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State employee accused of theft and bribery

A state employee has been arrested and accused of stealing more than $836,000 in proceeds from auctioned state agency vehicles and of receiving more than $195,000 in bribes from the auction company, officials said.

The Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution on Thursday charged Wesley Greg Wood, 56, with 20 counts of grand theft, 13 counts of bribery and one count of aggravated white collar crime.

Wood's job with the Department of Management Services was to participate in the bid process to select an auction company to sell surplus or used state vehicles. Wood was also responsible for supervising the contract with the auction company and auction sales.

Between December 1999 and February 2004, Wood allegedly asked J. Durham & Associates, an auction company in Albany, Ga., to withhold proceeds from vehicles purchased by cities and towns, and to underreport or withhold money from vehicles sold to the public. Wood is also accused of removing eight vehicles from auction without paying for them.

State officials said Wood told the owner of the auction company he had the power to cancel its contract with the state. He is accused of demanding and receiving bribes of more than $195,000.

The owner of the auction company is cooperating with the investigation.

If convicted, Wood could face more than 30 years in prison. He was being held in the Leon County Jail with bail set at $200,000.