Former Charleston building inspector faces second embezzlement charge
A former city of Charleston employee is accused of siphoning off about $46,000 in public funds over a three-year period.
Antonio Leroy Rutledge, 29, of Lowell Drive, North Charleston, was arrested Thursday and released the same day on $25,000 bail, court records show.
Rutledge was previously charged in April with embezzlement and accused of diverting about $4,000 in city funds to his own use, police said.
The initial crime took place between January and April 11, 2012, while Rutledge was employed by the city’s Building Inspection Division, police spokesman Charles Francis has said. The latest count involves money stolen between January 2009 and December 2011, an arrest affidavit stated.
Amy Wharton, the city’s internal auditor, reported Rutledge to police after she discovered that he had issued a permit but never turned over the $40 fee he had collected from the applicant, according to a police report. Rutledge also had not listed the payment on a daily collection report from his office, police said.
Wharton launched an audit and discovered nearly $4,000 missing in just the first four months of 2012, police said.
The audit eventually uncovered an additional $42,286 had gone missing, police said. Rutledge implicated himself in the theft in a videotaped confession, according to an arrest affidavit.
The city said in a news release that Rutledge was employed from Oct. 10, 2005, to April 25, 2012. His job title was a licensing and permit clerk, and he made $23,981.82 a year.
“Several procedures have been put in place to ensure that this type of incident does not reoccur including tightening controls within the system and more frequent reviews of reports by management,” the release said.