GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – A Gates County employee is accused of stealing $10,000 from his employer.
“I‘m kind of amazed,” Gates County resident Kevin Champlin said. “It kind of blows my mind, because not a whole lot happens in Gates County.“
Gates County Sheriff Edward Webb said the crime happened outside of the county, but very much involves county money. He said 35–year–old Eddie McDuffie, Junior was hired as a part-time employee to do landscaping around the county. Things were going well for a while, but we’re told that changed.
“For the county to hire somebody and not keep track of him is the scary part,“ Champlin said.
We’re told McDuffie was able to get his hands on a county credit card. Webb said McDuffie took the card to gas stations outside of Gates and told trucker drivers he would buy them $300 in gas, which he’d put on the credit card for $150 cash in return. He is accused of charging up $10,000.
“He took the money from the county,” Gates County resident Travis Copeland said. “It is a small county, and he took the money from my pocket. It is just bad that somebody would take the money from the county for their benefits.”
“It is real concerning considering it is our money being taken,“ Champlin added.
When the county found out about the purchases, they confronted McDuffie, and we’re told he confessed. Webb told 10 On Your Side he was using the money to buy drugs.
The county manager said the money was quickly paid back to the county by McDuffie’s family. He is now being held inside the Hertford County Jail. He’s been charged with obtaining money under false pretense and larceny. We’re told he will make a court appearance in October.
Webb said McDuffie is no longer a Gates County employee.