Gover­nor sus­pends Snel­lville mayor

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - REGION -

SNEL­LVILLE, Ga. — The mayor of an Atlanta sub­urb has been sus­pended from of­fice by Ge­or­gia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Deal signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, on Wed­nes­day sus­pend­ing Tom Witts as mayor of Snel­lville, The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion re­ported. Witts faces more than 60 felony charges and is ac­cused of us­ing cam­paign funds to pur­chase a Caribbean cruise, air­line tick­ets and a six-month sub­scrip­tion to porno­graphic web­sites.

State At­tor­ney Gen­eral Chris Carr, Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch and Ma­ri­etta Mayor Steve Tum­lin make up a com­mis­sion that rec­om­mended Deal sus­pend Witts fol­low­ing his in­dict­ment.

Witts bonded out of jail with a sig­na­ture in Septem­ber and won’t have to pay any of his $20,000 bond un­less he fails to show at any of his fu­ture court ap­pear­ances.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Witts’ fi­nances has been go­ing on for sev­eral years, Gwin­nett County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Danny Porter said. It started af­ter Witts had been dis­hon­est about ow­ing taxes dur­ing his run for of­fice, Porter said.

Pros­e­cu­tors be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing fol­low­ing a com­plaint that was filed dur­ing the 2015 mayor’s race. Witts took of­fice that year af­ter cam­paign­ing against then-Mayor Kelly Kautz.

Gwin­nett County in­ves­ti­ga­tors have looked into sus­pected ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in Witts’ cam­paign spend­ing and work his com­pany did at City Hall.

An act­ing mayor has been ap­pointed af­ter Witts sus­pended him­self from the job.

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