DeKalb County, GA, March 4, 2015 – by Trey Benton – The DeKalb County Ethics Board met Tuesday and dismissed complaints filed against Commissioner Kathie Gannon and Commissioner Jeff Rader for “Lack of Probable Cause.”
The complaint against Commissioner Gannon was filed by Monica Parrott of Lithonia, whom Ethics Board Investigator Robert Browning was unable to locate in order substantiate her claims. There was no evidence submitted with the complaint – only allegations of prohibited behaviors.
In an effort to address the allegations filed, Browning requested information from Gannon who was able to supply supporting documentation for any purchases or activities claimed to be prohibited. Browning said his investigation found Gannon’s actions and spending were on County business.
“I passionately believe in the role of an Ethics Board in government and the right of persons to bring matters to its attention,” said Commissioner Gannon. “I am pleased that the Board of Ethics saw through the false allegations and appreciate that each and every allegation was dismissed.”
Gannon said that in her case it appears a person with access to government records – without filing an Open Records Request – used that information to create a fraudulent complaint against her. “It needs to be investigated,” urged Gannon. “It diminishes the legitimate authority of the Board of Ethics and it is disrespectful to the citizens of DeKalb County.”
The complaint against Commissioner Rader was filed by Warren Mosby of Decatur, alleging a conflict of interest pertaining to Rader’s relationship with Jacobs Engineering, as well as improper use of county funds on a personal cell phone, airfare to an economic development conference in Turkey and I.T. solutions.
During his investigation, Browning contacted Rader asking for supporting documentation showing his expenditures were appropriate and legitimate uses of government funds. Rader said Mosby’s claims regarding a conflict of interest were unfounded because he has recused himself from any matters concerning Jacobs Engineering.
Mosby did not present the Board with any evidence to support his claims.
Several Ethics Board Members drove home the point that their decisions must be made on evidence, not grounds.
Browning found Rader’s activity and expenses to be on County business and commended both Rader and Gannon for keeping such thorough records.
Commissioner Rader was supportive of the work of the Ethics Board and told The Post, “This process is an important venue for DeKalb citizens to be able to vet these issues, try to resolve them and maintain confidence in the Government.”
He said he was pleased the board’s decision.