Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Richland County deputies are accusing the former executive director of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of taking $192,000 from the organization.
Officers announced Thursday thatTereasa Edmonds, 47, is charged with two counts of breach of trust over $10,000.
Sheriff Leon Lott says back in March, the president of the association contacted the sheriff's department about missing money. After an investigation by the sheriff's financial crimes unit, officers determined Edmonds took the money between 2004 and 2013.
Lott says Edmonds used the money to go on trips, to get cosmeticsurgery and dental work, to purchase cell phones and computers for family, and to buy clothes and food.
Edwards has since been fired from the association. The group released this statement Thursday afternoon:
"We are deeply saddened and disappointed at the events which led to the termination of Ms. Edmond's employment with our organization and the subsequent criminal charges. As an organization committed to protecting the liberty and due process rights of all the citizens of the state of South Carolina, now is not the time for further comment. We appreciate the courtesies and hard work of Captain Hughes with the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
"Working daily in the criminal justice system, we have every confidence that a fair process will result in justice being served. The South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers looks forward to continuing our mission of serving the people of South Carolina."
Edmonds turned herself over to authorities on Thursday. A judge gave her a $20,000 personal recognizance bond.