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UPDATED: Johns Creek mayor, councilwoman calls for city manager’s resignation
by Nicole Dow
October 10, 2013 11:23 AM | 5926 views | 29 29 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
UPDATED: Oct. 16, 10:35 a.m.

Following allegations that Johns Creek City Manager John Kachmar poked a resident in the chest during a verbal dispute outside city hall last week, Mayor Mike Bodker and Councilwoman Kelly Stewart have called for Kachmar's resignation.

“On Monday night, Oct. 7, Johns Creek residents witnessed an inexcusable act of verbal assault by the city manager, John Kachmar,” Stewart said Friday in a statement to the press. “These victims were not only verbally assaulted but feared for their physical safety from his threats — all because Mr. Kachmar disagreed with their statements. This type of behavior cannot be excused, tolerated or condoned.”

On Tuesday, Bodker issued a statement giving Kachmar until the end of the week to resign. Bodker said if Kachmar does not resign, he will recommend to city council that he be removed at next Monday’s council meeting.

“Based on the verbal abuse alone, it is impossible for me to support keeping Mr. Kachmar on as our city manager,” he said. “I have not yet heard from any other council member other than Councilwoman Stewart, and I hope they will recognize that to ignore this behavior is in effect condoning it. I ask that they join the call for Mr. Kachmar’s resignation and demonstrate that protecting our citizens comes first and that this type of verbal assault will not be tolerated in the city of Johns Creek.”

Councilman Randall Johnson, in a statement Tuesday on behalf of himself and council members Karen Richardson, Brad Raffensperger and Ivan Figueroa, said, "The mayor’s unilateral assault on Mr. Kachmar puts the city at risk of civil action."

In the same statement, Richardson said it is clear to her, Johnson, Raffensperger and Figueroa that there is "a concerted effort ... to deflect public attention away from the investigation into the mayor’s alleged corrupt behavior."

She added, “We’re not joining any call for the resignation of our city manager over an alleged verbal altercation. The mayor is under investigation for serious offences in which he flagrantly disregards our charter in order to forward his political agenda. He ought to be the one resigning.”

After the Oct. 7 council meeting, Kachmar said he had approached a group that included residents Christy Johnson and Gerald Bush. Earlier during the meeting, Johnson had made a public comment about her repeated attempts to get information on a proposed public works project in her neighborhood and said no one from the city would provide her with the information she requested.

“I listened to Christy Johnson basically say the city staff has never has never gotten back to [her] … and I just said, ‘That’s not true. You’re lying,’” Kachmar said.

Bush later told police, according to a report filed through the Johns Creek Police Department, that he thought Kachmar was acting inappropriately to accuse the woman of lying. Bush said he made an explicit statement directed towards the city manager.

Kachmar also admitted to calling Bush an explicit name in response but said the dispute between them was strictly a verbal one, though he alleged Bush threatened to hit him.

After returning home, Bush called police to report the city manager had threatened him. He alleged Kachmar shouted at him using explicit language and poked him in the chest.

According to police, Bush filed the report for documentation purposes and stated at the time that he did not wish to pursue charges against Kachmar but would follow up with the complaint procedure through city hall.

City communications manager Rosemary Taylor said she witnessed part of the incident between the group and Kachmar.

“It was strictly a verbal altercation,” she said. “Nothing physical happened at all.”

She added, “Unfortunately it happened with a group of the mayor’s supporters.”

Kachmar said he was not surprised the mayor and his supporters, of which he includes Stewart, want him to leave office.

“This is strictly a Mike Bodker event,” he said. “This is his campaign supporters. What this is called is retribution for testifying against him.”

Kachmar said he does not intend on resigning.



Comments
(29)
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Ethics Pro
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October 29, 2013
The dishonest Bev bots out here are going to be eating a lot of crow when the facts come into the light. Not only was this not instigated by the citizens, it was 100% instigated by Kachmar with no preceeding events or actions to trigger it. He is what he has been reported as being time and again by different people from around Georgia and the country. Why you would support him, or those council members that would protect him instead of citizens, is unforgiveable. They have turned their heads time and again and THEY, not officials doing the right thing and speaking out against Kachmar's unacceptable behavior, have made our city vulnerable. This isn't about the Bodker investigation. Kachmar lost his mind (again) over a comment (which he got wrong) about a road project. The witnesses weren't all Bodker supports. In fact, it was a diverse group. Keep believing the lies that Bev, Kachmar, Taylor, Randall, Karen, Brad, and Ivan tell... until your cleaning the egg off your face. Ever wonder how Bev always stays in perfect lock step with the council and city officials when she is a private citizen now? How would she have access to confidential information? Maybe one day we'll have a supoena ordering Kachmar, Taylor, Johnson, Miller, Richardson, Raffensperger and Figueroa to turn over all their private emails and phone calls.
Thetruthiseasytosee
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October 24, 2013
So, now it comes out that before the current assault, other City Managers in the area have formally complained about Kachmar's temperment and use of foul language, a prominent businessman previously complained of the same thing, and nothing was done. The council failed to act and left all the citizens vulnerable to Kachmar. And some of you have the audacity to bash and trash the victims. Shame on you. Read the city charter... our council is not upholding their oath of office.
bradyah
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October 20, 2013
Mr Kachmar is a public servant/official. He can not behave like ordinary citizens, irrespective provocations.

Using bad words is sure intimidation and that too coming from a powerful public official who manages city depts including poilce.



Mr Kachmar should be investigated for public mis-behavior and be desciplined/fired based on the outcome.
Johns Creek Observer
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October 20, 2013
Who gives these council people and their city manager damage control advice, Charlie Sheen? They just insist on putting their desperate downward spiral on media display.
Red Dawg a resident
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October 16, 2013
If Jerry Bush makes an "explicit statement" to Mr. Kachmar and gets an explicit statement in return, then runs home to file a police report because he "feared for his physical safety" as Ms Stewart claims he needs to put on his big boy pants or stop going to council meetings.

I have never heard of a more trumped up charge to deflect away from an ethics investigation.

Where is the "smoking finger" that did the poking??
anonymous
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October 16, 2013
When Kelly Stewart first ran for council, there was a website called “the truth about Kelly.com”.

Did everyone read that? They should have.
DP9
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October 16, 2013
Read up on Kelly Mull of Blue Ridge, Ga. Who now is Kelly Stewart.
terrirer
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October 16, 2013
Kelly Stewart and Mike Bodker should resign. They have caused all the chaos and money spent in this city.
Ralp
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October 16, 2013
Kachmar did not touch the other man. Bodker was the person who highly recommended and hired Kachmar years ago.
Johns Creek
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October 16, 2013
For the "Get Bodker" political operatives out here... it's time to set aside your obsessive mission and stop playing. Trouble is brewing. There are folks from the civil rights and anti-corruption circles sitting on the sidelines watching what the City does here. I tell you, if Kachmar doesn't do the right thing and step down, or the Council doesn't fire him, big and costly trouble may well be on it's way to Johns Creek, the Council, City and ultimately those of us that fund the City... the taxpayers. We need to demand this end now, with Kachmar's resignation or dismissal, apologies to the victims from the Council and City and promises to reform the City internally to insure none of what's been going on for some time, including this, ever happens again. The charter should be ammended to require an independent citizen review committee that is required to review all ethics and legal concerns and make recommendations before City or Council acts. They have demonstrated their inability to manage these issues effectively on their own. The dishonest game players will push back on this post, that's predictable. Those of you that aren't aligned to a side in the unrelated Council vs Mayor debacle, please get the facts of the assualt and intimidation and take a stand before our city is put through more hardship, embarrassment and more.
TaxpayersofJC
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October 16, 2013
Mike Bodker recommended and hired Kachmar in 2008.

Was Kachmar even on the job when this happened? It was late at night. No one gets fired for what they do afterhours!

If Kachmar should be fired for verbal accusations, then Mike Bodker should be fired for his possible criminal/unethical violations, right?
bradyah
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October 20, 2013
Citi Manager will be on duty 24/7, all the days of the year. Public servants are reponsible for their behavior on duty or off duty. Remember Citi manager is in charge of all services including fire and police dept.
Johns Creek Resident
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October 12, 2013
No matter what people say about whether this has a political component or not, consider this:

John Kachmar, City Manager, got into a shouting match with a citizen, and is accused of laying hands on the citizen. If true, it does classify as assault. He also has a history of anger issues through the years, in fact being dismissed from from his duties at one point. This is also not his first run-in with these types of charges.

Who hired this guy?

bradyah
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October 20, 2013
If that is true, this is unbecoming of a public servant irrespective his military service/awards.

Kachmar is a civil servant not a military officer.
Kdye, a resident
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October 12, 2013
Throw all of them out of office if they can't manage to do their puddly little political jobs without all this drama and controversy. This is all an embarrassment to Johns Creek.
MillerFan
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October 11, 2013
This ENTIRE situation is 100% instigated and blown out of proportion by supporters of the Mayor's. But I'm surprised at the low levels to which they have stooped. Why would she call for his resignation over something so slight, ridiculous, and unproven? These childish antics must end so the Council can focus on doing their job. It's time for a change.
reallyfedupvoter
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October 11, 2013
John Kachmar has a history of abusive behaviour.

He was city manager of Beaufort, SC in 2000. During his time there he had a female member of the planning commission resign in protest over his bullying tactics. Here is that link: http://savannahnow.com/stories/070799/CMNresign.html

He was essentially fired (Council voted 11-0 to accept his resignation) from that job after it was revealed he violated county vehicle policy and some state laws:

http://www.lowcountrynewspapers.net/archive/node/72380

In 2000, he was accused of assaulting/slapping a 14 year old boy after another verbal altercation. He admitted to “tapping the boy’s shoulder and telling him to shut up”.

http://articles.mcall.com/2000-05-27/news/3305983_1_snack-bar-three-teens-theater-usher

His recent verbal altercation (even if he was baited) is too much. The city deserves better.

I Read It
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October 17, 2013
Please read the articles for yourself, don't take the exaggerations in reallyfedupvoter's comment as fact. The spin he/she puts on them reeks of political aspiration.
wondering and wonder
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October 11, 2013
Who actually hired Kachmar? Bodker?

I know men that swear at each other all the time.

Does this little dispute really need to go viral?

Steem
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October 11, 2013
More false charges from Bush? Witnesses evidently saw what really occurred. Then Bush backed down. Man, is this news? Or just hype!
JC Resident
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October 11, 2013
Poked him with what? A branding iron? Cattle prod? Where are all the real men in the world? Stop acting like brat children and get things done.
bradyah
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October 20, 2013
Public servants can not intimidate verbally or physically. It is not allowed even for ordinary citizens.
Don Foster
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October 10, 2013
This is not about the mayor. Read the police report.
terrirer
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October 10, 2013
No, but it is about the character of some of his his supporters.
JC Voter
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October 10, 2013
Police reports are one one person's story. Wait to hear from all the witnesses, not just the ones looking for photo ops.
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