A 24-year veteran of the Richmond County Sheriffs Office was suspended without pay after he was charged with stealing lottery tickets while on duty at a grocery store.
Sgt. William Billy Hambrick, 52, was charged with a felony count of theft and was released from the Richmond County jail Wednesday night on $5,050 bond, officials said. His suspension was announced Thursday by Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength.
Investigators found that the sergeant had been filling out Cash 3 Georgia Lottery ticket forms and processing them to produce tickets while on special duty at a Winn-Dixie store, Strength said.
Store employees noticed the tickets were missing and security cameras were installed to monitor the sergeant, Strength said. He added he did not know how long the ticket-taking had been going on.
Sheriff Strength said the sergeant had no other problems on his record.
Sgt. Hambrick will have a hearing before a seven-member internal review board to determine his future with the agency within a week, the sheriff said.
The sheriffs office and the Georgia Lottery Corp. were working to determine whether Sgt. Hambrick tried to claim any prizes from the stolen tickets. The sheriff said additional charges against the sergeant are pending.