Rhonda Cook is reporting that a Cobb County grand jury indicted former DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker today on charges that she lied to state investigators looking into her handling of the 2013 sentencing of DeKalb’s one-time school Superintendent Crawford Lewis.
“Corruption in DeKalb County is rampant” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Davis in federal court. Earlier this week, Mark Niesse reported on John Boyer, the husband of former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, who was sentenced Wednesday to serve a year and a day in a federal prison camp for an $85,000 kickback scheme.
Mike Bowers, former Attorney General of Georgia and Richard Hyde, chief investigator for the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, wrote a letter to Lee May calling DeKalb County Government “Rotten to the Core.”
Last week, Interim CEO Lee May talked about the ongoing corruption investigation on WABE’s “A Closer Look”. Commissioner Nancy Jester responded this week on WABE’s “A Closer Look”.
The following is an excerpt from that interview with Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer.
Denis O’Hayer – The interim CEO set a deadline for a week from today for the investigators, Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde, to submit the report and there’s currently no funding for it to continue beyond that. When he was here last week, he insisted that all that doesn’t necessarily mean the investigation it is suddenly going to end next week.
Recording of last week’s interview with Interim CEO Lee May,
“Lee May – I know people are reading into everything, saying I’m cutting it off and I’m firing them. They’re not being cut off, they’re not being fired. The executive order said after 120 days we will get a detailed report. I’m sticking to what I said over 4 months ago.
Denis O’Hayer – So it could continue?
Lee May – There are possibilities there. I’m not saying that it will continue. I’m saying this will be the beginning of us implementing some things to protect the county.”
Denis O’Hayer – Doesn’t that give you at least some confidence that if the investigators report shows evidence of serious ongoing problems Mr May will push for the money to continue?
Commissioner Nancy Jester – I think the statements here were certainly an effort to walk back a previous tone he previously cast out there. He was strident before and now he is saying “whoa” let me back off and we’ll see what’s in the report. Let me correct one thing, Mr. Bowers and Mr. Hyde have made it perfectly clear that the deadline is October 6th. I look forward to their report very much.
Rose Scott – Commissioner Jester, you said you thought Mr May was nervous about the probe and in your words saying “it was too close to something”, “something that he’s uncomfortable with.” Those are your exact words. Without any evidence but yet the investigators are even looking at Interim CEO May, why would you say that? Why make the charge that maybe he’s nervous or uncomfortable about something? One could argue that’s a deliberate charge that he’s doing something correct.
Nancy Jester – Again, I await all the information. But, we certainly know, it’s already come out the irregularities with fixing the plumbing at his house and the $4,000 check that remains unsolved that he said did not receive but was made payable to him by a contractor that did work for the county and later got a contract.
I don’t know if any of that will be discussed in the probe of the investigative report or if that is something that is now under consideration by law enforcement. And I don’t know where that stands. But that is not in question, that’s a fact. That’s been documented and reported on so I don’t know is that something he’s uncomfortable with? Is there something else? Are there people in the administration that he’s uncomfortable with what’s going to happen? I don’t know, I’ll leave that to him, but it makes suggestions.
Denis O’Hayer – Why hint that he’s too close to something or nervous when we haven’t even seen the report yet?
Nancy Jester – We do know about that check, that’s documented. That’s not been fully reconciled publicly. I don’t know the end result of that.
Denis O’Hayer – He said he never received that money and whoever wrote that check had nothing to do with him. Maybe the report will sort some of that out, which brings up the question, “Why not wait for the report?”
Nancy Jester – I am waiting for the report. When a Former Attorney General and the Chief Investigator for the Judicial Qualifications Commission of the state of Georgia, two men with sterling reputations, come out and they write that letter. They are serious men, and you have to take them incredibly seriously and I do.
I though the tone of the county’s CEO, after that letter was released, was not serious enough. It did not take those allegations written by these two men very seriously and they are serious men indeed.
Rose Scott – What did you think about the tone of the letter from Mike Bowers? That was pretty charged too. He said from the top to the bottom, which could include all the Commissioners as well as Lee May. So what was your reaction to the tone of that letter?
Nancy Jester – I thought that letter needed to be taken seriously. I thought it was a serious tone. Again these men have credibility. There are people in jail right now from the Atlanta cheating scandal because of the work they did. They are serious people. I don’t think they’re prone to hyperbole. So, I don’t take them as being over the top in that letter. I think that they are going to back up everything they wrote in that letter, because they have done that before when they have investigated things. They’ve done a great job and I look forward to seeing that on October 6.
Listen to the complete interview here >>