by: Richard Belcher Updated:JONESBORO, Ga. —
Channel 2 Action News has learned a longtime official of Clayton County's juvenile court is out of work and under investigation over misused money.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher has learned Gerald Bostock was fired because of how he spent money intended for foster children.
Judge Steve Teske with the Clayton County Juvenile Court told Belcher that Bostock misspent money that's supposed to be used to recruit and train volunteers who work with children coming through the court system.
Teske said Bostock used the money, which comes from fees collected in superior court then sent to a nonprofit that works with Clayton's juvenile court, for "meals, including alcohol and restaurants, and bars in and around the midtown Atlanta area."
The website of the nonprofit called Friends of Clayton County CASA includes pictures of the board members the court thought were overseeing the money.
"Is it fair to say that there was virtually zero oversight on this for a period of time?" Belcher asked Teske.
"Yes, sir. There was no, no oversight," Teske
A special audit found that Bostock had a debit card and virtually unfettered access to court fees sent to Friends of CASA. The audit documented purchases at
bars and restaurants like Cow Tippers and Frogs.
Teske said Bostock also used the money to sponsor his Atlanta softball team.
"I don't see how you can justify going to Atlanta to recruit volunteers for Clayton County," Teske said.
The judge turned over the findings to Clayton County's DA and has ordered strict new controls over the fees coming from superior court.
"This has to be open. It has to be transparent, because there are lessons to be learned here, not from us, not only by us, but potentially others as well," Teske said.
Teske said Bostock convinced the Friends of Casa board members they had no role in managing the funds coming in from the superior
court, but said the questionable financial management at the agency does not diminish the good work done in the Casa program.
Belcher was unable to reach Bostock for comment on this story.