DeKalb Grand Jury to Probe Corruption Allegations Tied To Sewage Overhaul | WABE 90.1 FM

DeKalb Grand Jury to Probe Corruption Allegations Tied To Sewage Overhaul

Jan 11, 2012

A special grand jury will investigate allegations of corruption in DeKalb County's watershed department involving millions of dollars.

The grand jury will examine eight years worth of records from DeKalb's watershed department. The grand jury is looking to see if there was a possible corruption in the upcoming overhaul of the county's sewage system.

An internal investigation found improper payments - to the tune of 3 million dollars - to a company contracted to clear land for the county.

It was discovered that the supervisor who oversaw the project had a relative who worked for the contractor. As a result, the supervisor and another employee were fired because of the conflict of interest.

DeKalb's chief operating officer Richard Stogner says the county will work with the grand jury to uncover any flaws in its contractor evaluation process.

"If there's any particular weakness that's disclosed in our internal control mechanisms we'll certainly be interested in that and take appropriate action," said Stogner.

However, the contractor in question has alleged in a lawsuit against the county that his company was actually underpaid by nearly a million dollars.

The contractor's attorney, Bob Wilson, says there was never any conflict of interest and alleges the county is covering up missing funds and pinning it on his client.

Wilson welcomes the grand jury investigation.

"I think it's long overdue," said Wilson. "Within that department, they authorized work that went beyond what they had budgeted for that work. There's some indication that people may have been rewarded in ways that they should not have been."

The grand jury will begin meeting next week.