LEWISBURG -- Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler on Wednesday sentenced Cornersville's former administrator Eric Brangenberg to 11 years in prison for stealing money from the town over a 13-month period.
Brangenberg, 45, wiped a tear from his cheek while apologizing to Crigler, Cornersville residents and his family for the thefts from July 1, 2004, through July 31, 2005. Brangenberg pleaded guilty Dec. 5. He'd been indicted on 29 counts of theft.
Repayment was ordered by Crigler while discussing arguments by the prosecutor and defense attorney Ray Fraley on how long Brangenberg should be incarcerated.
Fraley said Brangenberg "hates the most" that he was "close to the mayor" and so he especially regrets that betrayal. Mayor Gay Wilson testified Brangenberg could not have stolen the money if he wasn't running the town.
Brangenberg's sentencing hearing included testimony from Philip Job, audit manager for the Division of Municipal Audit in the state office of the Comptroller of the Treasury.
Brangenberg "used the town's Lowe's card" to purchase products he used for himself, Job testified.
A $60,000 loan to buy police cars was also used by Brangenberg and another loan he negotiated for the city, a $112,000 debt for street paving, was used to retire the $60,000 loan, Job said.
The state's investigative audit also revealed Brangenberg mismanaged insurance that was available to the town from the Tennessee Municipal League's pool coverage, according to Job's testimony.
During an audit interview, Job said Brangenberg asked how much money was believed to be missing and when he was told approximately $70,000, "He didn't flinch."