CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston County probate court judge has suspended Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg from managing an elderly woman's finances, saying Tecklenburg made loans to himself from her fund without getting prior approval from the court.
The order from Probate Judge Irv Condon was issued May 1.
In December 2008, Tecklenburg was appointed a conservator of close friend Johnnie Wineglass' finances after she fell victim to a series of scams, according to his personal Facebook page.
In his order, Condon ordered Tecklenburg to release details of the three loans, which totaled $80,000 over five years.
The court papers state the transactions show "apparent self-dealing," which in legal terms means someone takes advantage of his position for his own personal gain.
"It was never his (Tecklenburg's) intent to do anything that wasn't in her best interest," one of Wineglass' goddaughter's Rhonda Geddings said. "I trust him totally when it comes to her finances."
On his personal Facebook page, Tecklenburg explained details of each loan; $20,000 in 2011 and $35,000 in 2014 for his wife Sandy's business, an art gallery, and a personal loan for $25,000 in 2016.
Tecklenburg said each loan was repaid in full plus interest, which he says was reported to the court.
The mayor wrote that had no idea he violated any rules.
"I'd just like to say that I wish I had understood the need for preclearance on these transactions from the very beginning and that I'm genuinely sorry for any questions that has raised," Tecklenburg said. "During that time neither Sandy not I have profited in any way from the many hours I've spent managing Ms. Johnnie's finances without compensation."
Judge Condon, a Republican, is seeking re-election in November and running against Democrats Kelsey Willey and Stephanie Ganaway-Pasley. Joseph Tecklenburg, the mayor's son, is on Willey's campaign committee.
The Goddaughter of Wineglass, Leila Potts Campbell, submitted a letter to Judge Condon in support of Tecklenburg which can be found below:
Tecklenburg, through a spokesman, declined further comment.
Probate Judge Irv Condon has stated he is unable to comment on an ongoing case.
A hearing has been scheduled in probate court for June 15.
Tecklenburg's full statement on Facebook can be found here or read in full below:
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.