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May 21--  A report in a North Georgia newspaper claims the new city manager in Lyons resigned from his previous job after his employers questioned his use of a city credit card.

The Dalton Daily Citizen quoted city officials of Varnell, Georgia as saying Jason Hall resigned in mid-March about a week after he was questioned about personal charges on the city credit card.

Lyons Mayor Willis NeeSmith says he and the city council were aware of the issue before they hired Hall in April.

"I did some checking on him and there was some controversy that went on up there.  It was divided among councilmen and I talked with both sides (in Varnell) and we talked it over in our council.  We liked his attitude and we went with our gut feelings on him, " the mayor said.

Hall says $1,800 quoted in the paper as restitution he made to the City of Varnell upon his departure is incorrect.  However, he does say he paid back a much smaller sum of money.

He's also asking citizens of Lyons for a chance.

"We're starting a new life down here and we're excited about Lyons.  One of the things that excites me about Lyons is the city has an amazing staff with a good checks and balance policy.  There's no question about the monies that come in and leave Lyons.  I hope the City of Lyons judges me on the dedication I've had to the city in the last few weeks and the things we've acccomplished instead of judging me on remarks that were made months removed and almost begrudgingly," Hall said.