More Details on Former Swansea Mayor’s Alleged $3K Theft From Pelion Grocery Store

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The former mayor of a Lexington County town is accused of making 64 fraudulent transactions between $20 and $70 at the grocery store where he worked for more than 20 years.

This is how Ray Spires, 66, previously the mayor of Swansea, stole more than $3,000 from Shumpert’s IGA, Pelion Police Chief John Rebolj told the Chronicle.

Shumpert’s first filed a complaint about Spires to the town’s police department in January.

After investigation, an arrest warrant for Spires was signed on April 9 before Spires turned himself in on April 27, according to Rebolj. He was charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent (value between $2,000 and $10,000) and was released on a $3,000 personal recognizance bond.

Pelion Police confirmed Spires’ arrest to the Chronicle last week, stating that video surveillance and statements confirmed that he stole $3,111.87 between Dec. 15, 2021, and Feb. 17, 2022.

Spires has not responded to the Chronicle’s request for comment.

The former mayor was the night manager at Shumpert’s, Rebolj confirmed to the Chronicle. The store referred the Chronicle to the police chief for details surrounding the alleged theft.

Rebolj said the department called Spires to turn himself in on Saturday, April 23, and the department worked with his attorney to arrange the time when he would do so, which the chief said is standard in such situations.

As to the gap between the signing of the arrest warrant and informing Spires that he needed to turn himself in, Rebolj said it wasn’t a high priority.

“We ended up getting overwhelmed by other things, and I figured he’s not going anywhere,” the chief said.

Spires served 17 years as mayor of Swansea, a stint that included two investigations by the state Law Enforcement Division, but no convictions. In November, he finished last among four candidates who ran for the Swansea mayoral seat in 2021 after Jerald Sanders, who defeated Spires to end his run as mayor, was removed after being indicted for misconduct in office and accused of siphoning more than $4,500 from the town to his personal charity.

Viola McDaniel won that race and now serves as the mayor of Swansea.

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