A lengthy case between the City of Dawsonville and former mayor James Grogan will continue next week as both sides head to the Georgia Supreme Court Oct. 10 to present oral arguments.
Grogan, 76, was removed from office in May of 2017 by the Dawsonville City Council and has been fighting the decision ever since, gaining no traction in the Dawson County Superior Court where his appeal was denied last October.
To add salt to the wound, Grogan was ordered in March to pay $25,060.88 back to the city for the salary and benefits he received during the five months he was appealing his removal.
Steven Leibel, who continues as Grogan’s representation, has requested that the Georgia Supreme Court reverse the Dawson County Superior Court’s decisions so that Grogan can have a clean slate to appeal again.
“Grogan has not only been denied his right of appeal, he also has been penalized tens of thousands of dollars for having exercising that right,” Leibel wrote in his brief to the Supreme Court.
In March, City Attorney Dana Miles said that the amount of taxpayer money the city had spent fighting Grogan’s appeal amounted to $60,000 paid to the city attorney as well as $10,000 paid to Webb, Tanner & Powell to represent the city council.
$30,000 of that was spent in pursuit of Grogan’s salary and legal fees once the appeal was denied.
Miles said the city council will have to decide whether to pursue the lawyers’ fees. He said in March that if it does, Grogan would then be entitled to a jury trial, further prolonging the process.
Once the case is completed and a final judgment entered, assuming Grogan doesn’t appeal it, the $25,060.88 in salary Grogan was ordered to pay can be collected as the law allows, Miles said.
Requests for comment by Leibel and Miles were not returned as of press time.
Grogan was voted out of office by a 3-1 vote on May 15, 2017, after the city council initiated an investigation into alleged misuse of city funds.
Grogan attempted to regain the mayor seat, running against interim Mayor Mike Eason in a March special election, but lost. Eason will continue to serve as mayor until Dec. 31, 2019.