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GBI charges Madison County finance director with stealing nearly $100k from state organization

By Joe Johnson

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation this week arrested Melissa Branyon Tolbert, 42, of Danielsville, And charged her with five felony counts of theft by taking.

 The alleged thefts occurred while Tolbert was executive director of the Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia, according to the GBI.

COAG comprises all constitutionally-elected officials in Georgia, including sheriff, clerks of court. Probate judges and coroners. Sources said the total amount of stolen funds was nearly $100,000.

According to the GBI, on July 29, the Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office requested the GBI investigate stolen funds from the Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia (COAG) bank account. The theft, originally reported by officers of COAG, concerned several unauthorized transactions while Tolbert was employed with COAG from May of 2018 to June of 2022. During this time, she had access to the stolen funds.

 Tolbert reportedly resigned from the group one month earlier to take her current position on Madison County

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Athens Field Office at (706) 552-2309. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), or online at,downloading

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