Transportation

Government Watchdog Files Complaint with Attorney General of Georgia Due To DeKalb County’s Refusal to Open Records Request

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MEMORANDUM

TO: SAM OLENS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF GEORGIA
FROM: VIOLA DAVIS WITH UNHAPPY TAXPAYER & VOTER
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT WATCHDOG FILES COMPLAINT WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL OF GEORGIA DUE TO DEKALB COUNTY’S REFUSAL TO ANSWER OPEN RECORDS REQUEST
DATE: MAY 19, 2015

CC: ICEO LEE MAY, DEKALB BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, RESTORE DEKALB, GEORGIA WATCHDOGS, DEKALB COUNTY WATCHDOGS AND ALL APPROPRIATE PARTIES

Government Watchdog Files Complaint with Attorney General of Georgia Due To DeKalb County’s Refusal to Answer Open Records Request

I, Viola Davis, Founder of Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submitted a summary of the Open Records Requests denied and/or partially answered by DeKalb County Government to Burke Brennan, DeKalb County Press Secretary, on March 27, 2015. I also informed Interim CEO Lee May and DeKalb County Board of Commissioners of the denied requests.

The prior summary was directed to Burke Brennan per his request. The method in which our Open Records Requests were handled demonstrates a disparity and unequal treatment when private citizens and watchdog organizations submit requests to DeKalb County. However, Burke Brennan delivered four discs to me during a Board of Commissioner’s meeting to answer the request for Kelvin Walton’s emails from January 1, 2010 to the last day of Walton’s employment. Unfortunately, the four discs neglected to answer the following requests:

1. The original Open Records Request made October 8, 2014 to John Matelski, Chief Information Officer, and Barbara Sanders.
2. January 29, 2015 – We sent an email voicing our concern that our Open Records Request was over 3 months old. Michelle Vernon stated they were working on the federal subpoena. We reminded the department that we corrected our Open Records Request a long time ago to extend the dates to the last day Kelvin Walton worked for DeKalb County, or had access to DeKalb County records.
3. The four discs did not include all of Kelvin Walton’s emails for 2013 and 2014.
4. The four discs included emails for 2015 sent to Walton’s email, after Kelvin Walton left employment with DeKalb County.
5. The fact that the county kept Walton’s email account open after he left employment with DeKalb County needs to be investigated.
6. Why did the county purposely refuse to provide Kelvin Walton’s 2013 and 2014 emails to our watchdog ministry? However, they gave us emails dated 2015.

We request the Attorney General of Georgia, Sam Olens, investigate DeKalb County’s negligence and total disregard to adhering to the Georgia Open Records law and the pattern of behavior that “thumbs its nose” at private citizens and watchdog organizations. We plan to file a complaint with Attorney Georgia Sam Olens to hold DeKalb County accountable and restore public trust.

No Cell Towers On School Grounds Campaign – We Won!

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Statement from Get the Cell Out – Atl: Congratulations to everyone involved in every community who helped bring this subject to the forefront of their conversations and who held their elected officials accountable for their actions. And thank you to every person involved in this fight and similar battles taking place across the country. Your willingness to put yourself on the line in order to learn the truth and face skeptics should be an inspiration to others. We would never been able to stand up to the “system” here if there were not success stories of others who had faced the same Goliath, and won their battle before ours.

We appreciate Commissioner Rader and the entire DeKalb County Board of Commissioners for stepping up and taking on this fight against T Mobile while upholding the zoning code in our communities.

Regardless of any bad publicity you may have heard about our county commissioners,
they at least did the right thing for the communities they serve when they all signed a
letter to the CEO’s office, advising that any attempt to gain an “administrative permit”
instead of using the proper channels should be denied and our county’s zoning ordinances
should be upheld.

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If you have not educated yourself about the many adverse effects that have been documented about cell phone towers, please look over the many sources available on our website or email us with questions. A good source of information can also be found at the Center for Safer Wireless – http://thecenterforsaferwireless.us.

http://www.GetTheCellOutATL.org

Email:sayno2celltowers@yahoo.com

We also encourage everyone to thoroughly read the new zoning ordinance as suggested by Commissioner Rader and voice any feedback to the county commissioners and CEO’s office as soon as possible.

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Federal Judge Backs DeKalb on Denying Cell Tower Permits

In 2011, T-Mobile and the DeKalb Board of Education proposed to build cell towers on 11 school properties located in residential areas. Many citizens and parents organizations were concerned and asked DeKalb County to act. At the urging of Commissioner Kathie Gannon, the DeKalb Board of Commissioners wrote then CEO Ellis and asked that the administration refuse to issue building permits because the tower locations, while on school properties, are zoned residential, which does not permit cell phone towers. The cell tower company and the DeKalb School Board challenged the right of County government to enforce its zoning code on school properties. Recently Federal District Judge Thrash ruled that the County acted properly in refusing to issue the building permits.

“I’m pleased with the Federal Court ruling and that DeKalb enforced this protection of our neighborhoods,” said Gannon. “The cell towers will not be built on the school properties.”

The Commissioner can be reached: http://www.kathiegannon.com or email kgannon@dekalbcountyga.gov.

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Cell-phone Tower Update

One of the most pervasive signs of our mobile communications society is the proliferation of cell phone towers across the landscape. In DeKalb, the mobile communications revolution occurred after the widespread development of the landscape, so the infill installation of these structures has been perceived as intrusive in many residential neighborhoods. One recent decision and one pending regulation are relevant and noteworthy.

The recent noteworthy decision is the dismissal of a suit against DeKalb County by T-Mobile, a cellular provider. T-Mobile had sued DeKalb seeking a building permit for structures on two DeKalb County School System (DCSS) properties in District 2: Lakeside High School and Margaret Harris Comprehensive School. T Mobile had entered into a contract with DCSS seeking to invoke DCSS’s exemption from zoning regulation to erect the towers in residential districts where they are otherwise prohibited. Encouraged by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners, the DeKalb County Administration declined to recognize the requested permits as exempt from zoning since the cell towers were not educational facilities. T-Mobile sued, but canceled their contract with DCSS after the Federal Courts ruled in favor of DeKalb. T-Mobile also paid DeKalb County court costs incurred in our defense.

The decision is important because it helps limit exemptions to zoning laws intended to protect neighborhoods from incompatible development. Governments (Federal, State, Local and Public Schools) retain this important prerogative, but it should only be exercised to directly advance their public mission, not simply to generate revenue.

The pending decision on the regulation of cell towers is in our new zoning ordinance, which will soon be considered by the Board of Commissioners. After considerable public input and a thorough investigation of relevant federal legislation, the current proposal would allow cellular antennas within or attached to nonresidential structures legally permitted in single-family neighborhoods. These would include houses of worship or other institutions that are legally permitted to be of sufficient height to make a cellular antenna attractive to a carrier. The new proposal would not allow the cell towers that were the object of the T-Mobile controversy.

The proposed policy turns on the inherent incompatibility of a free-standing antenna with a surrounding single family neighborhood, and not on the concerns that some citizens have about the radio waves generated by the antenna. This is important because federal communications regulations prohibit local regulation of cellular antennas based on radio wave concerns. We convened citizen stakeholders interested in this issue recently, who made suggestion on refining the policy for adoption. The new zoning ordinance can be found online at http://planningdekalb.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/finalDraftZoningCodeJan20151.pdf

The Commissioner can be reached at: http://www.commissionerrader.com or email, jrader@dekalbcountyga.gov.

Dr. Cedric L. Alexander – Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2014

Fact Sheet: Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Today the President will sign an Executive Order to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing and announce its members. The Task Force is part of the Administration’s efforts to strengthen community policing and strengthen trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. The Task Force will be chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who also serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, and Laurie Robinson, professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and former Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.

The Task Force will include law enforcement representatives, community leaders, academics, and youth leaders. Ron Davis, Director of DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office will serve as the Executive Director of the Task Force under the direction of the co-chairs. The Task Force will examine, among other issues, how to strengthen public trust and foster strong relationships between local law enforcement and the communities that they protect, while also promoting effective crime reduction. The Executive Order directs the Task Force to prepare a report and recommendations to be presented to the President. An initial report will be due to the President in March.

The taskforce will engage with Federal, State, tribal, local officials, technical advisors, young leaders, and nongovernmental organizations through meetings and 21st century technology to provide a transparent process to engage with the public. The Task Force will convene listening sessions where they will hear testimony, including proposed recommendations for consideration, from invited witnesses and also receive comments and questions from the public. The first session will be held in Washington D.C. in mid-January. Subsequent listening sessions and additional outreach details, including the online public comment process, is forthcoming.

Recent events in Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, and around the country have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect. As the nation has observed, trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.
Task Force members include:

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Dr. Cedric L. Alexander

Cedric L. Alexander, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Cedric L. Alexander is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Public Safety in DeKalb County, Georgia, a position he has held since late 2013. Dr. Alexander is also the National President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. In 2013, he served as Chief of Police for the DeKalb County Police Department. Prior to this, Dr. Alexander served as Federal Security Director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from 2007 to 2013, and from 2006 to 2007, he was Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. From 2005 to 2006, Dr. Alexander was Chief of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) in Rochester, New York, where he previously served as Deputy Chief of Police from 2002 to 2005. Before joining RPD, Dr. Alexander was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 1998 to 2002. He began his career as a Deputy Sheriff in Florida from 1977 to 1981, before joining the Miami-Dade Police Department, where he was as an Officer and Detective from 1981 to 1992. He received a B.A. and M.S. from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, and a Psy.D. from Wright State University.

Charles Ramsey, Appointee for Member and Co-Chair, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Charles Ramsey is the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), a position he has held since 2008. Since 2010, he has served as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Commissioner Ramsey began his law enforcement career in 1968 as a cadet with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Over the next thirty years, he held various positions with CPD, including Commander of the Narcotics Division, Deputy Chief of the Patrol Division, and Deputy Superintendent, a role he held from 1994 to 1998. In 1998, he was named Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC), where he served until early 2007. In 2007, Commissioner Ramsey served on the Independent Commission on Security Forces of Iraq, leading a review of the Iraqi Police Force. In addition to his current role at PPD, he also serves as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Commissioner Ramsey received a B.S. and M.S. from Lewis University.

Laurie Robinson, Appointee for Member and Co-Chair, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Laurie Robinson is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University, a position she has held since 2012. She served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Robinson served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for OJP and Acting Assistant Attorney General for OJP. Previously, she was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Robinson was the Director of the Master of Science Program in Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1993 to 2000, she served her first term as the Assistant Attorney General for OJP. Before joining DOJ, Ms. Robinson spent over twenty years with the American Bar Association, serving as Assistant Staff Director of the Criminal Justice Section from 1972 to 1979, Director of their Criminal Justice Section from 1979 to 1993, and as Director of the Professional Services Division from 1986 to 1993. She is a Senior Fellow at the George Mason University Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, and serves as co-chair of the Research Advisory Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Vera Institute of Justice. Ms. Robinson received a B.A. from Brown University.

Jose Lopez, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Jose Lopez is currently the Lead Organizer at Make the Road New York (MRNY), a Brooklyn-based non-profit community organization focused on civil rights, education reform, and combating poverty. He became Lead Organizer of MRNY in 2013. Mr. Lopez began his career in 2000 as Youth Organizer with Make the Road by Walking, which later merged with the Latin American Integration Center to form MRNY in 2007. He continued to serve as Youth Organizer with MRNY until 2009, when he became Senior Organizer. Since 2011, Mr. Lopez has represented MRNY on the steering committee of Communities United for Police Reform, a New York City organization advocating for law enforcement reform. From 2001 to 2004, he was an active contributor to the Radio Rookies Project, an initiative of New York Public Radio. He received a B.A. from Hofstra University.

Bryan Stevenson, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Bryan Stevenson is Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama. In addition to directing the EJI since 1989, he is a Clinical Professor at New York University School of Law. He previously has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of Michigan School of Law. Mr. Stevenson has received the American Bar Association’s Wisdom Award for public service, the ACLU’s National Medal of Liberty, and the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award Prize. Mr. Stevenson received a B.A. from Eastern College (now Eastern University), a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Brittany Packnett, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Brittany Packnett is currently Executive Director of Teach For America in St. Louis, Missouri, a position she has held since 2012. From 2010 to 2012, she was a director on the Government Affairs Team at Teach for America. Ms. Packnett was a Legislative Assistant for the United States House of Representatives from 2009 to 2010. From 2007 to 2009, she was a third grade teacher in Southeast Washington, D.C., as a member of the Teach For America Corps. Ms. Packnett has volunteered as Executive Director of Dream Girls DMV, a mentoring program for young girls, and was the founding co-chair of The Collective-DC, a regional organization for Teach For America alumni of color. She currently serves on the boards of New City School, the COCA Associate Board, the Urban League of Metro St. Louis Education Committee, and the John Burroughs School Board Diversity Committee. Ms. Packnett received a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. from American University.

Susan Rahr, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Susan Rahr is Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, a position she has held since 2012. From 2005 to 2012, she served as the first female Sheriff in King County, Washington. Ms. Rahr spent over thirty years as a law enforcement officer, beginning as a patrol officer and undercover narcotics officer. While serving with the King County Sheriff’s Office, she held various positions including serving as the commander of the Internal Investigations and Gang Units, commander of the Special Investigations Section, and Police Chief of Shoreline, Washington. Ms. Rahr received a B.A. from Washington State University.

Tracey Meares, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Tracey Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School, a position she has held since 2007. From 2009 to 2011, she also served as Deputy Dean of Yale Law School. Before joining the faculty as Yale, she served as a professor at The University of Chicago Law School from 1995 to 2007. She has served on the Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. She was appointed by Attorney General Holder to serve on the inaugural Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation. Ms. Meares began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Harlington Wood, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She later served as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice. Ms. Meares received a B.S. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.

Constance Rice, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Constance Rice is a civil rights attorney and Co-Director of the Advancement Project, an organization she co-founded in 1999. In 2003, Ms. Rice was selected to lead the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel, which investigated the largest police corruption scandal in Los Angeles Police Department history. In 1991, Ms. Rice joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and in 1996, she became Co-Director of the Los Angeles office. She was previously an associate at Morrison & Foerster, and began her legal career as a law clerk to Judge Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Ms. Rice received a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Roberto Villaseñor, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Roberto Villaseñor is Chief of Police for the Tucson Police Department (the TPD), a position he has held since 2009. He joined the TPD in 1980, and has served as Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and as Assistant Chief from 2000 to 2009. Chief Villaseñor was named Officer of the Year for the TPD in 1996, and has been awarded the TPD Medal of Merit three times. He also received the TPD Medal of Distinguished Service. Chief Villaseñor is the incoming President of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and a Board Member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). He received a B.S. from Park University and an M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University.

Sean Smoot, Appointee for Member, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Sean Smoot is currently Director and Chief Counsel for the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois (PB&PA) and the Police Benevolent Labor Committee (PBLC), positions he has held since 2000. He began his career with PB&PA and PBLC as a Staff Attorney in 1995, before becoming Chief Counsel of both organizations in 1997. Since 2001, Mr. Smoot has served as the Treasurer of the National Association of Police Organizations, and has served on the Advisory Committee for the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Rights Center since 1996. From 2008 to 2009, he was a policy advisor to the Obama-Biden Transition Project on public safety and state and local police issues, and was a Member of the National Institute of Justice and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety from 2008 to 2011. Mr. Smoot served as Police Commissioner of Leland Grove, Illinois from 1998 to 2008. He received a B.S from Illinois State University and a J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Audit: DeKalb used inflated crime stats to secure federal grants

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Audit: DeKalb used inflated crime stats to secure federal grants

By Christian Boone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

The statistics provided by DeKalb police to federal grant holders painted a portrait of a county besieged by crime, with more than 11,000 aggravated assaults reported in 2008 alone.

But according to a recent audit by the U.S. Inspector General, that was about 10,000 too many.
The government watchdog found the county also over-reported numbers in every additional crime category. Those stats helped secure more than $2.3 million — money which will likely have to be refunded.

“It was an egregious error,” said DeKalb Police Chief Cedric Alexander. “None of us here were in place, including the grant writer.”

The audit reviewed three grants from Community Oriented Policing Services totaling more than $4.5 million received by the county between July 2009 and September 2013. The money was to hire entry-level police officers and support efforts to reduce child endangerment, but the audit could not account for $783,186. Read the full article:

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/audit-dekalb-used-inflated-crime-stats-to-secure-f/nht9T/

DeKalb County Purchase Card (P-Card) Audit

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DeKalb County P-Card Audit

Mark Niesse and Johnny Edwards wrote an article titled, “Audit: Spending reports sloppy” on October 24, 2014 in the AJC newspaper. The front page article was an investigative piece, highlighting the results of a ten year audit of the Board of Commissioners, their office staff and the clerk’s office purchase card usage.

DeKalb County has been lax in its oversight of spending by elected commissioners, and some officials frequently paid for items on their government debit cards without submitting required receipts, according to an audit released Thursday.

The audit shows the seven commissioners used taxpayer funds to pay for everything from steakhouse dinners to speeding tickets…

The DeKalb commission submitted receipts for just 57% of the transactions. However, the Purchase Card (P-card) spending by commissioners includes (according to the AJC):

1. Elaine Boyer: $103,665 with 40 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408986/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Elaine-Boyer

2. Jeff Rader: $34,606 with 77 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244409024/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Jeff-Rader

3. Larry Johnson: $78,757, with 97 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244409015/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Larry-Johnson

4. Sharon Barnes Sutton: $108,720, with 25 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244410962/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Sharon-Barnes-Sutton

5. Lee May: $57,283, with 39 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408974/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Lee-May

6. Kathie Gannon: $26,327, with 97 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244409040/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Kathie-Gannon

7. Stan Watson: $57,937, with 78 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408999/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Stan-Watson

The DeKalb County Purchase Card (P-Card) audit on the Central Office Administration and Clerks:
https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408960/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Central-Office-and-Clerks

For the entire article, view the link : http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/report-finds-loose-spending-by-dekalb-officials/nhqw7/

NOTE: Stay tuned for our take on this so-called audit. We have not done a complete review as of this date. However, a preliminary perusal of this report leave us with a lot of questions to be asked and answered.

Restore Public Trust Memorandum to the FBI, GBI and Inspector General

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MEMORANDUM
TO: CHRIS CAMPBELL, SPECIAL AGENT WITH DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
FROM: VIOLA DAVIS
SUBJECT: RESTORE PUBLIC TRUST MEMORANDUM TO THE FBI, GBI AND INSPECTOR GENERAL
DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2014

CC: U.S. ATTORNEY SALLY QUILLIAN YATES, CEO LEE MAY, DEKALB BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY ROBERT JAMES, JERALD DALTON, BARBARA SANDERS, RESTORE DEKALB AND ALL APPROPRIATE PARTIES

Restore Public Trust Memorandum to the FBI, GBI and Inspector General
By Viola Davis RN BSN
October 23, 2014

Four reasons DeKalb County vendors/contractors request expansion of the investigation by the FBI, GBI and Inspector General into Purchasing and Contracting, Public Works, IT and Watershed.

I, Viola Davis, with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submitted a 2nd amendment to the ethics complaint to restore public trust against Kelvin Walton, former Director and Chief Procurement Officer of the Department of Purchasing and Contracting and Nina Hall, former Executive Assistant/Secretary to CEO Burrell Ellis, and former Project Manager in the Watershed Department.

With the support of Restore DeKalb, we presented evidenced in a Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint, Amendment I, that provided evidence and testimony of sworn statements by both Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall of lying to a special grand jury, taking money and/or service for personal gain, and engaging in alleged public corruption in purchasing and contracting within a DeKalb County government department. We have submitted over 420 pages of written documentation to justify Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall’s removal from the taxpayers and voters payroll.

DeKalb County has recently reorganized the Purchasing and Contracting Department that has allegedly caused ten people, thus far, to lose their jobs. Yet, the taxpayers and voters financed the salaries of Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall until October 7, 2014. Why?

It’s time for us to come to the reality that this local government has been in a crisis for far too long. As a watchdog group, we have complained for years about a “cloud of corruption” that gives DeKalb County a bad reputation as well as a black eye hindering economic development and decreasing public trust.

How can DeKalb County reorganize and cause ten people to lose their job while forcing the taxpayers and voters by continuing to pay two employees that clearly engaged in alleged illegal activity? Why did Interim CEO Lee May continue to keep Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall suspended “with pay” after such conclusive evidence and written documentation existed?

We need a full forensic audit to expose the “true” financial picture, shortfalls, and alleged criminal activity within the Watershed and Public Works Department. We need a full forensic audit of the IT and Purchasing and Contracting Department. We need an answer to the question, “Is there any criminal activity that should be prosecuted”?

Vendors and Contractors have requested a full criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Inspector General (under RICO) into alleged criminal activity to include:

I. Hopie Strickland’s complaint to the Inspector General:

Bid-rigging (See Exhibit A)

Bid-rigging – Exhibit A Link

False Documentation (evidenced of fraudulent checks – See Exhibit B, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)
Part 1:

False Documentation – Exhibit B Part 1

Part 2:

False Documentation – Exhibit B Part 2

Part 3:

False Documentation – Exhibit B Part 3

Violation of the False Claims Act – (See Exhibit C)

Violation of the False Claims Act – Exhibit C

Fraud – (See Exhibit D)

Fraud – Exhibit D

Kickback, Up-Charging and over-billing – (See Exhibit E)

Kickbacks, Up-charging, and Over-billing – Exhibit E

Tax Fraud – (See Exhibit F)

Tax Fraud – Exhibit F

II. Complaints from Vendors/Contractors alleging criminal activity:

A majority of the documentation above involves a vendor named, Hopie Strickland. DeKalb County staff members were present and/or involved during a majority of the meetings detailing complaints of alleged criminal activity.

However through an Open Records Request, we have identified additional vendors and complaints alleging violation of policy and procedure, violation of the LSBE Ordinance and alleged criminal activity to include:

1. R. Harris requested assistance from Purchasing and Contracting:
a. Complaint of Pass through
b. Disagreement with practice of co-signing checks to another company
c. Complaint of fraud

2. M. Mikell’s letter to Purchasing and Contracting:
a. In March 2010, the DeKalb County Auditor questioned Mikell concerning payments
b. Felton Williams and Sharon Walker were contacted by M. Mikell; however, no follow up on concerns
c. Complaint of fraudulent acts
d. Complaint of major “cover up” by DeKalb County staff
e. Requests and concerns have fallen on “deaf ears”
f. Complaint of unethical behavior and alleged fraudulent schemes/tactics

3. Email from A. Jones to Park and Recreation Department/ Purchasing and Contracting:
a. Complaint of alleged illegal activity involving single bid process
b. Purchasing Department and Parks and Recreation Department set out to target a specific entity which is illegal in itself
c. Complaint that the business did not exist at the time of the RFP

III. The 2012 Special Purpose Grand Jury strongly recommended the District Attorney criminally investigate over 10 people in addition to Burrell Ellis:

A Special Purpose Grand Jury was impaneled on January 20, 2012 pursuant to O.C.G.A 15-12-100 to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the bidding, awarding and management of contracts in the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management during the period of January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2010.

The special grand jury’s final report and presentment of its yearlong investigation into alleged corruption in county watershed department stemming back to the beginning of former CEO Vernon Jones’ administration strongly recommended the District Attorney criminally investigate the following individuals for possible indictment in addition to Burrell Ellis to include:

A. William “Wiz” Miller – Obstructing a criminal investigation.
B. Jabari Simama – Manipulation of selection committee process, perjury and bid-rigging.
C. Roy Barnes – Bid-rigging, kickbacks and perjury.
D. Hadi Haeri – Theft, false writings, perjury and bid-rigging.
E. Nadine Maghsoudlou – Theft, false writing, perjury and bid-rigging.
F. Vernon Jones – Bid-rigging and theft.
G. Paul Champion – Manipulation of the ITB process, false writings, theft and perjury.
H. Kevin Ross – Interference with government operations, manipulation of the RFP/ITB process and bid-rigging.
I. Jeffrey Walker – Theft, bid-rigging and perjury.
J. Christian Vann – False writings
K. John Willis and possibly, other individuals with Brown and Caldwell – theft, bid-rigging and perjury.

We need the FBI, GBI and/or Inspector General to expand their investigation to include the people mentioned in the special grand jury report if District Attorney Robert James continues to place his focus on Burrell Ellis instead of the ten people recommended for investigation and possible indictment.

IV. It is alleged that a Commissioner’s personal property was repaired with taxpayers’ money:

We were approached by several people alleging a DeKalb County Commissioner’s personal property was repaired with taxpayers’ money. Upon receiving the complaint, we submitted Open Records Request to obtain documentation to support the complaint. We spent over two weeks trying to get our Open Records Request answered. However, we would often experience excuses and one mistake after another that limited the information we received. Due to the number of mistakes (intentional or unintentional), we have reason to believe there are some validity to the allegations. We were given permission by one of the people making the allegation to forward the complaint to the FBI and Inspector General. We were informed the initial complaint was made to the District Attorney’s officer; however, no actions were ever taken against the Commissioner in question.

Until we place restoring public trust as a top priority, taxpayers, property owners, homeowners and business owners recommend the Board of Commissioners, those that remain, to immediately demonstrate the value they place in restoring public trust in our local government by enacting the following changes:
• Establish and fund an Internal Auditor.
• Creation of a new anti-corruption unit within the DeKalb Police Department, in concert with the FBI and GBI.
• Support the Board of Ethics and maintain its independence.

We are asking the FBI, GBI and Inspector General to demonstrate the value they place in restoring public trust in our local government by expanding their investigation to include Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall as well as staff persons in the Purchasing and Contracting Department, Public Works Department, IT and Watershed.

There are many DeKalb County taxpayers and voters that value restoring public trust and removing this “Cloud of Corruption”. We need the law enforcement agencies to take immediate action to restore public trust by removing this “cloud of corruption”.

Should CEO Lee May continue to refuse to enact a forensic audit of Purchasing and Contracting, Public Works, IT and Watershed, we respectfully request that the FBI, GBI and Inspector General exercise its given power to expand its investigation to include these department as well as Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall, based on our presentments to the Board of Ethics, such as:

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – Original

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – 1st Complaint

1st amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – Original/Initial Complaint

2nd amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

1st Amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

We strive to present enough documentation and evidence to have this case classified as a RICO case.

Respectfully submitted,

Viola Davis
Community Missionary

Convicted Commissioner wants her pension

Elaine_Boyer_logo
Convicted Commissioner wants her pension
By Catie Beck, WXIA-TV
October 16, 2014

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (WXIA) – She admittedly stole thousands of taxpayer dollars, and now she’s hitting them up for more money.

Former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer has applied to get her full pension from the county – and has been approved.

“It’s outrageous,” said Restore DeKalb member Joel Edwards. “It just doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Edwards says the county watchdog group is needed now more than ever
.
“It’s disbelief,” he said. “They can’t believe it.”

Edwards and other members of the group are outraged to learn that after Boyer admitted to stealing money from the county, she’s now asking for more of it in the form of a pension.

“A lot of people have come to me and voiced their concerns about the elected leaders in this county in disbelief,” Edwards said.

Link for the video and article:

elaine boyer logo 2

http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/2014/10/16/convicted-commissioner-wants-her-pension/17384593/

elaine boyer logo 2

Please read the AJC article by Johnny Edwards below:

Ex-DeKalb commissioner Boyer will get full pension benefits

By Johnny Edwards
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 15, 2014

After apologizing to DeKalb County taxpayers for fleecing them through fraud schemes, ex-commissioner Elaine Boyer hit them up for more money.

Boyer has applied for her county retirement payments, and DeKalb’s pension board will grant her full benefits. That means the crooked former politician, who is 58, will collect tens of thousands of dollars a year for the rest of her life. The county could even be paying her while she’s in prison.

Under Georgia law, public officials and employees convicted of crimes related to their duties should have their benefits reduced by three times the economic impact of their misdeeds, which would have Boyer giving up nearly $300,000. But DeKalb’s attorneys determined she falls in a legal loophole.

So Boyer will get about $23,000 per year, starting with a check early next month for more than $3,800 to cover October and November….

Taxpayers are losing big on the deal, said Viola Davis, a south DeKalb resident who leads the DeKalb Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter group. Even if Boyer pays restitution, it would likely cover only the purchasing card and kickback schemes uncovered by the FBI, not what might turn up in an exhaustive audit of the past decade of Boyer’s spending.

Also vexing, Davis said, is that taxpayers might be making pension payments to former employees implicated, but not charged, in the investigation that led to suspended CEO Burrell Ellis’ prosecution. A jury is deliberating whether he illegally strong-armed vendors into giving him campaign donations. Former purchasing chief Kelvin Walton, the star witness against Ellis and an admitted liar, is reportedly under federal investigation on allegations of receiving cash payments from a sewer contractor.

“Believe me, I’ve run into people who are just totally disgusted with the whole way this process is working out,” Davis said. “I mean, we’re going to be paying them, despite all the wrong they’ve done.”

Read the entire article at the following link:
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/ex-dekalb-commissioner-boyer-will-get-full-pension/nhj2k/

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint: Amendment II with Exhibits A, B, C, D, E and F

kelvin walton and nina hall pic
Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint: Amendment II with Exhibits A, B, C, D, E and F
By Viola Davis RN BSN

October 13, 2014

The ten reasons DeKalb County vendors/contractors demand Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall be fired

I, Viola Davis, with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submit this 2nd amendment to the ethics complaint to restore public trust against Kelvin Walton, former Director and Chief Procurement Officer of the Department of Purchasing and Contracting and Nina Hall, former Executive Assistant/Secretary to CEO Burrell Ellis, and former Project Manager in the Watershed Department.

With the support of Restore DeKalb, we presented evidenced in a Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint, Amendment I, that provided evidence and testimony of sworn statements by both Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall of lying to a special grand jury, taking money and/or service for personal gain, and engaging in alleged public corruption in purchasing and contracting within a DeKalb County government department. To date, we have submitted over 350 pages of written documentation to justify Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall’s removal from the taxpayers and voters payroll.

DeKalb County has recently reorganized the Purchasing and Contracting Department that has allegedly caused ten people, thus far, to lose their jobs. Yet, the taxpayers and voters continue to finance the salaries of Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall. Why?

It’s time for us to come to the reality that our local government has been in a crisis for far too long. As a watchdog group, we have complained for years about a “cloud of corruption” that gives DeKalb County a bad reputation as well as a black eye hindering economic development and decreasing public trust.

Now we are faced with the serious issue of having local politicians indicted for illegal activity and violation of their oaths of office. Yet, a few politicians continue with the same excuses that interfere with the quality of life our community deserves. Our county employees, police and firemen have gone over five years without raises or even a cost of living increase until this last budget year. When will the crisis end? When will a high quality of life and increased public trust begin?

The title of an article, “Ten Reasons DeKalb Vendors Demand Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall Be Fired”, was written to educate the public on facts they may not be aware of and to apply “heat” to Interim Chief Executive Officer Lee May to take action and fire two employees who have clearly engaged in alleged criminal activity. The reasons stated in the article to fire Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall include:

1. Kelvin Walton funneled cash from vendors to a county employee who served on approximately fifteen selection committees for DeKalb County projects. The employee’s name is Nina Hall, formerly the executive assistant/secretary to CEO Burrell Ellis.

2. Kelvin Walton headed a department that practiced out-of-control nepotism and cronyism that fueled alleged criminal activity. Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall violated their job descriptions. Yet, Interim CEO Lee May suspended Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall with pay at a combined taxpayers’ payroll cost of approximately $228,800.
Kelvin Walton’s job description violations include:

One – Reviews procurement activities/documents for compliance with establishing purchasing procedures, federal, state, and local laws. Kelvin Walton violated the established policy and procedure of Purchasing and Contracting and placed the taxpayers and voters of DeKalb County at risk for litigation.
Two – Develops and maintains good business relationships with vendors’ personnel through professional, impartial, and objective dealings with all suppliers, including problem resolution. Hopie Strickland and Alessandro Salvo were denied a fair hearing to resolve their problems that identified alleged criminal activity.
Three – Directs the Contract Compliance division to ensure efforts are being made to foster economic growth of M/WBE/LSBEs by developing First Tier and Second Tier purchasing opportunities. The alleged criminal activity adversely affected the minority companies and forced many to engage in activity that violated the policy, procedure, and LSBE ordinance.
Four – Manages the Invitation to Bid and Request for Proposal process for the county. Kelvin Walton’s alleged criminal activity made a mockery of the bid process.
Five – Mediates disputes between end users and supplies, when necessary. Hopie Strickland and Alessandro Salvo were refused fair mediation.

Nina Hall’s job description violations include:

One – Plans and organizes special events, public hearings, and meetings. Nina Hall refused to plan a meeting between Hopie Strickland and CEO Burrell Ellis because she allegedly knew that Strickland made claims of bid-rigging, kickbacks, false checks, etc. Hall was not hired to serve on the selection committees which allegedly enabled Hall to carry out the will of Kelvin Walton in return for “kickback” funding.
Two – Responds to request for information from CEO and BOC and prepares reports containing findings and recommendation. Reports on problems within the Purchasing and Contracting Department were withheld from CEO Burrell Ellis.
Three – Drafts correspondence for approval of superiors (CEO, Executive Assistant/COO, BOC, etc.) necessary for responding to citizens inquires. Hopie Strickland, a DeKalb County vendor, went years with his complaints being ignored.
Four – Acts as liaison to citizen groups and special teams created to review special projects. Hopie Strickland was denied a meeting with CEO Burrell Ellis because of the close relationship and alleged criminal activity Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall managed to operate undetected.

3. Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall engaged in acts of alleged criminal activity that produced conflicts of interest.
Please view the following videos:

(1) DeKalb County News Sewer Project Corruption:

(2) Whistleblower against DeKalb employees believes he was targeted:

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/whistleblower-against-dekalb-employees-believes-he/nYyxx/

(3) DeKalb special grand jury recommends 12 for criminal investigation:

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/breaking-grand-jury-report-documents-alleged-corru/nZYYD/

(4) DeKalb Corruption witness discusses experience:

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/dekalb-corruption-witness-discusses-experience/nbdsZ/

http://www.ajc.com/videos/news/key-dekalb-county-corruption-witness-breaks/vCHKrz/

(5) DeKalb Corruption against LSBE Vendors:

4. Kelvin Walton, under oath, willfully lied multiple times during his May Special Purpose Grand Jury Testimony and Walton admitted under oath that he lied to the Grand Jury.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/229056323/State-vs-W-Burrell-Ellis-Supplement-to-Supplemental-Motion

5. Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall both refused to answer questions and pleaded the fifth, citing the self-incrimination rule. Kelvin Walton refused to answer 343 questions for fear of self-incrimination. Nina Hall refused to answer 30 questions for fear of self-incrimination.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/dekalb-official-refuses-answer-343-questions-fear-/nfDKt/

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid836881587001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAFIvhljk~,Nz7UFI321EYoDFWhcIAZKj2ZX6ZuGWU-&bclid=1138058770001&bctid=3799988018001

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/government-employees-testify-against-dekalb-ceo-el/nhRtX/

6. Kelvin Walton assisted elected officials and high staff officials in engaging in alleged criminal activity causing an investigation which involves the FBI, US Attorney General, Department of Revenue and the Inspector General.

7. Nina Hall first denied ever receiving gifts or cash from vendors under oath. However, she eventually confessed to receiving cash from Kelvin Walton that allegedly came from Michael Hightower.

8. Kelvin Walton accepted a gift/service from a vendor of cash value without paying for the service.

9. Vendors and employees’ complaints that identified waste, mismanagement, alleged illegal activity by contractors and Kelvin Walton were ignored.

10. Board of Commissioners and DeKalb County staff members’ conflicts of interest that were a cause of action for major media investigations were incorrectly based on information and advice given by Kelvin Walton.

We are asking the Board of Ethics to send a message that we want the madness to end. The local government should focus on the needs of the public, provide a high quality of life, and restore public trust.

We are depending on the Board of Ethics to act and fire Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall if Interim CEO Lee May refuses to do his job by terminating them immediately from the taxpayers’ payroll.

How can DeKalb County reorganize and cause ten people to lose their job while forcing the taxpayers and voters to continue to pay two employees that have clearly engaged in alleged illegal activity? Why has Interim CEO Lee May continued to keep Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall suspended “with pay” after such conclusive evidence and written documentation exists?

We need a full forensic audit to expose the “true” financial picture and shortfalls of Watershed and Public Works Department. We need a full forensic audit of the Purchasing and Contracting Department. We need an answer to the question, “Is there any criminal activity that should be prosecuted”? Vendors and Contractors have requested a full criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into alleged criminal activity to include:

Bid-rigging (See Exhibit A)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242749171/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-Exhibit-A-Bid-rigging-and-or-Contract-Splitting?secret_password=VzdkrRvTkxBBqv56Ebt0

False Documentation (evidenced of fraudulent checks – See Exhibit B, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242319513/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-False-Documentation-Evidenced-By-Fraudulent-Check-Exhibit-B-Part-1?secret_password=A0MVACzh8Jbeq09KIcwT

Part 2

Part 3

Violation of the False Claims Act – (See Exhibit C)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242750407/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-Exhibit-C-D-E-and-F?secret_password=Es5GX59EJUy1wVKrzELZ
Fraud – (See Exhibit D)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242750407/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-Exhibit-C-D-E-and-F?secret_password=Es5GX59EJUy1wVKrzELZ

Kickback, Up-Charging and over-billing – (See Exhibit E)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242750407/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-Exhibit-C-D-E-and-F?secret_password=Es5GX59EJUy1wVKrzELZ

Tax Fraud – (See Exhibit F)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242750407/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-Exhibit-C-D-E-and-F?secret_password=Es5GX59EJUy1wVKrzELZ

Until we place restoring public trust as a top priority, taxpayers, property owners, homeowners and business owners will have increased lack of trust in our local government. We are asking that the Board of Ethics recommend the Board of Commissioners, those that remain, to immediately demonstrate the value they place in restoring public trust in our local government by enacting the following changes:

• Establish and fund an Internal Auditor.
• Creation of a new anti-corruption unit within the DeKalb Police Department, in concert with the FBI and GBI.
• Support the Board of Ethics and maintain its independence.

We are asking our Board of Ethics to demonstrate the value they place in restoring public trust in our local government by firing Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall if Interim CEO Lee May refuses to immediately do so as we have requested.

There are many DeKalb County taxpayers and voters that value restoring public trust and removing this “Cloud of Corruption”. We need the Board of Ethics to take immediate action to restore public thrust by removing this “cloud of corruption”.

Should CEO Lee May continue to employ Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall with pay, we respectfully request that the Board of Ethics exercise its given power to terminate Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall based on our presentments to the Board of Ethics, such as:

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – Original

1st amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

2nd amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

https://www.scribd.com/doc/242320633/Restore-Public-Trust-Ethics-Complaint-Amendment-II-Executive-Summary?secret_password=ffvecAKCeAvJWh2lRn4Q

Respectfully submitted,

Viola Davis
Community Missionary

Restore DeKalb Presents People’s Forum I & II – September 13th at 9:30am

restore $100 million to dcss

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2014

FROM: Viola Davis, Founder
Restore DeKalb
P.O. Box 831894,
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
CONTACT:
Phone: 404-573-2813
Email: RestoreDeKalb@gmail.com
Website: http://restoredekalb.org

Restore DeKalb Presents People’s Forum I & II
PEOPLE’S FORUM I & II

Learn what the politicians don’t want you to know at the Sanford Realty Company Conference Center, 4183 Snapfinger Woods Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30083:

• Forum I – September 13, 2014
• Forum II – October 11, 2014
• Both start at 9:30am

  • HELP RESTORE $100 MILLION TO DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM (DCSS)
  • HELP STOP THE REMOVAL OF OVER $100 MILLION DOLLARS FROM DCSS SINCE 2006 TO TAX POOR/RECEIVER COUNTIES SUCH AS GWINNETT.
  • HELP RESTORE PUBLIC TRUST (UPDATE ON ETHICS COMPLAINTS)

Restore_DeKalb_Logo_1

We are forwarding links to the petition, resolution, flyers, and brochure (etc.) for Restore 100+ Million to DeKalb County School System. If we had this money, we would have enough money to finance the following:

• We would not need the money from cell towers on school grounds
• We would have enough money to finance charter clusters
• We would have enough money to increase the pay of our school employees
• We would have enough money to finance the needs of our refugee students
• Etc.

1. Restore $100 Million To DCSS – Resolution: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208057170/Restore-100-Million-To-DeKalb-County-School-System-DCSS-Resolution

2. Restore $100 Million To DCSS – Petition: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208056402/Restore-100-Million-To-DeKalb-County-School-System-DCSS-Petition

3. Restore $100 Million To DCSS – Brochure Front: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208055182/Restore-100-Million-To-DeKalb-County-School-System-DCSS-Brochure-Front

4. Restore $100 Million To DCSS – Brochure Back: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208055888/Restore-100-Million-To-DeKalb-County-School-System-DCSS-Brochure-Back

5. Restore $100 Million To DCSS – Flyer Front: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208053232/Restore-100-Million-To-DeKalb-County-School-System-DCSS-Flyer-Front

6. Restore $100 Million To DCSS – Flyer Back: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208054138/Restore-100-Million-To-DeKalb-County-School-System-Flyer-Back

7. Restore $100 Million to DCSS – PowerPoint Presentation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208788430/Restore-100-Million-to-Dekalb-County-School-System-DCSS-Restore-DeKalb-Presentation-PDF-File

8. Restore DCSS Funding Video: Redistribution of Wealth – DCSS with Tom Bowen: http://youtu.be/xW38VZ-lOKM

9. Restore DCSS Funding Video: Inequity in Funding & Redistribution of Wealth with Rep. Billy Mitchell:

Elaine Boyer Resigns and Plans to Plead Guilty

elaine boyer pic

Northern District of Department of Justice

Former DeKalb County Commissioner Charged With Stealing County Funds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 26, 2014

ATLANTA – Elaine Boyer, the former Commissioner of District 1 in DeKalb County, Ga., has been arraigned on charges relating to her embezzlement of county funds and misuse of her DeKalb County credit card.

“As an elected County Commissioner, Ms. Boyer had a duty to serve the best interests of the citizens of DeKalb County,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Instead of honoring that commitment, Ms. Boyer stole from the citizens she was sworn to serve by diverting thousands of dollars in county funds to her personal bank account and using her county-issued credit card like it was her own.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Public corruption based investigations often stem from actions that would be seen as clearly improper and illegal to the average person. The charges in this case, however, reflect criminal actions of a twenty-two year veteran DeKalb County Commissioner who knew fully the nature of her actions and she will now face the consequences of those actions. The FBI places a high priority toward investigating allegations of public corruption due to the extensive harm that it can cause on many levels and we ask that anyone with information regarding such allegations to please contact their nearest FBI field office.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In DeKalb County, Ga., the Board of Commissioners (“BOC”) serves as the legislative branch of the DeKalb County Government. The BOC is comprised of seven part-time commissioners, who are elected to serve four-year terms. Each of the seven Commissioners is responsible for the management of their respective offices, which includes controlling the offices’ budget and hiring staff members, contractors, and consultants. In recent years, the operating budget for a Commissioner’s office has been approximately $250,000 per year. The Commissioners may use their budget only for county-related business.

Since 1992, Ms. Boyer served as the Commissioner of District 1, which serves citizens in north DeKalb County, including in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Tucker, and Smoke Rise, Ga. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Boyer sat on the BOC’s Finance, Budget, and Audit Committee and was the Chairwoman of the Employee Relations and Community Services Committee. Boyer’s term of office was to expire in 2016; however, Boyer resigned yesterday.

In September 2009, as the Commissioner of District 1, Ms. Boyer retained an individual (“Advisor”) supposedly to assist her with government consulting and advisory duties on issues that affected her constituents. From September 2009 to November 2011, false invoices were submitted to Ms. Boyer’s office for consulting services purportedly rendered by Advisor. In fact, Advisor performed no services for Ms. Boyer, District 1 constituents, or DeKalb County. Ms. Boyer used the false invoices as a basis to authorize payments to Advisor. Based on requisition requests from Ms. Boyer, DeKalb County mailed approximately 35 checks to Advisor for consulting services that were never performed. In total, DeKalb County paid Advisor more than $78,000, believing that legitimate services had been performed for the county.

After being paid by DeKalb County, Advisor funneled approximately 75% of the money received from DeKalb County into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account. Between September 2009 and November 2011, Advisor deposited more than $58,000 in DeKalb County funds into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account (while retaining the remainder of the money). In turn, Ms. Boyer used the money deposited into her account to pay personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.

Additionally, in her capacity as a Commissioner, DeKalb County issued Ms. Boyer a Visa Purchasing Card (“P-Card”) to make county-related purchases. On January 14, 2010, she signed a Cardholder Users’ Agreement stating she would not use the P-Card to make personal purchases.

From October 2010 to February 2014, Ms. Boyer made more than 50 personal purchases on her P-Card, including purchasing airline tickets and hotel rooms for herself and her family for personal travel. In total, she made over $15,000 worth of purchases on her P-Card for personal goods and services.

Elaine Boyer, 57, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was charged via Criminal Information with conspiring to committed mail fraud and with wire fraud. She is scheduled to plead guilty at 3:00 p.m., on September 3, 2014, before U.S. District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans.

Members of the public are reminded that the information only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Kurt R. Erskine are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office atUSAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division ishttp://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.