The Johns Creek City Council voted unanimously (5-0) June 17 to hire an attorney to investigate Mayor Mike Bodker following concerns of Bodker violating the City’s charter and ethics ordinance.
“This action follows several reprimands of Mayor Bodker about certain questionable actions he’s taken over the last several years,” said City Council Member Randall Johnson. “Unfortunately, that approach didn’t work and now the Council is left with no other choice but to turn to the investigative process as allowed under the City’s charter (Section 3.12).”
The City charter specifically states that the mayor represents the will of the Council. “However, there have been allegations that he’s repeatedly involved himself in actions and situations that were outside the will of Council,” added Johnson.
Johnson said the Council wanted an independent, unbiased legal opinion, and therefore, has contracted with Wilson, Morton & Downs of Decatur to handle an investigation. The Council has the legal authority to do this under the City’s charter.
Once the investigation is completed, a report will be made available to the public at that time.
Updated June 18 at 1 p.m.: Actions of Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker will be looked into as city council members voted unanimously Monday after a private executive session to hire a third-party firm to launch an investigation, Councilman Randall Johnson said.
The vote was 5-0 as Bodker recused himself and Councilwoman Kelly Stewart was absent from the meeting.
Though Johnson — who said he was the driving force behind the Monday’s action — would not comment on the specifics, he said the decision to enter into the investigation was spurred on by “more of a pattern of behavior over time.”
City Manager John Kachmar will be handling the selection of the firm, said Johnson, who has recommended possible firms to Kachmar.
“The council decided to hire an independent third-party group to investigate,” he said. “We wanted to make it independent of city council [and] make it independent of the office of the city attorney [and] the office of the city manager.”
Johnson added, “It will be a firm that has nothing to do with Johns Creek [and] has no past or present business with anybody from Johns Creek — either elected or staff — and a firm that’s never done any business with Johns Creek, so they’re totally outside the city.”
He anticipates the investigation will last four to six weeks, and said a report will be made public at the end.
“[The firm] will interview each council member and the mayor individually and confidentially,” he said. “They’ll interview staff members and department heads, and they’ll take the investigation where it takes [them].”
Johnson added, “There have been no charges filed … We just want to make sure we’re all on the same page and just see where the investigation leads.”
Bodker was not able to be reached immediately for comment.