Mayor Tecklenburg Under Review for Withdrawing Money from Elderly Woman’s Estate
CHARLESTON, SC (ANGELA BROWN, WTAT-TV) — Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg is under review for how he handled an elderly woman’s retirement nest egg.
In a Facebook post, Tecklenburg admitted he loaned a portion of her money to himself and his wife’s business.
A Charleston County Probate Judge has ordered his conservatorship to be suspended as the court looks into whether he used her money improperly.
The family of now-92-year-old Johnnie Wineglass says John Tecklenburg took over her estate nearly ten year’s ago with their permission. That is because at the time they believed she was being taken advantage of financially by someone else.
At issue now, $80,000 of which Tecklenburg borrowed from the elderly woman’s estate.
Mayor Tecklenburg said in a Facebook post those loans were for his wife’s business, Sandy’s Open House of Charleston, and for himself. He said the loans were paid back on time and with interest.
The problem is a probate judge never signed off on those loans. But Tecklenburg said he didn’t know he needed clearance from the court.
Attorney Michael Detreville said it is the court’s job to protect the state from conservators using money for themselves.
“Certainly there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of occasions in which transactions have not gone the way they were expecting to, resulting in a loss of the estate for the person of who is intended to be protected,” he said. “It is their job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Detreville was not talking specifically about this case, but of conservatorships in general.
Mayor Tecklenburg claims the interest earned on those loans brought in an additional $8,000 for Wineglass because he says she didn’t have enough to pay her bills.