Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan has been impeached following a public hearing Monday afternoon, but Grogan's attorney says they will appeal the decision.
Grogan was impeached following a report presented to Dawsonville City Council on May 1 that outlined a number of apparent violations of city code and policies by the mayor, with some of the more serious alleged violations including lowering rezoning fees for at least three applicants without prior approval of city council, allowing a business to pay a lower rate for water/sewer service without prior approval of city council, and approval of payments to non-profit groups for golf tournaments in which Mayor Grogan participated.
Attorney Steven Leibel, who represents Grogan, said they will appeal the 3-1 ruling, adding his client will likely be removed from office for only a brief time, in accordance with state regulations.
"Under the law, they have a right to conduct this proceeding," Leibel explained. "But once we file the appeal, there is no action that's taken against the mayor."
"So what's going to happen, probably, is that they're going to say he's not the mayor for about a day," he continued. "When we receive a written notice of the decision we will appeal it, and as a result of the appeal, we start from scratch."
Leibel described Monday's proceedings as a political power grab, and said the appeal would go before Dawson County Superior Court, which, under law, would require the start of a new trial.
"At that time, we would have the right to conduct discovery, call witnesses and have a trial," Leibel said.
He continued: "But a trial that would have all the rules and regulations as required under the law."
Grogan has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, something Liebel said has not changed.