City of Aragon

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating financial irregularities in Aragon in connection with a Municipal Court clerk and former city clerk who was put on administrative leave with pay Thursday, said Mayor Pro Tem Tammy Mulkey.

Lori Dunn was in charge of the city’s finances until 2014, when she was removed from the position by former Mayor Ken Suffridge.

Mulkey would not divulge who called for the investigation.

GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said by email the look into the financial irregularities is ongoing, and had no comment on the issue at this time.

Mulkey said Mayor Garry Baldwin has recused himself in the matter since Dunn is his daughter.

Suffridge said he had removed Dunn from the position as city clerk in December 2014 after he said several problems were found with her accounting practices.

He explained his decision to keep her on as a court clerk was made to help the city seek information about what payments might still be due, or bookkeeping issues with city residents over back taxes or utility payments.

“I didn’t fire her because I needed her,” he said. “I still needed her because of her knowledge of the city,” Suffridge said. Dunn knew “where the skeletons were buried,” he added.

Suffridge said several people came to him asking him to fire Dunn. He said he wasn’t going to “cut off my nose to spite my face” because she had information valuable to the city.

He said Dunn also withheld information about problems with the city’s finances in a meeting held in December 2011, and mentioned only some of the irregularities.