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Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker exercises first veto
by Nicole Dow
July 30, 2013 12:40 PM | 2249 views | 14 14 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker vetoed city council’s unanimous decision last week to waive attorney-client privilege so city attorneys could openly speak to investigators looking into the mayor’s actions and conduct, without fear of breeching confidentiality.

“The resolution [to waive attorney-client privilege], as it is currently written and as I’ve been advised, it is too broad,” Bodker said. “It is not time specific. You won’t actually know what’s been waived until a third party does something, being the investigator.

“Therefore [council] didn’t or couldn’t know exactly what they were waiving at the time they were waiving it, and I think that’s a dangerous precedent.”

Today's veto is the first time Bodker used the veto power granted to him by the city charter.

“It didn’t come without a lot of consideration,” he said, adding he never wanted to use veto power in his role as mayor.

“As one might say [it may be] politically wise to stay out of this, I can’t in good conscious look the other way when I know I wouldn’t be doing the right thing,” Bodker said.

The mayor had recused himself from the discussion and vote on waiving the attorney-client privilege last week as he is the subject of the investigation. However, he sought legal advice regarding the decision and then notified the council of his intent to veto.

Council members will have the opportunity to reconsider the veto at their next meeting Monday and decide whether to let it stand or vote to override it, Bodker said. He also added an item to the meeting agenda for council to consider seeking independent counsel for advice on the ramifications of waiving attorney-client privilege in certain instances.

Bodker said he does not intend to slow down the investigation and hopes it concludes as quickly as possible. He also affirmed he has nothing to hide and is not concerned with the investigator’s results.

Councilman Randall Johnson, who brought the waiver up before council, said he is surprised and confused at Bodker's decision to veto the waiver.

"It will slow [the investigation] down, which, in my opinion, is what they mayor wants," Johnson said. "We passed this resolution to increase transparency and for some reason the mayor doesn't want that specific item to be transparent."

Attorneys from the city and the investigation team already vetted the waiver and did not see a problem with it, he said. If there is an issue about what will be disclosed in the public report, Johnson said any discussions of ongoing legal matters would be redacted from the report. Cases that have been resolved are already public information.

"There's not going to be any information that's going to be disclosed that's not already public," he said.

Since this is the first time the mayor has exercised veto power, Johnson said the council has to look into what the protocol is for taking the next steps.

"The council can override the veto with five votes and this resolution was passed with six votes," he said.
Comments
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old sage
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August 19, 2013
I agree with the previous statement. Bodker can run but he can't hide. ALL the corrupt politicians in this State need "to go". If they can't serve the people then they shouldn't be in office.

Th those commenting on how horrible the city council is, it doesn't make any sense. The councilmembers were the ones that brought this to light. Thank you members!
Nixon next
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August 16, 2013
Just wait while he shuffles and mixes his records...then the truth will come out. Delay. Delay. Delay. The Emperor has no clothes.
old sage
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August 12, 2013
Pula S: The first thing you should know about debating and blogging:

When you start calling others names, it shows that you are losing the battle and are resorting back to childish behavior.

Sounds like Cali G and Paula S are one in the same.
VotersinJC
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August 04, 2013
An investigation must be conducted. If a majority of the city council thinks there is good cause then this investigation must be done.

Just because some people want to sweep this under the rug and don't want tax dollars spent, doesn't mean that there isn't "just cause". And doesn't insurance cover some of these costs?

Too many State and Local politicians and workers need to be watched, as there are too many out there that have tyheir own interests above the interests of the people!
3 voters
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August 02, 2013
First of all if there is reason for this investigation, who cares what the costs are. It is the responsibility of the council members to make sure that everything is on the up and up. Look at all the investigations going on in Atlanta. We need to root out any possible corruption in all cities, even ours.
Susan, johns creek
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August 01, 2013
I am wondering.....exactly how much of our tax dollars are being spent on an outside attorney? Doesn't the city have its own attorneys to handle this? Why aren't the council spending their time moving things forward with the city rather than attacking mayor Bodker?
Paula S
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August 01, 2013
Have any of you negative taxpayers ever read the other articles? The mayor publicized his personal cell phone and invited people to talk to him to ask anything and everything. That to me is transparency. Someone who has something to hide would not expose himself to allow anyone to ask anything. It is just coincidental that this is an election year, I l presume by people that want his seat. To me, it does not seem like a stall but rather the mayor looking out for the city on issues that aren't public knowledge. I hope the council knows where our vote stands.
SueBVK
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July 31, 2013
Sure looks like a stall by the mayor to me.

Have the city council over-ride the mayor, get on with the investigation, see what the results are, take the necessary steps to fix this, and let's get back to business in fixing this city.
JCreekers
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July 31, 2013
Really? the mayor doesn't want to stall the investigation? Hogwash! If his hands were clean, he wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.
Taxpayer1839
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July 31, 2013
Of course Bodker is slowing down the investigation now. Come on, this is an election year and he does not want any bad publicity for his campaign. If course, this is showing the public that he does not want the investigation to be transparent. Seems like he may have a lot to hide.Boo!
Liz C
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July 30, 2013
I have admired mayor Bodker and his actions ever since the city was formed. He is always at every event, represents the city at its fullest potential and I have never seen the city council represented at such events. He is of fullest potential at doing everything with the citizens at mind first and I believe this investigation is a hoax. I hope the city council realizes the voters are the ones who are watching them and who will determine their next seat. Good job mayor Bodker -keep up the food work!
Paula S
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July 30, 2013
Randall, in my opinion is the world largest idiot for putting the city at risk in all this. How dare he expose the city, along with council to such unknown public information. They should really think twice before we exercise our vote when they are all up for re-election. Mayor Bodker is the best of the best when it comes to representing the city with only he best intentions. He is at every event whereas I never see the council represented. To me, he is the true citizen advocate rather than this council who does nothing but sit behind a voting podium a few meetings. Keep up the Job mayor Bodker!
Stephanie Johnson
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August 06, 2013
Paula (If that's your real name), I will expect an apology from you when the investigation report is published! Calling my husband "the worlds largest idiot" you have some nerve.
Cali G
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August 08, 2013
Stephanie Johnson-I agree with you being offended by calling your husband "the worlds largest idiot". Your husband is the city council's puppet and fall guy. I question why you are privy to information that the rest of the citizens are not? The city council should be as open with the citizens that they represent and that voted them into office as they are with their spouses when it comes to city matters.
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