executive order 2015-2

Why Was Michael Bowers’ Name Removed as Lead Special Investigator on the 2nd Executive Order

Why Was Michael Bowers’ Name removed as Lead Special Investigator on the 2nd Executive Order?

The difference between ICEO Lee May’s Executive Order No. 2015-1 (1st Executive Order) and 2015-2 (2nd Executive Order)
By Viola Davis, August 9, 2015

Executive Order 2015-1, the 1st Executive Order, had the following language removed from the 2nd executive order. Michael J. Bowers’ name is not mentioned anywhere on the 2nd executive order. Please compare the major differences between the two documents.

In the 1st Executive Order, Michael J. Bowers and Richard L. Hyde’s names are listed as Special Investigators. The law firm of Balch & Bingham, LLP is also named in the 1st executive order. However, Bowers’ name and the law firm was removed from the 2nd executive order. See the language below:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lee N. May, Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, Georgia, in consideration of the aforementioned, do hereby appoint Michael J. Bowers and Richard L. Hyde as Special Investigators to provide a thorough systematic review of DeKalb County Government policies and procedures to identify any conflicts of interest, corruption or malfeasance and make specific recommendations in an effort to improve county operations, restore our image and the public’s trust in county government and order as follows:

1. The Special Investigators shall be independent and shall be appointed for a term, not less than 120 days, subject to extensions by the Chief Executive Officer necessitated by the findings of the Special Investigators. The Special Investigators shall be assisted by the law firm of Balch & Bingham, LLP or others they deem necessary to carry out their duties as Special Investigators.

The actions the Special Investigator shall perform were changed. The language from (a) through (f) were removed from the 2nd executive order. Please view the language (a) through (f) below:

a. Evaluate the need to establish an Inspector General office or a similar government position;

b. Review internal investigation protocols;

c. Review the County’s internal controls (Enterprise Risk Management);

d. Review personnel policies and procedures to ensure proper hiring practices;

e. Review the County’s financial controls to ensure the Finance and Budget Departments are achieving their objectives;

f. Review the DeKalb County Ethics Code and other existing county oversight mechanisms to ensure that the county is operating with the highest ethical standards;

The responsibilities of current officials and employees under the authority of the Chief Executive Officer were completely removed from the 2nd executive order. See the language that was removed below:

4. Responsibilities of current officials and employees under the authority of the Chief Executive Officer:

a. In addition to any other reporting obligations, promptly report to the Special Investigators any information concerning corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or of other allegations of misconduct in DeKalb County government;

b. Interference with, obstruction of or dishonesty with the Special Investigators, or their designees, by an official or employee of DeKalb County Government under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer may constitute cause for disciplinary action, up to and including removal from office or employment or other appropriate penalty;

c. Prior to any such questioning, the official or employee, upon request, shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to obtain legal representation at his or her own cost;

d. No official or employee who complies with this directive shall be subject to retaliatory dismissal, discipline or other adverse personnel action, based upon a truthful report.

The penalty phase was removed from the 2nd executive order:

The refusal of any official or employee to answer questions or to fully cooperate with the Special Investigators may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including removal from office or employment or other appropriate penalty.

The fees due to be paid to Mr. Bowers and all his attorneys were removed from the 2nd executive order. View the language below:

a. The Special Investigators shall be paid for this investigation as follows: Mr. Bowers and all attorneys will bill at a flat rate of $400 per hour; Mr. Hyde and all investigators, at a flat rate of $300 per hour. Paralegals will bill at $150 per hour. The Special Investigators will submit a monthly report to the Chief Executive Officer detailing the hours worked by individual and by task; this report shall include all expenses of the investigation incurred to date.

In Executive Order 2015-2 (2nd Executive Order), Richard L. Hyde’s name is mentioned as the Special Investigator and Michael J. Bowers’ name is removed. The law firm of Balch & Bingham, LLP was also removed. View the new language below:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lee N. May, Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, Georgia, in consideration of the aforementioned, do hereby appoint Richard L. Hyde as Special Investigator to provide a thorough systematic review of DeKalb County Government policies and procedures to identify any conflicts of interest, corruption or malfeasance and make specific recommendations in an effort to improve county operations, restore our image and the public’s trust in county government and order as follows:

The 2nd Executive Order had the following language added to include:

A. Prior to any questioning by the Special Investigator or his assistants, the official or employee, upon request, shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to obtain legal representation at his or her own cost;

B. When an employee is requested to give information or participate in an interview, the employee shall be apprised through signing an agreement of his or her right to remain silent; that anything said may be used against him or her in both a criminal or administrative proceeding; and that he or she cannot be disciplined for remaining silent.

The effective date was changed:

a. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon signature and publication. This Executive Order, along with Executive Order No. 2015-1, supersedes and replaces the Executive Order issued on March 18, 2015.

We placed copies of both Executive Orders online for the public to review. Once we have copies of the funds paid to the Special Investigators, we will post copies of the checks.

If you have any questions, please email us at UnhappyTaxpayers@gmail.com.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/274036681/Why-Was-Michael-Bowers-Name-Removed-as-Lead-Special-Investigator-on-the-2nd-Executive-Order

https://www.scribd.com/doc/274036681/Why-Was-Michael-Bowers-Name-Removed-as-Lead-Special-Investigator-on-the-2nd-Executive-Order