MANNING, S.C. (WACH) — Former Manning Police Chief Gary 'Blair' Shaffer pleaded not guilty on Monday to federal charges that accuse him of stealing public money and lying to investigators.
Shaffer's hearing took place in Charleston, and he was released on a $25,000 bond.
According to federal indictment, Shaffer was accused of taking more than $75,000 in public funds between September and November 2015.
Manning's Public Safety Committee fired Shaffer in July 2018, citing multiple reasons -- including that he failed to follow certain procedures regarding promotions within the department and had alleged confrontations with staffers.
Shaffer, a 25-year veteran of the police department, tried to challenge the termination but city officials upheld the committee's decision.
The five-count indictment accused Shaffer of stealing federal funds -- including grant money and other assistance -- money laundering, depositing the money in smaller increments to avoid federal regulations and lying to federal investigators about where the money came from.
According to documents filed, Shaffer accounted for the money by telling FBI agents that it came from his brother and that he had saved it over time.
If convicted, Shaffer would be required to pay back what he is accused of stealing.