Three years ago, a grand jury indicted Davetta Johnson Mitchell, alleging she used seven checks to steal $40,000 in public money. Now, after the case nearly slipped through the cracks, a judge says the former executive director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority will finally get her month in court.
Infighting and tax troubles threaten the future of a citizens’ group founded to improve the Summerhill community near Turner Field. The Summerhill Neighborhood Development Corp. has sued its founder, former state Rep. Douglas Dean, alleging he secretly pledged the nonprofit’s property to back $2.4 million in bank loans — now in default — to benefit a private developer. The non-profit, according to the suit, “now faces the very real possibility of losing substantially all of its real property assets.” In addition, federal tax records list $470,000 in unsecured, interest-free loans from the non-profit to Dean and his wife, and $50,000 to the group’s new CEO. Dean says those payments were reimbursements of money he loaned the non-profit over the years. IRS auditors could find little or no documentation for those debts.
Two years ago, Davetta Johnson Mitchell was accused of stealing $40,000 of public money six to nine years ago. When she will go to trial – if ever – is anybody’s guess. Last week marked the second anniversary of her indictment for writing allegedly unauthorized checks to herself when she ran the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority. It took years to seek criminal charges, prosecutors say, because the authority’s records under Mitchell were a shambles. “They were not organized in any way,” assistant district attorney Kellie Hill said. “They were simply boxes of paper.”