Former Winston-Salem City Councilman Derwin Montgomery turned himself in to a federal magistrate in Greensboro Wednesday. The former Democratic member of the North Carolina House of Representatives faces embezzlement charges which allegedly stem from his work as executive director of the Bethesda Center for the Homeless.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Montgomery’s first public statements on the indictment handed down against him by a federal grand jury on August 29 came on Sunday while addressing the congregation at First Calvary Baptist Church where he is a pastor.
Citing what he called an open legal matter, Montgomery said he was unable to say and share what he wanted to in his defense, but offered that his actions with Bethesda Center were “consistently reviewed and presented to those who had oversight of me as executive director.” The 34-year-old pushed back on how allegations were being reported and asked the congregation to keep his years of service to the church front of mind.
Montgomery was elected to Winston-Salem City Council while still a senior at Winston-Salem State University winning re-election in 2013 and again in 2016 before being picked to replace North Carolina Representative Ed Hanes in the General Assembly two years later.