Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones said Tuesday he has officially called for the resignation of longtime former mayor and current city councilman Dennis Trudeau.
Both Jones and Trudeau confirmed an email sent out asking for the resignation, but Trudeau said he does not intend to step down.
According to Jones, an official email was sent to Trudeau asking for his resignation after a news release from the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Georgia regarding his stepdaughter’s guilty plea on Dec. 18 in which she admitted to stealing from the city from 2011 through 2016. The release stated that “Between January 2011 and April 2016, Capetillo stole and deposited $890,000 in cash into her and her family’s accounts.”
As part of a plea deal Capetillo agreed to forfeit $891,721, the total amount authorities believed she took from the city’s coffers.
“If you recall, he blocked us trying to get an acting city clerk when we initially put Capetillo on administrative leave,” Jones said. “And also, in her resignation he blocked the forensic audit on two occasions and then he tried to have me investigated to try to redirect the focus of the media and the citizens on me in lieu of Capetillo.”
Trudeau said he plans to continue to serve the citizens of Grovetown for the two more years he has left of his 4-year term. He said he believed Jones was the one behind an attempt to have the citizens recall him last year. Jones endorsed the man who filed the recall, Allen Transou, in a bid for one of two city council seats.
Jones said the city will release an official statement on the call for Trudeau’s resignation Wednesday morning.
“If he doesn’t step down and do the right thing, then I am going to take whatever action necessary, whatever I’ve got to do to make it happen,” Jones said.
Newly elected councilwoman Deborah Fisher weighed in on the situation, calling Jones’ call for Trudeau’s resignation without the council’s knowledge “unfortunate.”
Fisher added it was not possible for Jones to simply vote Trudeau out of office on his own and called the resignation request harassment.
“It’s a process. It’s a legislative process which actually would end up in County court,” Fisher said. “He can’t just vote somebody out.”