As a private attorney, Crawford represented two clients in 2002 who had $ 15,675 on court register while their foreclosure proceedings were pending. In 2009, a judge dismissed the case and ordered the funds returned to Crawford’s clients.

The funds remained in the register until December 2017 when the case officer announced to Crawford that she intended to send the money to the state as unclaimed property. But Crawford instructed her on a handwritten note to give him the money, which she did.

Crawford then cashed and used part of the check for his personal benefit and deposited the remainder in his checking account, according to court records. It was only when Crawford realized he was being investigated for theft that he returned the money to the State Revenue Department.

In his plea, Crawford agreed not to seek re-election or serve as a judge in court during the probationary period. Crawford said in a letter sent to Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday that he would step down from the bank.

“I have enjoyed serving the people of Georgia for the past 27 years,” wrote Crawford.