Ethics board drops 4 complaints, looks deeper into others

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County's Ethics Board threw out complaints against four elected officials and decided to take a closer look at alleged ethical violations by four other county commissioners.

At one point every DeKalb County commissioner faced an ethics complaint; by Friday that had changed.
 
The Ethics Board voted to drop complaints against Interim CEO Lee May, Commissioner Jeff Rader, Commissioner Stan Watson and Sheriff Jeff Mann.
 
"I believe that my actions have been above board and appropriate," May told Channel 2 Action News.
 
The board with the power to remove elected officials provided various reasons for the dismissals.
 
With regards to Mann, they cited a lack of jurisdiction over the DeKalb County’s Sheriff's Office. By phone, Mann told Channel 2's Erica Byfield he was pleased with the board's decision.
 
The board dropped complaints against Watson because out-of-state corruption claims didn't pan out.
 
They dropped complaints against May and Rader because the allegations either lacked specificity or weren’t something they could address.
 
"I think the process worked and it exonerated me from the accusations," Rader said.
 
“Literally, I received a complaint for giving the Ethics Board more resources in order to do their job,” May said.
 
The board still plans to investigate four commissioners. There are still ethical questions about how they may have spent tax dollars.

Specifically, questions about how Elaine Boyer paid for family vacations, why Sharon Barnes Sutton is missing receipts for nearly $30,000 in spending, surrounding Larry Johnson for money donated to a performing arts center, and Kathie Gannon for gift cards she allegedly bought county employees. All four commissioners say they did nothing wrong.

The ethics board announced they will have a preliminary hearing on Boyer’s case next month. They have not set an exact date yet.  


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