- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2021

NASHVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A south Georgia mayor has been indicted on theft charges after he was arrested last year for using an excavator without permission and damaging it.

Nashville Mayor Taylor Scarbrough was indicted on theft by conversion and theft by deception charges, District Attorney Dick Perryman announced Tuesday.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said last year that the 56-year-old Scarbrough used James Hobbs‘ excavator without permission on Aug. 17 and caused “significant damage” to the machine. Video showed some parts of the excavator were heavily dented. Hobbs valued the damage at $12,000.

Hobbs said he was working for Scarbrough and left his excavator on the mayor’s land overnight. An incident report said a worker noted the next day that the equipment had been damaged. Hobbs said Scarbrough didn’t have permission to use the equipment.

Scarborough disputed Hobbs, saying he did have permission. He admitted damaging the machine, but said Hobbs didn’t give him enough time to file a claim through his homeowners insurance to pay for the damage.

Scarborough remains in office. He declined comment Tuesday to WALB-TV, citing advice from his lawyers.

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