Allegations against Shoats have been a regular topic of conversation by commissioners at Pike County Board of Commissioners meetings since his Aug. 6, 2007 firing by County Manager Steve Marro for fiscal mismanagement.
At the time of his termination, Marro said Shoats was “significantly over the budget.”
The firing came days after the Griffin resident appeared before county commissioners and requested an additional $60,000 to carry his department through the end of the fiscal year because the department was almost $30,000 in the red.
During subsequent meetings, commissioners also alleged that Shoats used county credit cards to pay personal bills.
According to GBI Special Agent in Charge Rodney Wall, the matter was turned over to the GBI at the request of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office. The GBI investigated the case for several months prior Shoats’ Nov. 14 arrest.
“The theft by conversion is related to him (Shoats) taking Pike County Recreation Authority funds, at the time he was recreation director, and converting it to use for his own personal benefit,” Wall said Wednesday.
While conducting the investigation, the GBI reviewed financial records and conducted a forensic audit.
“We found evidence did exist that he converted funds for his personal use,” Wall said.
Information has not been released as to the exact dollar amount of the funds Shoats is accused of taking, but officials say the amount is substantial.
Although the GBI made the arrest, Shoats was taken to the Pike County Jail. He is currently out on a $15,000 bond.