Updated at 6:16 p.m.
The Hart County Commission voted Thursday evening in an emergency meeting to terminate the county's contract with Ludi's Soul Food to provide meal services to the Hart County Jail after the arrest of the company's owner on racketeering charges.
The meeting was held after the arrest of county commissioner R.C. Oglesby earlier Thursday for his alleged involvement in what law enforcement says was a racketeering scheme involving federal SNAP assistance money. Oglesby and several of his family members, including his daughter-in-law Amy Oglesby, who owns Ludi's, were arrested after several search warrants were served in Thursday morning raids.
The county commission voted 4-0 to terminate the contract and to allow county administrator Terrell Partain and the jail manager to find a suitable replacement until another contract is in place with a different food service provider.
The commission also spent more than an hour in executive session with county attorney Walter Gordon and three Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents prior to the vote in open session.
The story of the arrests and raids is below.
Posted 11/07/2019 at 9:23 a.m.
Hart County Commissioner R.C. Oglesby and several family members were arrested Thursday morning for their alleged involvement in a racketeering scheme involving federal SNAP assistance benefits, police say.
State investigators are expecting more charges and arrests to come.
Oglesby, who has been a county commissioner since 1989, was arrested at Tenneco Thursday morning and charged with two counts of racketeering, on top of 10 counts of shoplifting that allegedly occurred in Hartwell. After searching Oglesby, Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis said they found a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card in his wallet that was not registered to Oglesby.
“What it was is basically buying a card from someone that its assigned to for so much on the dollar,” Davis said about the alleged food stamp fraud.
Oglesby and company are accused of buying EBT cards for pennies on the dollar from people to whom they were issued and using them to buy food for the business through which they were contracted to provide food services to the Hart County Jail and for other outlets where they sold prepared food like Tenneco.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also obtained undisclosed amounts of cocaine and marijuana as evidence resulting from multiple search warrants executed around 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a press release from the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office.
Also arrested in the months-long investigation was R.C.’s son, 41-year-old Stephen Oglesby, who was charged with three counts of racketeering. Amy Oglesby, 38, was also arrested and charged with 10 counts of racketeering.
Stephen Ogelsby also possessed a stolen gun at the time of his arrest, Davis said. R.C. Oglesby also had a permitted gun with him in his vehicle, Davis said.
Dasia Oglesby, 21, and 28-year-old Monique Oglesby were arrested as well and each charged with one count of racketeering.
All the suspects arrested were transported to the Hart County Jail.
Other charges and arrests are pending, according to the release.
Search warrants were executed at 414 Winding Way, Hartwell; 1380 North Forest Avenue; 2152 Anderson Highway and 2132 Anderson Highway.
Ludi’s Soul Food, owned by R.C.’s daughter-in-law Amy Oglesby, provides food for the jail in the county, but has since stopped operation after the arrests. Ludi's also serves food at Tenneco, where R.C. was arrested.
“Our inmates will get fed,” Davis said. “We just have to figure out where.”
Davis said the investigation was a joint effort between the Hartwell Police Department, the Hart County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI’s Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office.
Investigators are still gathering evidence in the case.