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Update: Crawford case turned over to GBI as commissioners cancel meeting

The called meeting of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners scheduled for 11 a.m. today was canceled.

Crawford County Sheriff Kerry Dunaway received new evidence today substantiating irregularities in the handling of county funds, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Dunaway has contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which will take up the investigation.

Crawford County's administrator and two office assistants have been suspended with pay, a top county official said Thursday, and the sheriff and two auditors spent Thursday morning poring over the books in the latest controversy at the county offices.

County Commission Chairman Eddie Still confirmed Thursday that County Administrator Candy Jones, who handles day-to-day operations for the commission, and two assistants have been suspended.

The administrator's position has been something of a revolving door in Crawford County, though several officials and county residents told The Telegraph in March that Jones had been a stabilizing force in the office. An attempt to reach her through other county officials Thursday was not successful.

Her predecessor, Bob Taylor, left after a relatively brief tenure. His predecessor, Sandra Smith, is in the Peach County jail awaiting transfer to a permanent detention center after pleading guilty to theft charges. She was writing county checks to herself, District Attorney Howard Simms said after her plea.

Former County Commissioner Doug Spillers is awaiting a verdict in his own run-in with the law. He was charged with false swearing for failing to disclose a felony conviction when he filed to run for office. A verdict in that case is expected June 30, Simms said. If Spillers is convicted, he probably won't be eligible to serve as a county commissioner - a potential complication since he's one of four candidates on the ballot in District 2.

Spillers also has been indicted on a theft charge. He's accused of using county workers to perform personal work for him, but that case hasn't been to trial.

Regarding the latest controversy, Dunaway said he received the complaint Monday. He and two auditors from Mauldin & Jenkins, the county's accounting firm, reviewed county books Thursday morning, he said.

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