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Savannah coroner investigated for 'financial issues;' Dr. known for part in best-selling book

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FILE - In this June 23, 2005 file photo, Dr. James C. Metts Jr., the Chatham County coroner, poses in front of a portrait of Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski in Savannah, Ga. For 40 years Dr. James C. Metts Jr. served unchallenged as the Savannah area’s county coroner, a job in which he once exhumed the body of a Revolutionary War hero and landed a bit part in the best-selling book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” He coasted to re-election last fall at age 81, then a month later abruptly resigned. Now the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it’s looking into allegations Metts misused taxpayer funds. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton, File)The Associated Press

In the 40 years he served as coroner, Dr. James C. Metts Jr. was the man police called in Savannah and the surrounding Chatham County whenever a death needed investigating. Now the 81-year-old physician is the target of an investigation.

Metts resigned abruptly last month after he cruised to re-election. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it's looking into a complaint from county officials that Metts misused taxpayer money. The few documents released indicate the amount is at least $141,000.

Metts had a small part in the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and is known around town for his work with poor children. He declined to comment.

Friends say he may have done a poor job overseeing spending, but they don't believe he's a crook.

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