaney a grandmotherly figure in the town.

Before she was elected to the city council in 2010, her husband served as the town's mayor.

The federal indictment says she spent the community center's money on her family for vacation, medical bills, and car repairs.

Resident Conway said, "It's good that elections are coming up, because you got to figure out who is going to be honest and actually do their job and not steal from other people."

Other residents were more than happy to voice their anger on the indictment.

Resident Anthony Tokepah said, "The public officials, they always do things wrong, so I'm not surprised at that."

But Clarkston Mayor Emanuel Ransom had no comment, telling FOX 5 on the phone that Swaney who is also the town's vice mayor is a good friend of his and he needs more time to collect his thoughts.

The indictment also accuses Swaney of forging her boss' signature on some of the checks written from the community center's bank account.


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