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Johns Creek residents criticize council’s investigation of mayor
by Nicole Dow
July 09, 2013 12:32 PM | 3586 views | 4 4 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the first city council meeting since council unanimously voted to launch an investigation into actions of Mayor Mike Bodker, Johns Creek residents spoke up Monday expressing their disapproval.

Residents aired their frustrations about council’s decision not to discuss the details, the cost to taxpayers and the negative public perception brought to the city.

David Rich said the investigation — which is being handled by law firm Wilson, Morton and Downs at a cost of $185 an hour — seems to be a waste of money.

“Why are we spending my money and the other citizens’ money to hire someone sort of on an open-ended, what appears to me to be a witch hunt?” he asked.

Resident Wayne Carrel described the investigation as a “waste of taxpayer dollars from a council that has promised over and over not to waste taxpayer dollars.” Councilmembers’ decision not to specify what actions of the mayor were under scrutiny also did not sit right with him.

“I feel like you’re working behind closed doors in secrecy with a council that was to be so very, very transparent,” Carrel told councilmembers.

Resident Render Freeman said he believes airing “the dirty laundry” of Johns Creek has harmed the city and accomplishes nothing beyond wasting tax dollars.

“It occurs to me that I’m actually ashamed of the city council and the decision that was made to launch this generic investigation,” he said.

Though resident Mark Endres said he supports the investigation, he does not approve of the way it is being conducted.

“Tell the people what the investigation is about specifically,” he told councilmembers.

Resident Stephanie Endres called the infighting amongst elected officials embarrassing and undignified and said councilmembers owed it to the citizens to prove their claims against Bodker.

Councilmembers have kept quiet about the investigation under legal advisement, but Councilman Randall Johnson did move to have one piece of previously confidential information made public.

Council hired Political Law Group to conduct a research paper comparing the city’s ethics ordinance, its charter and state law with regards to the disclosure confidential information from executive sessions.

Bodker and councilmembers voted unanimously to waive the attorney-client privilege in order to make the report, which dates back to April 21, public.
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