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Monday, September 7, 2009 - 7:48am

State Invesigators Focus On NE Ga. Town

A state investigation into possible malfeasance at the Pendergrass City Hall, in North Georgia, has now tightened into a focus on whether there was misuse of city funds by an individual.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports Jackson County District Attorney Brad Smith last month asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into several allegations of malfeasance.

The paper says it came more than a month after two former city workers and a police lieutenant accused the Pendergrass city administrator of fixing traffic tickets, and misusing sales tax and city money. Two of the three who made allegations were laid-off in the following weeks.

Smith told the paper the alleged misspent sales tax money would not be a criminal offense. However, he says it may be in violation of Georgia’s tax law and open the city to civil action.

City officials say the layoffs of the two employees were made to save money. However, the two contend they were fired in retaliation for their allegations.