Richland County judge grants bond to former school district employee accused of embezzlement

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — A former school district employee stood before Judge Clifton Newman in a Richland County courtroom Thursday afternoon.

Travis Braddy, 43 and formerly employed by Richland County School District One, faces multiple charges related to his time with the district. 

Braddy faces a charge of misconduct in office as well as multiple charges or embezzlement, use of an official position for personal gain and forgery.

The state grand jury seeks to prosecute the man who they say stole more than $23,000 from the Richland County School District One.

“All together your honor, the charges brought against Mr. Braddy by the state grand jury carry a maximum potential penalty of 54 years in prison and heavy fines,” the prosecution said in court Thursday afternoon. 

The prosecution asked for a surety bond set to the amount that Braddy is alleged to have misused, 23 thousand dollars. 

Braddy’s defense asked instead for a PR bond.

“He is not a flight risk nor a danger to anyone. He has spent his life dedicated to the state or the country. He spent 12 years in the military until he got medically discharged,” said attorney Todd Rutherford. “He receives medical benefits from the VA and at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. He has two kids at Dorman High School, ages 14 and 16.” 

More than Braddy’s character, Rutherford argued about the fact that his client should have had his bond hearing held already according to state law.

“He was arrested on Monday. It is now the third day he has sat jail without a bond. The law applies to my office as it applies to the attorney general’s office and SLED,” Rutherford said.

Braddy was fired by the school distinct in May of 2021 for insubordination. A report was filed in November of last year. 

“Columbia Police Department did respond to the eventual report,” the prosecution reported. “While they were able to get some work done, the district was less than responsive in providing law enforcement what they needed. 

The state described Braddy’s crimes as three schemes that misused school district funds that instead went towards hotel rooms, car rentals and a friend’s private company. 

Ultimately, Judge Clifton Newman set a PR bond of $50,000 for Braddy.

The school district has released this statement:

“The discrepancies were discovered through our system of internal controls and checks and balances. We turned over what we found through our investigation to law enforcement. As an added measure, there are different levels of authorization for P-Card holders depending on the positions they hold in the district and their purchasing needs.”

Categories: Local News, Richland