Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 6, 2012

Meigs in crosshair

Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — While voluminous findings by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation about Meigs city government have reached the local district attorney’s office, a second GBI probe of the Thomas County town has been requested by the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office and Meigs police.

The first investigation revolves primarily around a former Meigs police chief, Tom Close, and Andy Wurst, former Meigs mayor, who resigned in August, and potentially misappropriated city funds and city equipment.

Results of the investigation will be reviewed by local assistant district attorneys and presented to a grand jury possibly in May.

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office turned another Meigs matter over to the Thomasville regional GBI office.

According to Lt. Tim Watkins, sheriff’s office chief investigator, the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigations Division (CID) turned information over to the GBI on Tuesday.

Watkins said a Meigs city employee told Meigs City Council a council member was handling the city general fund inappropriately.

A council member reported the activity to CID, Watkins explained.

On Thursday, Cynthia Chaney, Meigs mayor pro tem, said allegations are unfounded and directed questions to her personal legal counsel, Maurice Luther King Jr., of Albany.

“We don’t believe there is anything to it. Basically, it’s somebody trying to pursue a political and personal vendetta against her (Chaney) and her family,” King told the Times-Enterprise.

Chris Luckey, Meigs police chief, acknowledged allegations against city government.

The proper protocol, he said, was to call in another law enforcement agency.

Jamy Steinberg, assistant special agent in charge of the Thomasville GBI office, said Luckey asked his office to look into the allegations.

Luckey described the allegations as “misappropriation of money from the city government side.”

“There’s not a whole lot we have right now,” Luckey said. “We’re sifting through it to see if there’s any basis to it.”

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.