One of two Georgia banks that failed last week loaned $2.2 million to a company owned by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock.
The bank was still trying to collect the money, intended to renovate a Calhoun hotel off I-75, when federal regulators shut it down on Friday.
The banks are the first to fail in Georgia since Feb. 18. The eight-week period was the longest stretch in Georgia without a failure since a nearly two-month lull last summer.
Bartow County Bank reported $330.2 million in assets and $304.1 million in deposits as of December, the FDIC said. Hamilton State bought most of the bank’s assets and all its deposits in a loss-share deal with the regulator.
The FDIC said its failure will cost its Deposit Insurance Fund, the backstop that protects customer deposits, an estimated $69.5 million.
Here’s the background from a February article by my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon:
The Bartow County Bank is suing Rogers and Graves, alleging the two owe the bank $2.2 million for a business loan that is now in default. Rogers and Graves, who took the loan out to buy and renovate the Oglethorpe Inn, have denied they owe the money because [John] Edens now owns the inn and the company that originally took out the loan, Tich Hospitality.
An attorney for the Bartow County Bank said Rogers has invoked a provision of state law that allows for lawsuits to be put on hold during a state legislative session.
“The case will not proceed while the General Assembly is in session, but my motion for summary judgment is ready to be filed as soon as the stay expires, ” Edward Hine, an attorney for the bank, wrote in an e-mail Monday.
State lawmakers and their staff, by state law, are immune from any civil action in Georgia courts during sessions of the General Assembly, and for three weeks after adjournment. For Rogers, that would be May 6.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider