SBI Charges Surry County Commissioner

RALEIGH -- A Surry County Commissioner was arrested today for allegedly receiving fraudulently obtained travel expense reimbursements from the county over the past three years.

Paul Matthew Johnson, 53, of Pilot Mountain, was charged by the State Bureau of Investigation with four counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense for submitting falsified travel expenses and making other fraudulent travel claims to the county. He was released on a written promise to appear in Surry County District Court on Dec. 15.

The SBI investigation was initiated at the request of District Attorney Ricky Bowman after Surry County officials allegedly discovered in March that Johnson had submitted questionable travel claims for mileage reimbursements. Johnson sits on a number of committees and represented the board at meetings that required travel in his role as commissioner.

An audit of all of the commissioners’ travel and expenses found that Johnson had made more submissions for repayment than all of the other commissioners.

Bowman also requested that the state Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecution Division review the SBI’s investigation and conduct any prosecution deemed appropriate to ensure fairness and impartiality.



Contact: Teresa West
Phone: (919) 662-4500