Local officials have asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to intervene on an investigation initiated by the city of Dawsonville at the beginning of the month.
District Attorney Lee Darragh said Monday that after meeting with Sheriff Jeff Johnson, the two sent a letter to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Feb. 16 asking the agency to investigate a report of missing money filed by the city of Dawsonville.
The city council voted Feb. 5 to turn over documents that present “financial discrepancies” to the sheriff’s office.
Council member Stephen Tolson, who made the motion to deliver the documents to authorities, said the discrepancies occurred during the time James Grogan served as mayor, and that included in the documents given to the sheriff’s office was a previous investigation into Grogan’s alleged misuse of city money, which was conducted a year ago at the bequest of the council.
Grogan was voted out of office after the investigation and officially vacated the mayor seat in October after his appeal was denied.
Also included in the documents given to the sheriff’s office was new information presented by the city’s finance administrator, Hayden Wiggins, during an executive session.
Wiggins was hired on Oct. 30. He formerly worked for Alexander, Almand and Bangs, the auditing firm that has conducted the city’s external audits for a number of years.
Though neither the council nor Johnson have disclosed the amount of money believed to be involved, City Manager Bob Bolz has called the amount “substantial.”
Some have questioned the timing of the investigation as Grogan is up for election in March, running against acting Mayor Mike Eason for the position.
Eason said Tuesday that the city council didn’t factor that in when making the decision to turn the documents over to law enforcement.
“I think the city has an obligation to report in a timely manner when something has happened like that,” he said.
Johnson said Tuesday that he had not yet heard from the GBI as to whether the agency would take the case or not, and the GBI did not confirm the receipt of the letter when asked on Tuesday.
Grogan said that he doesn’t know what the allegations are and therefore couldn’t comment further.
“Any comment would be conjecture on my part,” he said. “I don’t know of any financial irregularities because they would have come up in the audit. I’m not letting it bother me because I haven’t done anything wrong.”