GBI investigating Clayton Co. police chief over grant money

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. —

The Clayton County police chief is the subject of a Georgia Bureau of Investigations inquiry regarding grant money.

Channel 2’s Mark Winne questioned Chief Greg Porter as GBI agents left.

“Very disappointed at the district attorney, wasting taxpayers’ dollars in reference to a meritless situation. I welcome any inquiry by the GBI,” Porter said.

Porter said he asked the GBI to come see him when he learned he was under investigation by District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.

A letter from Lawson to GBI Director Vernon Keenan said a judge and court administrator brought to her attention allegations of theft of about $36,000 in grant money by Porter and his brother, Robert Porter.

The GBI said its investigation is currently under way, and it needs to interview more people.

Porter said the allegations involve an off-duty job he had when he was deputy chief. He said he performed surveillance to make sure DUI probationers were following the rules.

He said the job was funded by a special grant, and he eventually turned to work over to his brother, a deputy sheriff.

“We’ve never stole anything from Clayton County or anybody else. We wasn’t raised like that,” Porter said.

Porter said the DUI program was a financial and administrative mess through no fault of his own. He said he complained about possible overpayment and missed payments via email. He said around 2 1/2 years ago he paid back roughly $13,000 to err on the side of caution.

“I feel, at this point, they owe me some money,” Porter said.

Porter said he believes Lawson perceives him to be part of the wrong political faction. He says he isn’t part of any political faction.

Robert Porter told Winne by phone he has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide. He called the investigation a “political thing.”

Lawson said the investigation has nothing to do with politics, and she has referred the case to the GBI for independent investigation. She said she has disqualified her office and referred the matter to the State Attorney General’s Office for any decisions about whether to prosecute.