DeKalb County Halts Corruption Investigation!

As DeKalb investigators turned up the heat, top officials resisted

Posted: 4:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015

By Alan JuddMark Niesse and Johnny Edwards – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mike Bowers glared into the television cameras, cast again in a familiar role: Georgia’s preeminent corruption-buster.

“We’re going to root out conflicts of interest, corruption, malfeasance and misfeasance,” Bowers said, his index finger wagging, “so help me God.”

Thus began an investigation of unprecedented scope into alleged corruption in DeKalb County, the state’s fourth most-populous county and, arguably, its leading producer of government fraud, waste and graft. Bowers, a former state attorney general, and investigator Richard Hyde would have broad authority to identify DeKalb’s miscreants and bring them to justice.

But their efforts were repeatedly undermined by top county officials, some of whom had come under scrutiny themselves, an examination by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows. The officials declared some targets off limits, refused to answer questions or provide documents, called in other investigators to supplant Bowers and Hyde, and finally cut the investigation out of the county budget.

Now, after a contentious week in which the investigators described DeKalb as “rotten to the core” and county officials accused Bowers and Hyde of padding their bills through an unending inquisition, the investigation seems on the verge of a spectacular implosion. Lee May, the county’s interim CEO, ordered a final report by Aug. 26 — and nothing else. May hired the investigators in March but soon came under suspicion over a check written to him by a county vendor.

Bowers and Hyde came to this investigation after helping expose the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, the largest in U.S. history. In DeKalb, though, they encountered immutable resistance and hostility, even as officials promised to fracture the county’s culture of corruption.

A simmering mutual distrust erupted Tuesday. Bowers went to a county commission meeting, intending to present an update on the investigation. But he quickly left, obviously angry, when he learned he wouldn’t be allowed to speak. Bowers’ presentation would have overshadowed a vote on a high-profile project: incentives worth $12 million for billionaire Arthur Blank’s organization to build a practice complex for Atlanta’s new Major League Soccer team.

A day later, Bowers and Hyde sent May a 2 1/2-page letter that broadly described their findings so far: runaway spending on items “from petty to the absurd,” an alleged bribery scheme, a cover-up of the theft of county property. They labeled the letter “investigative update,” but it read more like an indictment.

“We have been around government employees and elected officials for over 40 years,” they wrote. “We have investigated and prosecuted public officials and others, often at the highest levels of government in our state. The DeKalb County government we have found is rotten to the core. The misconduct starts at the top and has infected nearly every department we have looked at.”

May responded with a letter blasting the investigators’ “tone” and challenging their veracity, saying they had unleashed “generalized personal attacks on the entire county workforce.” If their final report follows the same theme, he said, Bowers’ law firm, Balch & Bingham, will bear “legal responsibility for all of your actions.”

By the end of the week, Bowers and Hyde were not speaking publicly. Through a spokeswoman, May declined to be interviewed.

County commissioners complained in interviews of investigation-fatigue. Years of corruption prosecutions have landed several officials, most notably CEOBurrell Ellis and former CommissionerElaine Boyer, in prison. Four separate entities – the special investigators, the FBI, the district attorney’s office and the county’s Board of Ethics – had open inquiries. Several commissioners applauded May’s effort to rein in Bowers and Hyde.

But Commissioner Nancy Jester, who represents north DeKalb, said May created the monster he now wants to slay.

“What did he think was going to happen when he said, ‘Investigate us from top to bottom?’” Jester said. “I think the investigation is too close to something, something that he’s uncomfortable with.”

‘No prisoners’

A brief history of scandal in DeKalb County in the 21st century:

A newly elected sheriff was assassinated in 2000, on orders of the corrupt incumbent he had unseated.

A kickbacks-for-contracts scheme flourished, according to a grand jury, while Vernon Jones was the county’s CEO from 2001 through 2008.

In 2013, a school-construction scandal ended with a guilty plea from a former school superintendent, Crawford Lewis, and prison terms for his chief operating officer and her former husband.

And so far this year, both Boyer and Ellis have entered prison, the FBI has continued looking into payoffs, and county prosecutors have pored over a grand jury report outlining corruption schemes big and small.

It was in this image-tainting environment that May, appointed interim CEO after Ellis’ indictment in 2013, decided to authorize anindependent investigation. Appearing at a news conference with Bowers on March 18, he seemed to fully appreciate the upheaval that could result.

“He’s a man that takes no prisoners and will do what it takes to preserve the public’s confidence and integrity in our government,” May said.

He added: “I think Mike could throw me in jail if he thinks I’m doing something wrong. This administration is willing to take on an endeavor that could possibly go even to my office, and I’m fine with that.”

In fact, the investigators soon began looking into allegations involving May.

The Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News reported that May received a $4,000 check from a company the county hired to clean up damage from a sewer-line backup at his home. Five months later, the county awarded the company a $300,000 contract. May has said he never received the check or its proceeds.

But on April 15, according to documents obtained by the Journal-Constitution and Channel 2, an investigator met with a source “regarding knowledge of construction and restoration services … relating to a flood at the home of Lee May.”

Twelve days later, Hyde also interviewed a witness about the same work, the documents indicate. It is not clear whether both interviews were with the same person.

By the end of April, the documents show, the investigators had gathered information from at least 12 confidential informants. This led them to examine several large county contracts, including ones for mobile communications, for garbage receptacles provided to residences, and for the purchase of motor vehicles. The investigators showed special interest in three county agencies: the sanitation, watershed and fleet management departments.

They also began investigating allegations of a bribe paid to a specific county official, identified in documents only as “#5.”

Within weeks, according to bills submitted to the county, the investigators compiled an astonishing amount of documentation. By April 20, material provided by 10 confidential informants filled three binders, each with 1,200 pages.

As eager as whistleblowers were to talk, though, high-ranking DeKalb officials wanted nothing to do with the investigation.

‘We’re not hiding’

On July 28, Bowers had a letter hand-delivered to Robert James, DeKalb’s district attorney. It was a request under Georgia’s Open Records Act to obtain public documents showing how James and 12 of his current or former employees had used their county-issued purchasing cards. The request – one that any citizen could make – seemed straightforward. But not to James.

The district attorney already viewed the special investigators’ work as a waste of taxpayers’ money – especially when his Public Integrity Unit needed more funding to clear a backlog of corruption cases. Two years ago, a special grand jury recommended criminal investigations of a dozen officials and contractors; so far, James’ office has tried only Ellis.

So James balked. He didn’t make the requested documents available within three days, as state law requires, and did not communicate with Bowers. Instead, he complained directly to May.

In interviews last week, James said the CEO told him he didn’t have to comply with Bowers’ request because May’s executive order authorizing the investigation did not cover the district attorney’s office. May followed up with a letter on July 31.

“Dear Robert,” it began. “I would like to sincerely apologize for the recent letter you received from the special investigators regarding the open records request. I will be reaching out to the special investigators to inform them that this action is beyond the scope of the executive order.”

While the executive order didn’t specify the district attorney’s office for investigation, it didn’t exclude it, either. And it was Bowers, not May, who requested the documents. Bowers and Hyde told the county commission last week that department heads who ignored open records requests “today are in violation of state law.”

James bristled at that suggestion.

“Mr. Bowers works for the CEO’s office, correct?” he said Friday. “And Mr. Bowers is asking on behalf of the CEO’s office, correct? … Mr. Bowers is the agent of the CEO’s office. When the person that has the authority tells us that he is rescinding the order, and then he sends out a letter saying it’s beyond the scope, I haven’t violated any laws.”

For the sake of what he called “transparency,” James sent the material Bowers requested to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation – which had not asked for the documents and apparently was not looking into DeKalb’s county government.

“If I’m going to give that information over, I’m going to give it over to the appropriate authorities and not a paid consultant,” James said. “We’re not hiding anything. I’m just not going to participate in an investigation I don’t agree with.”

The GBI has opened a preliminary inquiry at James’ request, said Sherry Lang, a spokeswoman for the agency.

So now five investigations are underway.

Picayune focus

When they began work in DeKalb, Bowers and Hyde were fresh off their house-cleaning investigation of the Atlanta schools. Their work in Atlanta provided a foundation for a criminal case that ended with guilty verdicts for 11 former educators and guilty pleas from 21 others.

But in Atlanta, they had subpoena power to compel witnesses to give statements under oath. They had dozens of GBI agents at their disposal to interview teachers and principals across the city. And they had an unwavering commitment from the man who commissioned their inquiry: then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.

In DeKalb, May set the parameters for their work. That created complications the investigators would have faced in Atlanta only if they had been appointed by the school superintendent, Beverly Hall, who was later charged with racketeering for her role in the cheating scandal.

“Lee wanted to sort of make it feel like what happened at APS, because that was the beginning of the cleanup at APS,” DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader of west-central DeKalb said. “But the circumstances are different and, moreover, Lee was apparently exerting some discretionary authority over what (Bowers) was investigating. That’s not what the governor did.”

So even though Bowers and Hyde made what seemed to be a pointed reference to May in their letter to the commission – “the misconduct starts at the top” – the CEO and his allies focused on the more picayune misdeeds the investigators cited.

The letter said officials used purchasing cards to buy a Christmas tree, to pay an entertainer, to cover a cruise to the Bahamas. But May and commissioners shot back with explanations: the tree may have been a lobby decoration for a county building, the entertainer performed at an official gathering, the cruise was a customer-service award for a county employee.

“I would have expected more professionalism,” Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson of southeast DeKalb said of the investigators’ letter. “If there’s any wrongdoing (Bowers has) found, I’d like to see it in the report and given to the appropriate authorities. But to indict an entire county as rotten to the core, I feel that’s a little irresponsible.”

Complaints also mounted about the investigation’s cost. Through June, Bowers’ law firm had charged the county $673,504, based on hourly rates as high as $400.

So far, the county has paid less than half the firm’s bill – a fact that May suggested could have motivated the investigators’ inflammatory letter to the commission.

But Viola Davis, a citizen watchdog who leads the DeKalb Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter group, said she had received tips from county employees about matters similar to those cited in the investigators’ letter.

“To tell you the truth,” Davis said, “a lot of this stuff needs to be handled by the FBI, because it’s so easy to come up with excuses and try to cover it up.”


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Office Depot Memorial Drive Stone Mountain, GA 3-4 Hours to Make a Copy

Office Depot Acting Like Idiots

 
Have you ever been to Office Depot, where everyone wants to act like an idiot?

I sent someone to Office Depot today.  All he needed was three cover sheets printed onto 50-65# card stock.  He knows nothing about these things, and is from another country.

Anyway, the idiots in there told him that it would be 3-4 hours to make three copies on 50-65# card stock, because they have to change the paper?  What kind of bullshit is that?  3-4 Hours?  Hell, all they have to do, is take the three pieces of card stock over to the copier, stick those three blank pieces of card stock on top of the paper in the copier, and but the document to be copied onto the scanner, punch 3 for 3 copies, and hit enter.

How hard is that?  I swear Alex Jones and the others are absolutely right about us being “dumbed down”, that is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  3-4 hours for 3 copies.  I was in printing back before computers took over, and hell, you could wash up the printing press, put the new ink in, warm it up, install the plate on the drum, and get it registering, and print 3 sheets of card stock in 15 minutes tops.  And they are going to tell me that it will take 3-4 hours to change a copier over to print on card stock, when I know for a fact, it will print on that stock, without changing a damned thing.

Ok, Good Luck To All Out There Having to Get Something Printed on Card Stock at the Office Depot Memorial Drive Stone Mountain, GA!

Georgia Gun Laws

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2014/03/massive-georgia-gun-rights-bill-passes-legislature-at-last-minute-video-2923916.html

Massive Georgia gun-rights bill passes legislature at last minute (VIDEO)

Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:12

(Before It’s News)

Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) celebrates after his gun bill received final passage in the House after 11 p.m. on the last day of the session Thursday evening. (Photo credit: Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

 

Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) celebrates after his gun bill received final passage in the House after 11 p.m. on the last day of the session Thursday evening. (Photo credit: Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

The sweeping gun-rights bill that has been winding its way through the past two legislative sessions in the Georgia state legislature passed in the last hours of the current session.

The bill, HB060, legalizes the use of suppressors for hunting in the state and allows guns in several areas that previously were off limits, such as in unsecured areas of airports.

“The House has finally come along for Georgia’s gun owners,” said Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen on the legislation.

House Bill 60 was introduced into the state House over a year ago before finally passing that body on Feb. 13, 2014 by a landslide 167-3 vote. Then followed a month of being passed back and forth between the Georgia House and Senate with various amendments clarifying the measure’s sections on legalizing suppressors and allowing guns in churches.

The House, sending the bill to the governor’s desk, confirmed the final version, which passed the Senate on Mar. 18 by a 37-18 vote, Thursday.

One of the few changes in the final bill from the original version included dropping language that would have allowed guns in churches. Instead, unless a church itself expressly allows guns on its property, it will remain illegal.

“Churches would have to vote on it,” said Melinda Ennis, who heads Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in Georgia. “The clergy didn’t ask for this and they don’t want it. They wonder why it was put on their plate to deal with when they have so many other matters of faith.”

Meanwhile. those in the firearms industry noted the bill’s inclusion of suppressors, which would now be legal for hunting in the Peachtree State.

“We are pleased by the growing appreciation by state legislators and wildlife managers of the benefits sound suppressors provide to hunters and target shooters,” Larry Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel, told Guns.com Friday. “We look forward to actively supporting legislation in other states.”

Legislation backing expanded use of suppressors as well as increases in concealed carry laws have been sweeping the country in recent months. South Carolina’s governor signed a new law in February to allow carry in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol whereas North Carolina greatly expanded their concealed carry laws in 2013.

House Bill 60 now heads to the desk of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) for signature.

The post Massive Georgia gun-rights bill passes legislature at last minute (VIDEO) appeared first onGuns.com.

Source: http://www.guns.com/2014/03/22/massive-georgia-gun-rights-bill-passes-legislature-last-minute-video/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=massive-georgia-gun-rights-bill-passes-legislature-last-minute-video

Another Great Article From Living Lies, Telling It Like It Is!

  

LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE

Posted on August 19, 2013 by Neil Garfield

“We are still in the death grip of the banks as they attempt to portray themselves as the bulwarks of society even as they continue to rob us of homes, lives, jobs and vitally needed capital which is being channeled into natural resources so that when we commence the gargantuan task of repairing our infrastructure we can no longer afford it and must borrow the money from the thieves who created the gaping hole in our economy threatening the soul of our democracy.” Neil Garfield, livinglies.me

We all know that dozens of people rose to power in Europe and Asia in the 1930′s and 1940′s who turned the world on its head and were responsible for the extermination of tens of millions of people. World War II still haunts us as it projected us into an arms race in which we were the first and only country to kill all the people who lived in two cities in Japan. The losses on both sides of the war were horrendous.
Some of us remember the revelations in 1982 that the United States actively recruited unrepentant Nazi officers and scientists for intelligence and technological advantages in the coming showdown with what was known as the Soviet Union. Amongst the things done for the worst war criminals was safe passage (no prosecution for war crimes) and even new identities created by the United States Department of Justice. Policy was created that diverted richly deserved consequences into rich rewards for knowledge. With WWII in the rear view mirror policy-makers decided to look ahead and prepare for new challenges.

Some of us remember the savings and loans scandals where banks nearly destroyed everything in the U.S. marketplace in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Law enforcement went into high gear, investigated, and pieced together the methods and complex transactions meant to hide the guilt of the main perpetrators in and out of government and the business world. More than 800 people went to jail. Of course, none of the banks had achieved the size that now exists in our financial marketplace.

Increasing the mass of individual financial institutions produced a corresponding capacity for destruction that eclipsed anything imagined by anyone outside of Wall Street. The exponentially increasing threat was ignored as the knowledge of Einstein’s famous equation faded into obscurity. The possibilities for mass destruction of our societies was increasing exponentially as the mass of giant financial service companies grew and the accountability dropped off when they were allowed to incorporate and even sell their shares publicly, replacing a system, hundreds of years old in which partners were ultimately liable for losses they created.

The next generation of world dominators would be able to bring the world to its knees without firing a shot or gassing anyone. Institutions grew as malignancies on steroids and created the illusion of contributing half our gross domestic product while real work, real production and real inventions were constrained to function in a marketplace that had been reduced by 1/3 of its capacity — leaving the banks in control of  $7 trillion per year in what was counted as gross domestic product. Our primary output by far was trading paper based upon dubious and fictitious underlying transactions; if those transactions had existed, the share of GDP attributed to financial services would have remained at a constant 16%. Instead it grew to half of GDP.  The “paradox” of financial services becoming increasingly powerful and generating more revenues than any other sector while the rest of the economy was stagnating was noted by many, but nothing was done. The truth of this “paradox” is that it was a lie — a grand illusion created by the greatest salesmen on Wall Street.

So even minimum wage lost 1/3 of its value adjusted for inflation while salaries, profits and bonuses were conferred upon people deemed as financial geniuses as a natural consequence of believing the myths promulgated by Wall Street with its control over all forms of information, including information from the government.

But calling out Wall Street would mean admitting that the United States had made a wrong turn with horrendous results. No longer the supreme leader in education, medical care, crime, safety, happiness and most of all prospects for social and economic mobility, the United States had become supreme only through its military strength and the appearance of strength in the world of high finance, its currency being the world’s reserve despite the reality of the ailing economy and widening inequality of wealth and opportunity — the attributes of a banana republic.

All of us remember the great crash of 2008-2009. It was as close as could be imagined to a world wide nuclear attack, resulting in the apparent collapse of economies, tens of millions of people being reduced to poverty, tossed out of their homes, sleeping in cars, divorces, murder, riots, suicide and the loss of millions of jobs on a rising scale (over 700,000 per month when Obama took office) that did not stop rising until 2010 and which has yet to be corrected to figures that economists say would mean that our economy is functioning at proper levels. Month after month more than 700,000 people lost their jobs instead of a net gain of 300,000 jobs. It was a reversal of 1 million jobs per month that could clean out the country and every myth about us in less than a year.

The cause lay with misbehavior of the banks — again. This time the destruction was so wide and so deep that all conditions necessary for the collapse of our society and our government were present. Policy makers, law enforcement and regulators decided that it was better to maintain the illusion of business as usual in a last ditch effort to maintain the fabric of our society even if it meant that guilty people would go free and even be rewarded. It was a decision that was probably correct at the time given the available information, but it was a policy based upon an inaccurate description of the disaster written and produced by the banks themselves. Once the true information was discovered the government made another wrong turn — staying the course when the threat of collapse was over. In a sense it was worse than giving Nazi war criminals asylum because at the time they were protected by the Department of Justice their crimes were complete and there existed little opportunity for them to repeat those crimes. It could be fairly stated that they posed no existing threat to safety of the country. Not so for the banks.

Now as all the theft, deceit and arrogance are revealed, the original premise of the DOJ in granting the immunity from prosecution was based upon fraudulent information from the very people to whom they were granting safe passage. We have lost 5 million homes in foreclosure from their past crimes, but we remain in the midst of the commission of crimes — another 5 million illegal, wrongful foreclosures is continuing to wind its way through the courts.

Not one person has been prosecuted, not one statement has been made acknowledging the crimes, the continuing deceit in sworn filings with regulators, and the continuing drain on the economy and our ability to finance and capitalize on innovation to replace the lost productivity in real goods and services.

We are still in the death grip of the banks as they attempt to portray themselves as the bulwarks of society even as they continue to rob us of homes, lives, jobs and vitally needed capital which is being channeled into natural resources so that when we commence the gargantuan task of repairing our infrastructure we can no longer afford it and must borrow the money from the thieves who created the gaping hole in our economy threatening the soul of our democracy. If the crimes were in the rear view mirror one could argue that the policy makers could make decisions to protect our future. But the crimes are not just in the rear view mirror. More crimes lie ahead with the theft of an equal number of millions of homes based on false and wrongful foreclosures deriving their legitimacy from an illusion of debt — an illusion so artfully created that most people still believe the debts exist. Without a very sophisticated knowledge of exotic finance it seems inconceivable that a homeowner could receive the benefits of a loan and at the same time or shortly thereafter have the debt extinguished by third parties who were paid richly for doing so.

Job creation would be unleashed if we had the courage to stop the continuing fraud. It is time for the government to step forward and call them out, stop the virtual genocide and let the chips fall where they might when the paper giants collapse. It’s complicated, but that is your job. Few people lack the understanding that the bankers behind this mess belong in jail. This includes regulators, law enforcement and even judges. but the “secret” tacit message is not to mess with the status quo until we are sure it won’t topple our whole society and economy.

The time is now. If we leave the bankers alone they are highly likely to cause another crash in both financial instruments and economically by hoarding natural resources until the prices are intolerably high and we all end up pleading for payment terms on basic raw materials for the rebuilding of infrastructure. If we leave them alone another 20 million people will be displaced as more than 5 million foreclosures get processed in the next 3-4 years. If we leave them alone, we are allowing a clear and present danger to the future of our society and the prospects for safety and world peace. Don’t blame Wall Street — they are just doing what they were sent to do — make money. You don’t hold the soldier responsible for firing a bullet when he was ordered to do so. But you do blame the policy makers that him or her there. And you stop them when the policy is threatening another crash.

Stop them now, jail the ones who can be prosecuted, and take apart the large banks. IMF economists and central bankers around the world are looking on in horror at the new order of things hoping that when the United States has exhausted all other options, they will finally do the right thing. (see Winston Churchill quote to that effect).

But forget not that the ultimate power of government is in the hands of the people at large and that the regulators and law enforcement and judges are working for us, on our nickle. Action like Occupy Wall Street is required and you can see the growing nature of that movement in a sweep that is entirely missed by those who arrogantly pull the levers of power now. OWS despite criticism is proving the point — it isn’t new leaders that will get us out of this — it is the withdrawal of consent of the governed one by one without political affiliation or worshiping sound sound biting, hate mongering politicians.

People have asked me why I have not until now endorsed the OWS movement. The reason was that I wanted to give them time to see if they could actually accomplish the counter-intuitive result of exercising power without direct involvement in a corrupt political process. They have proven the point and they are likely to be a major force undermining the demagogues and greedy bankers and businesses who care more about their bottom line than their society that gives them the opportunity to earn that bottom line.

New Fraud Evidence Shows Trillions Of Dollars In Mortgages Have No Owner
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/08/13/2460891/new-fraud-evidence-shows-trillions-of-dollars-in-mortgages-have-no-owner/

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It Really Pisses Me Off!

The letter we wrote to the CEO of DeKalb County, can be construed as Ante Litem Notice the letter was brought about due to:

PREVENTING AND/OR CURING HEALTH HAZARDS!!!

I state DeKalb County Sux, but have not really specified what the County sux at.

Therefore, I am dedicating this page for what the County Sux at.

Have you ever tried to alert a County entity to a health hazard?

To begin with, we have lived in our house for twenty (20) years.  During the entire time, the house next door had been vacant, until just recently.  The idiot that owns the property had been living at his parents house all these years.  Their house was paid off, and much nicer than the uninhabitable, less than 800 square foot house on less than 1/6 acre next door.

Anyway, the idiot didn’t pay the County taxes on either house, for three years.  They sold the one where he was living to satisfy the back taxes.  The entity who bought the property, waited the required year, then threw him out.  At one point during the time in which the property was taken for taxes, the idiot took out a loan to pay the tax bill off, and well… he decided to get high with the money, and blew it all on drugs.  Therefore there was also a healthy lien on the property for that as well.

There are four houses in a row, built in 1940, and have septic systems, rather than being on County sewers.  We checked with the County several years ago, to see if we could get sewer service, and they told us no, the sewer is too far away.

So the septic system in our house has been updated several times over the years.  Robert’s house next door, has never been updated.  Installed in 1940, the original system.  He buried an LP tank on top of the tank, then added 4-5 feet of crush and run (gravel) and dirt on top of that.  Anyone with any sense knows that the crush and run and extra dirt alone, were enough to cause the tank to collapse.  When he had the gravel brought in, many  years ago, the truck drove all over the field lines, and they were crushed.

A septic tank like the ones installed here, were only good for something like 20 years.  His tank and system is 73 years old.  No one in their right mind can believe that since no one lived in the house from 1987, until 55 days ago, and it is now May 15, 2013, that the tank will still be in good working condition.

We contacted the County and asked that the tank be certified, to keep an unhealthy hazard from arising.  They said that they don’t do that.  So, we contacted the EPA, who said that they plan to wait until the system fails.  The EPD  said the same thing.  We were told to contact Code Enforcement.  Code Enforcement said that they only have jurisdiction over things they can see, like grass, trash in the yard, etc.  So, we contacted the watershed people, as they are supposed to protect ground water and drinking water.  Nope, they don’t do anything like that either.  The Board of Health was even worse in their attitude.

You can review on the County website, how if you even think there is a problem with a septic system, you are legally required to contact the Board of Health and alert them to the situation.  The information on the website tells of all these horrible diseases that you can get from a failed septic system.

Anyway, we realized that the house also did not have water.  So we thought that there may be a way to get everything inspected because the man has been using the outdoors to poop and urinate.  Nope, County didn’t care.  The man had sold all the copper water pipe in his house years ago.  Anyway, if new water pipes are run from the meter to the house, that has to be permitted.  So, when the man got around to running the pipes from the meter to the house, we contacted the County because he did not obtain a permit.  I even sent them pictures, and yea, they came out and checked.  They did nothing, even though there is a huge trench dug, and the pipes lying beside it.

On our complaint that the man has been defacating outside, we were told that we were wrong, that the Board of Health came and looked, and saw no signs of such.  The Board of Health could not notice all the little spots that had been recently dug up and covered back up.  Like little hills here and there, they could not see that?  Bullshit!

So this man, has gone all over the less than 1/6 acre, shit on almost every inch of it, covered it up with fresh dirt.  He has pissed over probably every square inch by now.  All of the dirt over there is heavily contaminated, and we are on a hill, his house has a huge culvert running alongside of it, which goes down to a stream down the  street.

There goes the ground water and drinking water in the area.  Just wait till he begins using the toxic septic system.  The man does not have the money to repair the system, and the County don’t give a flying fuck about the health hazard.

DEKALB COUNTY SUX!!!

Those We Look to for Protection

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corrupt  photo

Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com

U.S. Attorney Sally Yates (center) announces that ten local police officers have been arrested on corruption charges in a press conference at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday Feb. 12th, 2013.

By Steve Visser

Staff

Federal authorities announced the arrest of 10 metro law enforcement officers Tuesday on charges of arranging protection for a street gang’s drug deals.

“Obviously the breadth of the corruption is very troubling,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates . “It is certainly the most (officers) this office has charged in a long time.”

The case began as a street gang investigation by the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, whose undercover agents learned that gangs had officers on the payroll for protection, Yates said. The FBI took command of the public corruption aspects of the case.

At least one officer recommended that the gang use a school parking lot to exchange drugs for cash because trading backpacks there would not look suspicious, Yates said at a 2 p.m. news conference.

The law enforcement officers arrested today were: Atlanta Police Department Officer Kelvin Allen, 42, of Atlanta; DeKalb County Police Department Officers Dennis Duren, 32, of Atlanta and Dorian Williams, 25, of Stone Mountain, Georgia; Forest Park Police Department Sergeants Victor Middlebrook, 44, of Jonesboro, Georgia and Andrew Monroe, 57, of Riverdale, Georgia; MARTA Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes, 45, of Jonesboro, Georgia; Stone Mountain Police Department Officer Denoris Carter, 42, of Lithonia, Georgia, and contract Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43, of Lithonia, Georgia. Agents also arrested two former law enforcement officers: former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office jail officers Monyette McLaurin, 37, of Atlanta, and Chase Valentine, 44, of Covington, Georgia.

Civilians arrested today were: Shannon Bass, 38, of Atlanta; Elizabeth Coss, 35, of Atlanta; Gregory Lee Harvey, 26, of Stone Mountain, Georgia; Alexander B. Hill, 22, of Ellenwood, Georgia; and Jerry B. Mannery, Jr., 38, of Tucker, Georgia.

Some of the officers were retired and some were active duty. The highest rank was sergeant and the payoffs ranged as high as $7,000 per transaction. Each transaction involved at least five kilograms of cocaine, which carries a 10 year minimum sentence, Yates said.

Officers were involved in multiple transactions, provided escorts to dealers and buyers and offered to provided muscle if necessary to protect their clients, Yates said.

Yates said the investigation is ongoing and declined to say whether more officers would be arrested.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow would not name the street gang involved but he suggested the public corruption aspects would be more far-ranging.

“I can say this is probably not the last you will be hearing of this case,” he said.

A press release from Yates’ office detailed the following allegations:

DeKalb County Police Department

Between October 2011 and November 2011, DeKalb County Police Officer Dennis Duren, working together with Bass, provided protection for what he and Bass believed were four separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. Duren and Bass accepted cash payments totaling $8,800 for these services. During the transactions, Duren was dressed in his DeKalb County Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt, as he patrolled on foot in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place. After the first two transactions, Duren allegedly offered to drive his patrol vehicle to future transactions for an additional $800 fee, and afterward received an additional $800 in cash for using his patrol vehicle in the final transaction in November 2011. Duren and Bass are each charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Duren also is charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Between January and February 2013, DeKalb County Police Officer Dorian Williams, working together with Mannery and Bass, provided protection for what he and Mannery believed were three separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. Williams and Mannery accepted cash payments totaling $18,000 for these services. During the transactions, Williams was dressed in his DeKalb County Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt, and he patrolled the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place in his DeKalb Police vehicle. During a meeting between the three transactions, Williams allegedly instructed Bass to remove any cocaine from the scene if Williams had to shoot someone during the upcoming sale. In another meeting, Williams suggested that future drug transactions should take place in the parking lot of a local high school during the afternoon, so that the exchange of backpacks containing drugs and money would not look suspicious. Williams and Mannery are each charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Stone Mountain Police Department

Between April and September 2012, Stone Mountain Police Officer Denoris Carter, working together with Mannery, provided protection for what he and Mannery believed were five separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. For these services, Carter and Mannery accepted cash payments totaling $23,500. For all five transactions, Carter dressed in his Stone Mountain Police uniform. In four of the deals, he arrived in his police cruiser and either patrolled or parked in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and watched the transactions. During the final transaction in September 2012, Carter was on foot, displaying a firearm in a holster on his belt, and he walked through the parking lot in which the transaction took place and watched the participants. Finally, during one of the transactions, Carter agreed to escort the purchaser of the sham cocaine in his police vehicle for several miles, until the purchaser reached Highway 78. Carter is charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments, attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Atlanta Police Department

Between June and August 2012, Atlanta Police officer Kelvin D. Allen, working together with Coss, provided protection for what he and Coss believed were three separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. Allen and Coss accepted cash payments totaling $10,500 for their services. For two transactions, Allen dressed in his Atlanta Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt. Allen patrolled on foot in parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and appeared to be monitoring the transactions. During a meeting after the three transactions, a cooperator gave Allen and Coss each a $1,000 bonus payment in return for protecting the three transactions. Allen and Coss are each charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Allen also is charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

MARTA Police Department

Between August and November 2012, MARTA Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes, working together with Coss, provided protection for what he and Coss believed were four separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. For these services, Holmes and Coss accepted cash payments totaling $9,000. During the transactions, Holmes was dressed in his MARTA Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt. In two of the transactions, Holmes patrolled on foot in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and monitored the transactions. During the other two deals, Holmes drove to the site in his MARTA police cruiser and parked next to the vehicles in which the undercover drug sale took place. Holmes is charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments, attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Forest Park Police Department

Between October to December 2012, Forest Park Police Sergeants Victor Middlebrook and Andrew Monroe, sometimes working alone and at other times together, provided protection for what they believed were six separate drug deals in the Atlanta area, all involving multiple kilograms of cocaine. For his services in the first four transactions, Middlebook accepted cash payments totaling $13,800. During these transactions, Middlebrook wore plain clothes, but displayed his badge and a firearm in a holster on his belt. He patrolled on foot in the parking lots nearby the vehicles in which the undercover sales took place and appeared to be monitoring the transactions. For the final two transactions, both Middlebrook and Monroe provided security and were given cash payments totaling $10,400. Middlebrook again monitored the transactions on foot in plain clothes while displaying his badge and gun, while Monroe watched from his vehicle in the parking lot and afterward escorted the purchaser of the sham cocaine for several miles. Middlebrook and Monroe are charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine; Middlebrook is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

In January 2013, former DeKalb County Sheriff Jail Officer Monyette McLaurin, working together with Harvey, provided protection for what they believed were two separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. Harvey already had provided security for two undercover drug transactions in December 2012, falsely representing that he was a DeKalb County detention officer and wearing a black shirt with the letters “SHERIFF” printed across the back during the transactions. Harvey then stated that he knew other police officers who wanted to protect drug deals, and in January 2013 he introduced McLaurin as one of these officers. During a meeting to discuss future drug transactions, McLaurin falsely represented that he was a deputy employed by the DeKalb Sheriff’s office, even though his position as a jail officer ended in 2011. McLaurin and Harvey further stated during this meeting that they may need to kill another person who knew that Harvey had protected drug deals, if this person reported the activity to others.

During the two transactions in January 2013, McLaurin was dressed in a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office uniform with a badge, and he carried a gun in a holster on his belt. He accompanied the undercover seller of the cocaine to pick up the drugs from a warehouse, counted the kilograms the seller received, and stood outside the purchaser’s vehicle during the actual transaction. He further discussed with the seller whether they should agree upon a signal for the seller to indicate that the sale had gone awry, requiring McLaurin to shoot the drug buyer. For their services, McLaurin and Harvey were paid $12,000 in cash. McLaurin and Harvey are each charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Later in January 2013, McLaurin and Harvey introduced a second former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Jail Officer, Chase Valentine, to help provide security for future drug deals. Like McLaurin, Valentine falsely represented himself to be a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy, even though his position as a jail officer ended in 2010. Together with Harvey, Valentine provided security for one undercover drug transaction on January 17, 2013, during which he wore a DeKalb Sheriff’s Office uniform and a pistol in a holster on his belt. During the transaction, Valentine escorted the seller to pick up the sham cocaine, counted the number of kilograms delivered, and stood outside the purchaser’s car during the actual transaction. For these services, Valentine received $6,000 in cash. Valentine is charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Federal Protective Services

In November 2012, Sharon Peters, who was a contract officer for the Federal Protective Services, worked together with Mannery to provide protection for what they believed were two separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. For these services, Peters and Mannery accepted cash payments totaling $14,000. For both transactions, Peters parked her vehicle nearby the cars where the sham drugs and money were exchanged, and watched the transactions. Before both transactions, Peters told others that she had her pistol with her in the car. Peters is charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Imposter Clayton County Police Officer

Between December 2012 and January 2013, Alexander B. Hill falsely represented himself to be an officer with the Clayton County Police Department while providing security for what he believed were three separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. During an initial meeting, Hill wore a uniform that appeared to be from Clayton Police, but during the transactions he wore plain clothes and, for at least the first deal, a badge displayed on his belt. For these services, Hill received payments totaling $9,000 in cash. Hill charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

DeKalb County Strikes Again!!!

http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/interspire/news/2012/05/09/3am-home-eviction-in-dekalb-sparks-outrage.html

3am Home Eviction in DeKalb Sparks Outrage

Written By: APN STAFF

5-9-2012

By Scott Brown, Special to the Atlanta Progressive News

(APN) DEKALB COUNTY — In the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 02, 2012, over twenty deputies from the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department, under orders from Sheriff Thomas Brown, drilled the locks and kicked in the doors of the Christine Frazer’s home with guns drawn in order to evict four generations of family members.

Frazer, the homeowner, had fallen behind on her mortgage payments and was foreclosed upon in October 2011.

According to Frazer, her family members, including her 85-year-old mother and 3-year-old grandson, were told by officers to “act like it was a fire drill” and grab what they could and get out.

Frazer said they were not even allowed a shower before being escorted from her home of eighteen years at three in the morning.

She described the event as “literally a nightmare.”

Her three dogs were taken to the pound and all of her belongings were put out on the street, which police had completely closed off.

At a press conference in front of her belongings hours after the eviction, Frazer lamented, “I’ve been in this home eighteen years. My daughter was raised here. My husband died here. My grandson came home here. This is my home.”

“They came in as if they were executing a warrant to find drugs. It makes no sense,” Frazer’s lawyer, Joshua Davis, said of the eviction.

Sheriff Thomas Brown told Fox 5 television news that he attributed the unusual timing and the large number of officers used in the eviction to the presence of Occupy Atlanta protesters who had been camping in the yard for the past four months in an attempt to prevent what they described as an illegal eviction based on an illegal foreclosure.

Frazer has filed a lawsuit, which is currently pending in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, against the company that foreclosed on her home last October, Investors One Corporation.

Ownership of the mortgage has changed three times in the past six months and, according to Frazer’s lawyer, the chain of title was broken when the previous owner of the mortgage, a bank based in Indiana, failed to uphold their legal obligation to transfer the title, rendering the foreclosure by Investors One Corporation fraudulent.

“There are judges that are in place that could have done a little research, if they’d done a little title search they’d have seen that something in the milk wasn’t clean,” Frazer said.

Frazer, 63, began to fall behind on her mortgage payments after losing her husband and her job in 2009. She has been unable to find a job ever since and is currently on early retirement social security.

Sheriff Brown told Fox 5 he gave the homeowner ample time to reach a settlement with the mortgage holder before serving the eviction notice.

Frazer said she tried to restructure the mortgage, but Investors One Corporation was uncooperative and intent on foreclosure, only offering to reinstate the loan if she was able to pay 20,000 dollars in cash. Currently she has paid over 240,000 dollars on the mortgage on a house currently appraised at only 40,000 dollars.

On Monday, May 07, 2012, in response to the early morning eviction ordered by Sheriff Thomas Brown, Occupy Atlanta held a protest in front of the Dekalb County Sheriff’s office.

At one point, more protesters pulled up in a van full of Frazer’s belongings, and Occupy Atlanta unloaded mattresses, furniture, and bags of other items that deputies had left on the curb nearly one week prior and piled them in front of the doors to the Sheriff’s Office, along with signs reading “Fraudclosure” and “Wall St. criminals are not convicted. The people are evicted.”

Standing before a pile of her belongings in front of the Sheriff’s Office during a press conference, Frazer said, “This is not just about me and my family, this is about families across America.”

Frazer is certainly not alone in her struggle to keep her home. According to Corelogic, Inc., a company specializing in financial analysis, over 1.4 million homes in the US are currently in the foreclosure process, and states like Georgia have been ground zero in the housing crisis.

A recent Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report shows Metro Atlanta home prices fell 17.3 percent between February 2011 and February 2012, a fact that is fueling the continuing foreclosure crisis in the state.

Occupy Atlanta has taken up home defense as a tactic for combating what protesters view as unfair and illegal practices by banks and the financial industry as a whole.

Leila Abadir, one of the Occupy Atlanta protesters who had been camping on the lawn at the Frazer household, says the fight is not over. Occupy Atlanta will continue to assist the Frazer family in finding proper housing, she said.

They will also keep working to shed light on what she believes to be unethical and potentially criminal activity on the part of Investors One Corporation.

According to Fox 5, after most of the protesters left the sheriff’s office, police surrounded a remaining protester’s vehicle, which they impounded for possible evidence. They issued two citations to two people for littering and arrested one of them because he did not have identification on him.