Snellville mayor at center of multi-agency investigation

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Less than six months into his first year as mayor, a Gwinnett County official remains at the center of an investigation into tax and campaign finance issues.

Tom Witts was elected as Snellville's Mayor in November after serving as a city councilman since 2009.

According to the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office, a citizen filed a complaint during Witts' campaign last fall alleging that Witts was delinquent on paying his personal taxes.  Investigators from the DA's Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Revenue began to look into those allegations and then widened their probe to include Witts' company, Georgia Property Restoration, and its dealings with the City of Snellville.

Those agencies served warrants on Witts' home, his business and city hall, seizing computers and documents relating to the mayor's finances.

District Attorney Danny Porter said he could not disclose the amount of Witts' personal tax liability, but called it "significant."  He also explained that Witts may have been taking tax withholdings from his employees's paychecks, but not turning that money over to the state. 

Investigators must also look into the possibility that Witts took some of his campaign funds for personal use.

"It's unfortunate.  He's the Mayor for crying out loud and people look up to him," said Kevin Brown, who was at city hall to pay his own business taxes Tuesday.  "So, it would be a shame if he was stealing and not doing what he's supposed to be doing."

Porter stressed that Witts has not been arrested or charged with any crimes. 

Mayor Witts did not return requests for comment on the investigation.