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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ex-Augusta city commissioner sentenced to prison for destroying records in investigation

A former Augusta city commissioner was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison after he was convicted of destroying records and lying about it to investigators.

Sammie Lee Sias, 68, had his punishment handed down by a U.S. District Court judge nearly a year after a jury him guilty last July.

Sias was serving on the Augusta commission in 2019 when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI began investigating allegations that included Sias was misspending public money and was involved in other misconduct.

Sias deleted about 7,000 files relevant to that investigation from a laptop, according to prosecutors, and later told an FBI agent that he had turned out all records requested by authorities. Investigators later found evidence of the records Sias had deleted on the computer.

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“This sentence not only will serve to deter Mr. Sias from committing any similar conduct in the future, but it will also serve to deter others in similar positions from betraying the community’s trust,” U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg, the top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Georgia, said in a statement.

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