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Candler County sheriff candidate arrested on charges of theft by taking
James ‘K.K.’ Ausbon - photo by Special
    James ‘K.K.’ Ausbon, Republican candidate for Candler County sheriff, surrendered himself to Bryan County Sheriff’s Department on Monday morning on charges of theft by taking. He was booked and subsequently released on $5,000 bond.
    The charges, according to Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith, are the result of an investigation at Old Castle PreCast (Mega Cast) in Pembroke, where Ausbon served as general manager/vice president.
    “This is a combination investigation with the GBI and Sheriff’s Department,” Smith said. “I received the information and requested the GBI conduct an investigation, which they did in conjunction with the department.
    “Then, of course, the District Attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit was contacted, and he approved of the charges, and it went from there.”
    Smith did not divulge details into the nature of the case, stating that it remains under investigation.
    Agent Charles Edwards with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations office in Statesboro could not be reached on Tuesday for an official statement.
    A spokesman at the Pembroke office of Old Castle did confirm on Monday that Ausbon had been terminated earlier in the month.
    In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Ausbon acknowledged that he had been fired for breaking company policy, but added that he will continue his bid for sheriff.
    “I want to apologize first and foremost for putting my supporters in doubt for my actions,” Ausbon said.
    “I am still going to run, and I don’t want people to look down on this and frown on it, because I broke company policy and was terminated for it. Why it went to law enforcement, I can’t answer that,” he said.
    “I will continue campaigning,” he added. “I am innocent until proven guilty.
    “I don’t believe it will have any bearing on my ability to serve as sheriff,” he continued. Of the investigation, he said, “They are trying to portray me as the bad guy here. In a sense I am, but then I am not. I broke company policy.
    “I am not giving up. This is just another hurdle that I’m going through since I’ve been running for sheriff ...
    “I am going to continue to run for sheriff. That’s what I set out to do, and God willing, we’re going to win. I think He put me in this position to run. I think there’s a reason and a purpose that God put me to run for sheriff; whether I win or lose, there is a purpose for me running.”
    Ausbon said that charges against him center around misuse of a company credit card. Ausbon originally owned MegaCast, which was bought out by Old Castle Precast in 2002. At that time, he was employed by the new parent company to continue working in the Pembroke office.
    Ausbon admitted using the card, which bears his name as well as the company name, for personal charges.
    At the same time, he said, “How can I take my own credit card, with my name on it, and be charged with theft?”
    Ausbon stated that the case will be brought before a Grand Jury in November, after the General Election on November 4. He is being represented by attorney Tom Withers of Savannah.

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