Grovetown mayor cites “conflict of interest” as reason for councilman Trudeau’s resignation

GROVETOWN, Ga.(WJBF) – The city of Grovetown’s mayor is asking one of his councilmen to step down.

This comes on the heels of former city clerk, Vicki Capetillo, admitting to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It was December 31st when Mayor Gary Jones sent an email to Councilman Dennis Trudeau, asking him to resign immediately.

Trudeau is the stepfather Capetillo who admitted in federal court to stealing close to $900,000 from the city when she worked there.

Trudeau fired back, telling NewsChannel 6 that he won’t be stepping down.

“Trudeau has continuously attempted to obstruct the city’s handling of this matter by failing to approve the appointment of an acting city clerk, blocking a forensic audit on two occasions and then attempting to hire private council to shift the attention onto me instead of Capitillo,” said Mayor Gary Jones.

Capetillo admitted the money she stole was being deposited into family bank accounts.

U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine says Capetillo deposited money into her sister’s account.

Jones says he has no reason to believe money was going into Trudeau’s account.

Now, Jones is breaking out the city’s charter, citing Conflict of Interest under a (1) and (b), part of which states that any matter pending before the city council shall disclose such interest and that person should disqualify themselves from participating in any decisions or votes.

“In light of all that has happened, there’s no way that any human being with reasonable comprehension could not see this type of money coming into an account belonging to a family member not to mention being a city official and seeing this type of money leaving city hall,” said Jones.

With people looking to move to the fast growing city, we asked Jones what type of picture this paints for Grovetown.

“Well, I think it sheds a more positive light that I’m taking action and not allowing criminal action to transpire,” said Jones.

Since Trudeau says he’s not resigning, Jones says this is a legislative process and will probably be handled in Superior Court.

This is something he says he’s prepared to do.

On a side note, Jones says that newly appointed Council Member Deborah Fisher just filed a complaint against him, citing secret meetings being held and stating that Jones is not being transparent.

Jones denies all of those claims and says he will meet the allegations head on to prove his innocence regarding Fisher’s claims.

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