• Feds subpoena more records linked to ex-DeKalb commissioner

    By: Richard Belcher

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY. Ga. - Federal prosecutors and the FBI appear to have widened their search for corruption in DeKalb County.

    Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Richard Belcher got hold of a new grand jury subpoena that reveals several contractors and one ex-politician are the subjects of federal interest.

    The subpoena was first reported Tuesday by our investigative partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AJC.com.

    It’s at least the second to demand that DeKalb County produce records related to former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, but this one is far more comprehensive.

    When Belcher asked about the subpoena, county CEO Michael Thurmond said the county will comply with the subpoena “fully and completely”

    DeKalb County officials told Belcher they were instructed by the county's chief legal officer to say nothing.


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    “Our county attorney has advised us not to comment on that at this time, so at the moment, I think I’m going to heed her advice,” DeKalb County Commissioner Steve Bradshaw said.

    “The county attorney, she's the most brilliant person, so she told us not to comment, so she's going to give us more details,” DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson.

    The six-page subpoena dated last Friday demands that the county deliver potentially thousands of pages of records on county commission activities dating back as far back as 2008.

    It specifies information related to contracts with three contractors.

    At least some of that work involved the new Snapfinger water treatment plant in south DeKalb County.

    The subpoena doesn’t name Sutton, who left office two years ago, but it refers to spending from her 4th District office.

    Prosecutors also want records related to the local law firm that represented Sutton and her former boyfriend.

    One county commissioner welcomes any review of county contracting, especially in light of the county auditor's recommendations for closer inspections of big contracts.

    “It suggests to me that we need to implement that audit requirement for all of our procurements over $1 million that came from that audit of our procurement department, and so I would hope that we would implement that, and scrutiny is always good,” DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester told Belcher.

    The subpoena indicates that prosecutors in the public integrity section of the Justice Department in Washington are overseeing the case with the assistance of the FBI In Atlanta.

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