GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -
Workers were surprised to see state and county investigators marching through the hallways of Snellville City Hall looking for records.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas that the focus of the investigation is the recently elected mayor and potential charges of tax evasion.
Porter said investigators seized computers in the sweeps at Tom Witts’ business and home late last month. He said they are looking at campaign affidavits where Witts swore he didn't owe money to the state.
“From there we've also moved into other areas about use of campaign funds and withholding taxes in his private business,” Porter said
Paperwork was also taken from Snellville City Hall.
“We also discovered some payments that were made by the city and entities that received money from the city to his business which may or may not be problematic,” Porter said.
The issue of possible back taxes came up in last year’s heated mayor’s race. At the time then council member Witt's told Channel 2 Action it was a non-issue and displayed paperwork he said proved he was in the clear.
“This is money that I took from my 401k that I'm paying taxes and penalties on now,” Witts told Thomas at that time.
Sources told Thomas that while Witts has a payment plan set up for federal taxes, the investigation is focusing on state taxes.
Thomas contacted Witts by phone Monday for reaction. He said he couldn't comment and referred Thomas to his criminal attorney who didn't return his calls or emails.
“We are fairly close to being able to present it to a grand jury,” Porter said.
“Just when I thought Snellville was really getting a good sense of community,” said Cindy Bristow of Snellville, reacting to the news about the mayor.
The state Department of Revenue confirmed Monday it is involved in the investigation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also told Thomas it has an active investigation underway but wouldn't comment further.