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Warrants: Execs transferred $23 million from electric co-op

Cobb County authorities allege that executives of a non-profit electric cooperative illegally transferred at least $23 million from the co-op to a business in which they had a financial interest. Cobb sheriff’s deputies and the GBI served search warrants Wednesday at the EMC offices and the homes of three co-op executives – CEO Dwight Brown […]

Cash-strapped MARTA awarded 114 pay raises topping 10%

Cash-strapped MARTA awarded 114 pay raises topping 10%

Atlanta’s rapid-transit agency, which warns of drastic service cuts on the horizon, approved at least 114 pay raises ranging from 10 to 40 percent for 2007-08, according to a legislative oversight committee. More than half went to managers. MARTA is asking the General Assembly for permission to tap into $65 million reserved for capital projects […]

Atlanta schools plan to renegotiate BeltLine deal

Atlanta school officials took action Monday to keep some or all of an $18 million pot collected for the city’s BeltLine project. The Board of Education voted to change the effective date of its decision to allow school tax money to be spent on the BeltLine. The board first OK’d the funding in 2005. Under […]

Judge fines Atlanta’s Jim Maddox $6,650

Judge fines Atlanta's Jim Maddox $6,650

A judge has ordered Atlanta City Councilman Jim Maddox (right) to pay a $6,650 fine for failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in campaign expenditures. Maddox, a councilman for 32 years, filed three reports indicating his campaign spent no money during the last six months of 2005. He amended the reports several months […]

AJC makes it official: 74 more writers, photographers take voluntary buyout

Julia Wallace, editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, today announced names of 74 newsroom employees who will take a voluntary buyout. Each will receive two weeks’ pay for every year of service, with a maximum of 52 weeks. There are many award-winning photographers and writers here. They include Gayle White, Jim Auchmutey, Andy Miller, Louie Favorite, […]

Lisa Borders: Was she lobbying illegally, or ‘only visiting friends’?

Lisa Borders: Was she lobbying illegally, or 'only visiting friends'?

A state ethics investigation is trying to find out whether Lisa Borders (right), president of the Atlanta City Council, lobbied state legislators on behalf of her employer without registering as a lobbyist. A complaint filed with the State Ethics Commission alleges that Borders, then a vice president of Cousins Properties, lobbied in 2007 for passage […]

11th-hour change may muzzle ethics agency

By JIM WALLS April 6, 2009 — Georgia legislators, in the final hours of their 2009 session on Friday, appear to have muzzled the agency that monitors their compliance with campaign finance laws. Last-minute changes to Senate Bill 168 redefined the powers of the State Ethics Commission, which enforces laws governing financial disclosure for political […]

Dismissed DeKalb police chief a perfect ‘5’ on 2007 eval

Dismissed DeKalb police chief a perfect '5' on 2007 eval

DeKalb County Police Chief Terrell Bolton (right) had it made in 2007, with a perfect score –- all 5’s (Page 4) — on his probationary 6-month personnel evaluation. But it was downhill from there –- ending with his new boss, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, firing him in February. Bolton will challenge his dismissal at a civil […]

Ethics budget takes 30% hit for 2009-10

Ethics budget takes 30% hit for 2009-10

The State Ethics Commission will lose about 30 percent of its current funding in the 2010 state budget passed Friday. The Georgia House and Senate compromised on a $1.2 million budget for the agency in negotiations on the last day of the 2009 legislative session. The House last week slashed spending on ethics enforcement to […]

Regent sold $76 million in cars to state — $9.8 million to universities

Regent sold $76 million in cars to state -- $9.8 million to universities

Car dealer Allan Vigil (right) has sold $9.8 million of cars and trucks to the University System of Georgia, which he oversees as a member of the state Board of Regents, since 2002. That figure represents just a fraction of his dealerships’ $76 million in sales to state agencies in the past seven years, according […]

Tax breaks could cost Georgians $265,000 per job created

Tax breaks approved by the Georgia House would save businesses half a billion dollars for creating 2,200 jobs at a cost of $265,000 per job, the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute says. A cut to stimulate home-buying would cost $149,545 per home.

TAD bill amended yet again to give ATL, Gainesville an “opt out”

House Bill 63, which would let the BeltLine and other Tax Allocation District projects use school tax money, was amended yet again this afternoon in the Senate. With the latest change, school systems in Atlanta and Gainesville could “opt out” of their earlier approval of funding. That use of school funds was ruled unconstitutional last […]

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    Atlanta Mainstream goes deeper into news covered by the mainstream media -- posting documents to show the story behind the story.

  • do it yourself investigation

    You can look up liens for back taxes or other debts in the property record room at your county courthouse. For a fee, a statewide database of liens and property records can be searched online at the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority.

    The GSCCCA database is not foolproof, though. A thorough search of Fulton County's property records, for instance, will require a visit to the courthouse. That's because Fulton County's records are, to use a technical term, screwed up. Some fairly recent records have been lost so some lien cancellations, among other things, are not indexed properly. Some cancellations are not recorded by the clerk for a year of more after they are filed. In one instance, the tax commissioner did not cancel the lien after it had been paid off.