Citing the timing of the results of an investigation into what he called unintentional human error concerning mileage reimbursements, John Fretti said that he would not enter the race for Valdosta's next mayoral term.
Here is the letter that Fretti issued Thursday--
Dear Constituents, Supporters, Family, and Friends;
With most sincere gratitude, I thank you for eight years as your Mayor. Together, we have embraced positive change, weathered tough financial times, supported local troops serving their country abroad as well as local veterans, and welcomed the beginning of what I hope will be an ongoing economic revitalization.
We also had our largest growth in population in the history of this city. The resiliency of this community is the backbone of its successes yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and it has been an honor to be a part of Valdosta's story.
After much consideration and with the support of my family, I have decided that my role in the next chapter is as fellow citizen, business owner, family man, and friend.
With some sadness but also confidence in my decision, I announce that I will not be seeking reelection to the Office of Mayor.
Many of you have expressed your support as I have confronted my local accuser in the wake of an unintentional human error, resulting in duplicate mileage reimbursement requests to the city and state for travels as an ambassador of our community.
Upon discovery of this error, I immediately repaid the state board on which I serve for all mileage expenses.
Eight months later due to political attack of these actions, I proactively invited the appropriate authorities to investigate and audit the validity of my actions. The results of this invited investigation have taken longer than I could ever have anticipated.
Just this week, I was informed that our District Attorney may not have those results available until the weeks surrounding qualifying. The timing of this is both unexpected and unfortunate.
Out of consideration for the people of this city, I desire to see a mayoral race unhindered by distractions. For that reason as well as for personal ones, I will be voting along with you, but my name will not be on the ballot.
I call on each of you to engage in this year's election, meet your candidates, and participate in the process. I call on you to vote every time you have an opportunity to go to the voting booth. I call on those of you who love this city as I do to consider how you may be called to serve.
Having never lost a precinct in two city wide elections, I feel it is of vital importance to remember that when you serve, you serve all.
My wife, Robin, and I look forward to serving you, our family, and employees as I return to private life. Most of all, I thank you for the honor of being your Mayor and for fighting the good fight along with us.
John J. Fretti
Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.
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