PORTERDALE — Bob Thomson, who served as city manager of Porterdale for more than nine years, resigned abruptly last week, apparently after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into possible forgeries.
In a brief resignation letter submitted Aug. 5, Thomson said the mayor and council members had “lost confidence in my work on behalf of the city.” Thomson offered to continue to work with the city to “effectuate a smooth transition ….”
Council member Tim Savage said Monday the council was expected to accept Thomson’s resignation at a meeting Monday night.
In response to emailed questions Monday, District Attorney Layla Zon said that she requested a GBI investigation involving “city funds and the authorization of spending of said funds.” The GBI opened a forgery investigation on Aug. 1.
Thomson was responsible for day-to-day management of city operations. Under his watch, the city has fallen behind in its payments to the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority by more than $60,000.
Mike Hopkins, executive director of the NCWSA, said Porterdale has missed at least eight months of payments to the authority.
Hopkins said he met with Thomson and Porterdale Councilman Lowell Chambers, the city’s representative on the authority board, last December to discuss the situation.
“We felt like it was time, that we needed to talk with the board representative when it got to this level,” said Hopkins.
Despite that meeting, Hopkins said the city did not make its January payment and has not made a payment since. He said Thomson had offered no explanation for the missed payments.
“His explanation was ‘we’re going to pay it, the check is in the mail.’”
Hopkins said he has been in touch with Mayor Arline Chapman and that the authority will continue to work with the city. He said there would be no suspension of service by the authority.
“Public health is paramount,” he said.
Thomson was hired by Porterdale in June 2010 after serving as city administrator for Thunderbolt, near Savannah.
In addition to his work in Thunderbolt, Thomson worked in city management in Smyrna, Sandy Springs and Tybee.