DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – One month after the City of Dawsonville filed a complaint with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office regarding “mishandled funds” during former Mayor James Grogan’s administration, city officials have kept the details of that complaint a closely guarded secret.
Taxpayers have been kept in the dark regarding how their money was mishandled and how much money is involved.
City Manager Bob Bolz responded to Fetch Your News open records request (ORR) last week in an email that stated: “Because of certain information pertinent to the investigation revealed in the (complaint), that information was deemed confidential by our attorneys.”
The City’s failure to disclose details of the complaint has raised serious questions about the validity of the complaint and especially its timing, coming just weeks before the special election that will decide if Grogan is to regain his seat or be replaced for the next four years by interim Mayor Mike Eason. Advanced voting has begun and Election Day is March 20.
City Council members Angie Smith, Caleb Phillips and Jason Power voted last May to remove Grogan as mayor for alleged violations of the city code and policies. The decision was not popular with voters and may have cost Smith her seat on the Council. She was voted out of office in November.
Grogan has maintained from the beginning that he has done nothing wrong and the complaint of “mishandled funds” is politically motivated.
“It is a politically-motivated witch hunt,” Grogan said. “But I believe the voters will see it for what it is.”
In fact, Grogan doubts there is any investigation. “I believe they filed the complaint just to hurt me. It’s been almost a month since the complaint was filed and nobody from the sheriff’s office has questioned me.”
In making the motion to refer the issue to law enforcement, new City Councilman Stephen Tolson said, “I think in the interest of full transparency it would be a good idea to go ahead and hand over all those documents and any related documents of the prior investigations conducted.”
Yet one month later, the documents have not been turned over to the media or made available to the public. Election Day is Tuesday, March 20 and the voters will finally have a chance to decide who will lead the city forward.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com