Tom A. Peterson IV, an attorney from Vidalia, has been appointed to look into allegations that former City Manager Frank Parker and/or City Attorney Alvin Leaphart met in private sessions with a quorum of city council members. Municipal Court Judge Keith Barber said Peterson began his investigation Tuesday morning.
Peterson was appointed to investigate remarks made by Parker at a meeting with heads of various city departments in June in which he said he had, at times, discussed city business with a majority of city council members in private sessions. Parker said he had seen similar meetings in Leaphart's office, a charge Leaphart denies.
Parker was fired in a special called open meeting of the mayor and city council June 24. Mayor Jan Moore's recommendation that an attorney with no connection with the city of Statesboro be chosen to see if any laws were broken was unanimously adopted. Judge Barber was assigned the task of choosing the special investigator.
Peterson, a graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and former assistant district in the Augusta Judicial Circuit, is to report to Judge Barber each Wednesday during the course of his investigation. Barber will them make a follow up report to Mayor Moore.