Raleigh, N.C. — State Rep. Deb McManus, D-Chatham, resigned Wednesday, hours after she was arrested on embezzlement charges.
The state Department of Revenue charged McManus, 56, of 11 Pine Forest Drive in Siler City, with three counts of embezzlement of state property. She was released under a $150,000 bond, and her first court appearance was set for Thursday in Wake County.
McManus is the bookkeeper for Carolina Family Practice, a Siler City medical office run by her husband, Dr. Keith McManus. Authorities allege that she helped the practice "embezzle, misapply and convert to its own use" $47,369 in state individual withholding tax between January 2011 and last July.
The arrest was announced by the NC Department of Revenue. The news release did not mention her public office.
Raleigh attorney Elliot Abrams said McManus was blindsided by the charges.
"She had been working with the Department of Revenue over the past few months to handle the situation and was surprised by these charges," Abrams said in a statement. "We will be reviewing the evidence in the case and will be discussing this matter with the Attorney General’s Office."
"The sadness she feels today cannot be measured," Abrams added.
McManus was in her first term in the state House, representing District 54, which includes Chatham and parts of Lee County. Prior to her election, she served 10 years on the Chatham County Board of Education. During her tenure there, she served as chair and vice-chair.
Legislative leaders received her resignation letter this afternoon.
"It is with deep sadness that I have decided to resign from the House of Representatives effective today in order to focus on a personal matter that has arisen," McManus wrote in a letter to House Speaker Thom Tillis. "I will remain forever grateful for the opportunity to serve and for the support I have received throughout my service."
House Minority Leader Larry Hall, D-Durham, issued a terse statement: “This afternoon Representative Deb McManus notified me she planned to resign over a personal financial matter. I accepted her decision and I thank her for her service."
The Democratic Party leaders in Chatham and Lee counties will nominate someone to fill the rest of her term, which runs through the end of 2014. Gov. Pat McCrory will then appoint that person to the post.