Cochran's Mayor Resigns After Guilty Plea

1:54 PM, Jul 17, 2012   |    comments
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Cochran's mayor resigned Tuesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge involving the theft of plastic pipe from the city.

As part of a plea agreement, Clifford Avant agreed to resign, got 12 months' probation and paid  $135 in court costs.

That's according to Tim Vaughn, district attorney for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit.

Avant was originally charged with theft and violating his oath of office, but on Tuesday he pleaded guilty to criminal trespass. Vaughn said that means Avant simply admitted interfering with the city's use of the pipe. 

He pleaded and was sentenced in Bleckley County Superior Court.


Last year, Avant was indicted on a charge of stealing more than 25 pieces of pipe from the city water and sewer plant. The pipe was valued at more than $2,500.

Avant admitted taking pipe and giving it to his church, but said he was told the pipe was city surplus and no longer needed.

In an interview with 13WMAZ last year, Avant told us he was convinced the whole case was a political setup, engineered by his opponents.

In January, Gov. Nathan Deal said Avant should step aside until the charges are resolved.

Avant could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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