July 11, 2016 – Vendors and companies with business before DeKalb County officials kicked in tens of thousands of dollars in undisclosed donations to fund a county commissioner’s pet community projects, newly available public records show.
At least $44,000 was collected on behalf of Commissioner Stan Watson from 2011 to 2014 from such companies, including water and sewer vendors, pension investment managers and companies seeking tax breaks and land-use decisions from the county.
Atlanta Unfiltered obtained records naming many donors to the Watson’s fund, unidentified until now, from the state ethics commission through a request under the Open Records Act. The commission last month dismissed a complaint against the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, which acted as fiscal agent for the fund, but is conducting a preliminary inquiry into Watson.
Kendrick paid her campaign consultant, Warren Mosby, $100 an hour from her legislative expense account as a “senior consultant” on redistricting in 2011 and in preparation for the 2012 legislative session. The $2,000 from Kendrick’s legislative account paid Mosby to compile statistics on her old and new districts and to organize town-hall meetings to inform constituents about the changes. The $100-an-hour rate, she said, was based on her trust in his abilities. Most legislators pay part-time aides much less, but the amounts are within a legislator’s discretion. “You literally get what you pay for,” she observed. Mosby’s brother is Rep. Howard Mosby, chairman of DeKalb County’s House delegation.
Kendrick’s campaign committee has also reimbursed her $4,610 for expenses without specifying the end recipient of the money or, in most cases, the purpose. State campaign finance rules specify that candidates must provide those details. Most of those expenses, Kendrick said, were for travel or for campaign obligations that had to be paid immediately.