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Noble pleads guilty

GATESVILLE – A former Gates County public official pled guilty here last week to a crime committed nearly two years ago.

Wendy Noble, the county’s former Communications Director and Emergency Management Coordinator, pled “no contest” to a charge of felonious uttering a forged instrument.

According to Gates County court records, Noble was sentenced to a maximum of eight months in prison, but that incarceration was suspended in lieu of 36 months of unsupervised probation.

As part of the special conditions of the probation period, Superior Court Judge Jerry R. Tillett ordered Noble not to work in or be employed by any law enforcement or government agency during the probationary judgment. He also ordered Noble not to possess any check, draft or negotiable instrument not issued in her name and be prepared to show photo identification relating to any such instrument.

The court proceedings took place on Jan. 5, one day before Noble was scheduled to go on trial for the crime. She was originally charged with two felonies, embezzlement by a public official in a position of trust and uttering a forged instrument.

Noble was arrested Nov. 30, 2007 following an investigation by the SBI. The charges were linked to a state-level emergency management check, in excess of $13,000, that never made it to the bank account of Gates County government.

The date of the offense was reported as Jan. 19, 2007.

The initial request for an investigation came from Gates County officials who contacted District Attorney Frank Parrish.

Prior to accepting the Communications/Emergency Management job, Noble served as a Gates County Sheriff’s Deputy. She was unsuccessful in her write-in bid for Sheriff during the November, 2006 general election.