Sept. 23, 2015 — A DeKalb County commissioner’s lawyer is promising a full-court press against allegations that she misused a taxpayer-funded purchasing card. Dwight Thomas, attorney for Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, pushed the DeKalb Board of Ethics on Tuesday for access to her investigative file, then waived her preliminary hearing when he couldn’t get them. Thomas told the board to set aside “a couple days” for a full hearing on her case, tentatively set for December.
Two DeKalb County housing officials were cleared Wednesday of ethics charges stemming from their solicitation of political and charitable contributions from a private developer. George Maddox and Dorothy Williams, both board members of the DeKalb Housing Authority, each accepted $2,500 in donations from the developer. The DeKalb Board of Ethics found no evidence that the transactions influenced their official actions.
Two DeKalb County housing officials face an ethics inquiry into their requests for charitable and political donations from a developer doing business with their agency. An Oct. 19 hearing is scheduled for Dorothy Williams and former state Rep. George Maddox, both members of the DeKalb County Housing Authority’s board, who asked developer Dave Dixon to give to various causes. Dixon said he or his business gave them each $2,500 for a total of $5,000.
The founder of the PATH Foundation may continue to serve on the board of the DeKalb County Development Authority, the county’s Board of Ethics ruled tonight. DeKalb has paid PATH $8 million since 2004 to manage construction of biking and hiking trails in the county. Neighborhood activists complained that PATH’s executive director, Ed McBrayer, had a conflict of interest because he also serves on the authority’s board.
Twice a year, members of the Cobb County ethics board meet to deal with housekeeping matters. Then they go home. For a time last year, DeKalb’s ethics board couldn’t even muster a quorum. And in Fulton, a state legislator contends the ethics board cannot impose fines or sanctions because its members were appointed improperly. Bottom line: Local ethics boards get no respect.