Tempers Flare in Nicholson over Mayor Controversy

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After the council workshop in Nicholson, family and friends of Mayor Ronnie Maxwell exchanged verbal barbs with citizens who want answers.

A shouting match erupted as FOX 5 News was talking to people outside the community center.

"You are a liar," said a family member of the mayor.

"No you're a liar," said a citizen. The verbal jabs went on for a couple of minutes.

The GBI said the case involves the alleged misappropriation of more than $20,000 to pay for paving of roads on a family member’s property.

The mayor turned himself into authorities after the GBI raided and closed City Hall to retrieve evidence. Many citizens had hoped the mayor would address the allegations at the council workshop. He didn't. But Councilmember Jan Webster brought up the SPLOST, or Special Options Local Options Sales Tax, citizens committee. She said the committee wants the money back.

"So what is the request of this committee then? That it be repaid, all they can demand is that it be paid back," said Webster.

After the meeting the mayor had little to say about the allegations.

"I'm not in a position to answer anything right now," said Mayor Maxwell.

He told FOX 5’s George Franco that he was caught off guard by the committee's request.

"Yeah it really did I'll have to research that one out," said Mayor Maxwell.

The mayor’s son came to his defense.

"Everybody's being unfair my dad is the best mayor that's ever been here, He's not done anything wrong," said Kelby Maxwell, the Mayor's son.

Nicholson residents we spoke to say let the legal process work its way through.

"And that's fine with me that's the way I want it. If he's innocent that's fine," said Mike Barfield.

He showed FOX 5 News the road in question and said that recent changes have occurred.

"The mayor, ten days ago, he had a crew come up at tax payers’ expense and put up two stop signs," said Barfield.

He said it's an effort on the part of the mayor to re-classify a private road into a public road.

FOX 5 News was shown the road after the meeting and was unable to catch up with the mayor for a response.