Wednesday, November 4, 2015
So there have been some allegations as of late of bad behavior by Dekalb County employees. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s investigative team has been following up and Wednesday I was sent out to the Seminole Road Landfill to get art to help accentuate the story.
This particular part of the story involves a department director who allegedly had mulch delivered to his house for free. Usually a Dekalb County resident could go to the landfill and load up on mulch without a cost associated with it but having it delivered would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $90. While that may or may not be bad enough this particular instance is combined with so much more. A team of corruption investigators set up a tip line for DeKalb County employees, and accusations poured in: Theft by a department director, a garbage collector shaking down a nightclub, theft of metal parts by a supervisor, a landfill superintendent stealing gasoline. The investigators were following at least a dozen trails of theft, bribery and malfeasance within two DeKalb County departments before acting CEO Lee May shut them down.
The team assembled by Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde appears to have substantiated several allegations, but for unclear reasons left the details out of their 40-page report. Examples included a supervisor was caught pilfering metal parts, but then received only a 5-day suspension, an assistant director crashed a county vehicle, left the scene of the accident, and later got promoted to director and of course the mulch allegation. The notes reveal that Bowers’ team found patterns of abuse and might have eventually substantiated that the county government is “rotten to the core,” but now that probe is terminated. And employees who came forward are left in limbo.