DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A series of Channel 2 Action News investigations exposed corruption and questionable use of taxpayer dollars in DeKalb County, now a task force wants to take drastic steps to regain public trust.
The task force, formed after reports by Channel 2, has a list of ideas including one suggestion to take everyone’s purchase cards away.
The move comes after the resignation of county commissioner Elaine Boyer, who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.
"I’ve betrayed the people and I’ve abused my position of power," Boyer told Channel 2 in an exclusive interview.
Prosecutors said Boyer used her purchase card to front herself money to pay for flights and family vacations.
As the investigation unfolded, Channel 2 learned Boyer funneled taxpayer dollars into her personal bank account.
“The purchasing card is strictly a convenience. It’s really not a necessity,” county commissioner Jeff Rader told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield.
Rader is serving as a member of the 17 person operations task force created by the county’s interim CEO.
The group’s early recommendations include suspending purchase card use across the county, taking away the ethics board’s power to remove elected officials but giving them power to issue fines, hiring an internal auditor and adopting a purchase policy.
“I don’t think that it addresses every problem in the county, but at the same time I think it’s a good start and I certainly hope there will be action in response to these recommendations by the General Assembly,” Rader said.
The task force also wants the Georgia General Assembly to create a charter commission responsible for identifying more change.
Rader told Byfield he thinks county commissioners should voluntarily give their purchase cards back.