The Baxley News-Banner confirmed on Monday that Graham Mayor Lonnie Crosby has withdrawn an appeal he made in Superior Court in Appling County regarding a vote taken by the city council to remove him from office. In February, city council members John Fogerty, Lee Bass and Jesse Conaway voted to remove Crosby from office following an internal investigation into Crosby’s conduct as mayor that was performed/investigated by Graham City Attorney Nathan Deaton. Council member Susie Meeks abstained from the vote.
Following the council’s vote to remove Crosby as mayor, Crosby filed an appeal in Appling Superior Court. He also filed an injunction against the council in March that was denied by Superior Court Judge Stephen G. Scarlett. Scarlett had set the date of the appeal hearing for June 25.
In an article published Sunday, June 10, in the Georgia Times Union, written by Terry Dickson, Crosby’s attorney, Franklin J. Edenfield of Swainsboro, was quoted as saying, “He (Crosby) just decided to go on with his life. Lonnie’s health is really bad. That’s why he decided to dismiss the appeal.”
The article also cites that Crosby’s removal arose from assertions he used city resources for personal gain and also cites that could be part of a criminal investigation that is running parallel to the city’s civil action. The article states District Attorney Jackie Johnson confirmed her office has been working with law enforcement in an investigation of Graham’s financial books.
According to Graham’s charter the council, mayor or appointed officers can be removed from office by a majority vote of the council for incompetence, misfeasance, malfeasance, conviction of a crime, failure to possess qualifications of office, violating the city’s charter, abandonment of office, or failure for any other cause to perform the duties of office as required by the charter or by state law.