EDEN, N.C. — Just before charges were levied against former Eden City Manager Brad Corcoran, he put his 4,300-square-foot home on the market for $381,000 and listed his South Carolina beach house for $439,900.
The recent revelation adds another layer to a puzzling scandal that’s led to the demise of the popular city official, who has yet to publicly address the matter.
Property records show Corcoran and his wife purchased their 4-bedroom house in North Myrtle Beach for $425,750 on Aug. 30, 2018. The couple put the property up for sale Aug. 7 — three weeks after agents with the State Bureau of Investigation and FBI arrived in Eden to interview employees about allegations Corcoran had embezzled thousands of dollars from the city.
Corcoran, whose family is from Martinsville, purchased the Eden house, adjacent to a small lake, in 2004 for just over $355,000.
Five Star Realty owner Faye Shelton said she listed the 171 Oak Ridge Drive home on Aug. 24 — three days before the 58-year-old city administrator pleaded guilty to one count of felony larceny by employee.
Corcoran took an Alford plea, meaning he didn’t admit guilt but believed it was in his best interest to plead guilty.
The scandal marked the end of a nearly 20-year career during which Corcoran worked harmoniously with the City Council and mayor and enjoyed popularity in the community of about 16,000. Hired in 2001 with an annual salary of $85,000, Corcoran resigned making $139,750.
Judge Stan Allen sentenced Corcoran to a suspended 5-to-15-month sentence and ordered him to pay $20,000 in restitution to the city and complete 75 hours of community service among other penalties.
The amount Corcoran embezzled is believed to be in the thousands, which came from doctoring the timesheets of his three children — seasonal employees for the city.
In 2017, for instance, daughter Candice Corcoran worked part-time at a municipal pool from roughly May until September. Corcoran added hours to a number of his daughter’s timesheets to represent 40-hour work weeks that she didn’t work — then deposited the checks into his bank account. Corcoran also beefed up the timesheets of his son and another daughter during a roughly 12-year span.
Still, it’s unclear what led to the investigation.
In the wake of Corcoran’s departure, Eden City Council has appointed Terry A. Shelton to serve as interim city manager.
In a twist, he also owns Five Star Realty along with his wife, Faye.
Shelton said he’s been assured by a city attorney that because Five Star Realty was involved in selling the Eden home before charges were brought against Corcoran no conflict of interest exists.
“We had been working with (Corcoran) before this came up,’’ he said.