March 4, 2021

‘Photo bomb’ leads to former Franklin councilman’s second arrest

(Franklin, GA) — A former Franklin City Councilman arrested on misdemeanor theft charges in April of 2020 was arrested once again today by the Franklin Police Department for making false statements concerning an alleged theft of a large sum of his own cash.

55-year-old Clifford Henry Jiles was an active councilman at the time of his April, 2020 arrest, but has since resigned his position in late 2020 citing a move outside of the district. His vacant council seat will be filled by an upcoming March 16, 2021 Special Election.

Cliff Jiles (Photo: HCSO)

Franklin police reports indicate the new false statement charge against Jiles is related to an incident that he actually called in to police himself on December 10, 2020.

Cliff Jiles indicated to authorities during that call on December 10 that a large sum of cash had been stolen from his unlocked vehicle at the Franklin Petro on Franklin Parkway sometime between November 9-15 of 2020.

Jiles’ allegations indicated that he believed a man doing contract work around the station at the time had stolen a bank bag containing $18,000.00 cash from the seat of his unlocked vehicle while he was inside the store.

Jiles stated in his report that he also had a separate bank bag containing $50,000.00 cash that was NOT taken during the alleged theft. He stated all of the money had been in $20 denominations and both bags had been hidden under an item of clothing.

On Friday, December 18 Jiles again alerted authorities that he had obtained evidence against the man he had previously accused of the alleged November theft.

Jiles stated that he had obtained a $20 bill from a store clerk on Monday, December 14 at the Marathon Convenience Store in Franklin that had just been passed to the clerk during a transaction by the man he believed had previously stolen his $18,000.00 in cash.

Cliff Jiles stated he had possession of the cash for several weeks prior to the alleged robbery and had taken detailed photos of the serial numbers on his money before the robbery.

The former councilman sent two photos of the cash to FPD investigators and these photos are what ultimately led to his arrest.

Jiles sent two photos to the FPD and stated that one photo was taken of the $20 bill just after the man had made the purchase at the Marathon while the other photo had been taken of his cash several weeks earlier. Jiles stated that the serial numbers in the two photos were matches.

Upon closer examination of the date and time stamps included with the cell phone photos, investigators determined that both photos had actually been taken within minutes of each other by Jiles on December 14 at around 8:00 AM.

Further inspection of the store video footage at the Marathon store showed that Jiles had taken the first photo on the counter inside the store and had then immediately proceeded outside to his vehicle and taken the second photo purported to have been taken prior to the original theft.

Jiles is charged with Making a False Statement to police.

Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20, a person who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government or of the government of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.

Jiles’ case from his arrest back in April of 2020 is still pending in Heard County Superior Court.

Jiles was arrested on misdemeanor theft charges on April 28, 2020 following an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. GBI handled that investigation due to Jiles being an elected official at the time.

In that case, Jiles was accused of stealing a beef filet tenderloin from the local Piggly Wiggly grocery store in downtown Franklin.

According to reports, he allegedly swapped the price tags between the beef tenderloin and a less expensive cut of pork at the store on April 26, 2020 and proceeded to purchase the more expensive beef for the lower price.

Jiles claimed to the Heard Citizen at that time that a store employee had told him to switch the labels.

The recent incident was not the first alleged theft reported to the police by Jiles in the City of Franklin.

According to a search of incident reports, Jiles reported the theft of various assorted tools, guns and other property on five different occasions between 2012-2019 including one report in 2019, one in 2017, two in 2016 and one in 2012.

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further details as they become available.

Comments

  1. what a real slap bag this guy has to be…. didn’t realize the fbi would get involved in a price swap issue, tell the guy it’s the wrong price and move on…

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