Investigation of Tyrone’s Missing Public Funds Official

The Tyrone Police Dept has begun an official investigation of the misappropriated funds reported at the June 10 Council hearing according to a letter sent out by Chief Perkins on July 30. The Town Council had earlier tried to sweep the mess under the rug. Incredibly, the Council had decided to allow the citizens money to be taken without investigations until a citizen’s complaint was made to Police.

The investigation will guided by O.C.G.A. 45-11-1 which states: Any public officers or other persons who shall steal, embezzle, alter, falsify or conceal public records or public funds shall be guilty of a criminal felony which shall be punished by imprisonment.

The investigation includes public funds, record keeping, altering of records, payroll, bidding, fair labor standards, and results of the financial audit by Post & Assoc. The financial audit noted the following deficiencies: Untimely financial reports, errors corrected on subsequent reports without explanation, numerous retroactive journal entries that were incorrect, and lack of information on cash balances, revenues and expenditures. All of this right under the noses of our so-called representatives of the people. What in the hell have they been doing all these years. It certainly wasn’t taking care of the citizens business and money.

This is a big job for the Police Dept and will take much time, but they promise to do an unbiased job and to turn their report over to the Fayette District Attorney.

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THE BOSS's picture
Submitted by THE BOSS on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 11:14pm.

Is this a WITCH HUNT or are you just fishing?

If you have no evidence for State Attorney General Baker, then you have nothing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Former Georgia Tech Employee Pleads Guilty in Purchasing Card Case

Monday, March 24, 2008
Attorney General Baker Indicts Former Georgia Tech Employee in Massive Purchasing Card Abuse Case

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Former Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney Sentenced to Six Years in Prison For His Role in Theft Schemes

Office of the Attorney General of Georgia
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Phone: 404 656 3300
Fax: 404 657 8733

Public Corruption

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 9:09am.

The Tyrone Investigation is neither a witch hunt nor a fishing trip. The complaint contains 16 pages of evidence copied from public records. Included is W-2 forms, payroll records, time sheets, citation of Tyrone regulations and a copy to a CPA deficiency report. Go to the Police Dept and read it. It also includes exact mathematical calculations that can’t be disproved. And we’re talking about more than $36,000 for just 2007. I don’t have all the answers; that’s why an investigation is needed. It would be helpful if Tyrone’s government representatives would do just 10% of the work I’ve done. At great disadvantage I might add.

Would you say that altering public records, and misappropriating public funds is an indictable offense? It does not take a legal genius to figure out if certain financial records are required by law, and the person responsible for keeping those records does not do it and also alters them, and writes a check to their self, the funds of which cannot be verified by the non-kept records; then someone has a problem. You seem to know the law. So would you not agree that once evidence is presented, the burden of proof shifts to the defendants? I read your law cases and see much similarity to Tyrone. I have Attorney General Baker’s address, fax and phone #s. What would be your be your suggestion for the best method of contact?

Submitted by outcry30290 on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 6:21am.

Would this also include elected officials? I ask because I believe that Sheryl Lee should be investigated as well. I can’t believe that she would not know about Barry and Valerie’s large payroll checks or did she? Were there large checks issued to her as well? So much can be answered by this one investigation, like why she chose not to put the right personnel in place like Brock as Chief of Police. She wanted to put a kid into that position knowing that he wouldn’t have the experience or guts to investigate her and her co-conspirators. I am concerned that Tyrone is handling the investigation, why not the Sheriff’s department or another non-biased agency? You have two council women in office now that was there in the old regime and I think that the Perkins would not have the experience or brawn to go up against these two ladies as well as the citizens. I mean this is the same guy that sucked up to the Council and told them that his department was over staffed. I don’t have a lot of faith in his abilities. Don’t get me wrong I believe that he is probably a good kid, but a kid. Please let’s push to have another department investigate these charges.

Submitted by BRATT on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 2:33pm.

I would like to see this investigation completed as well. And then once it is finished, I hope everyone will shut up about it. I would like to see the Sheriff’s Department assist in this investigation just to keep people from saying it was controlled by the Mayor or Counsel. I’m not sure why “Outcry” is pushing for Brock as Chief. He was passed over by Mayor and Counsel in 2003 when Spencer died and John Hay became Chief. He was again passed over in 2006 when Hay retired and Mullis became Chief , and then passed over a third time in 2007 when Mullis resigned and Perkins became Chief. (Grace and Gloria was on the counsel this time and it was a 4-0 vote). Then on the first meeting of the present Counsel and Mayor, they reappointed Perkins Chief in a 4-0 vote. Brock seems to be a fine man and as far as I know a good COP. But it makes you think that maybe they know something that we don’t.

Submitted by Margot on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:36am.

A lot of citizens and particularly a few honest past council and planning members know of past government violations. Use your common sense and go to the police with any suspicions or evidence to add to the current complaint. Don’t be afraid, the mess is out in the open now. I’ve had many citizens tell me things but were afraid of government retribution. That won’t happen now with Barry & Valerie gone. If it does, the culprit will end up in prison.

Think bidding, purchasing, payroll, required payroll records, promises on zoning, downtown redevelopment, lack of sign postings for zoning hearings, money paid to officials for favors. Some of you have kept files of evidence. Bring it to the police and let us know in the blogs. Let’s use the people’s rights and power under our democratic constitution. We the people are endowed with certain undeniable rights to form a better government. So that all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men won’t be able to put humpy dumpty back together again. And when we get back in control again, the first thing we’ll do is strip the lawyers of their power.

THE BOSS's picture
Submitted by THE BOSS on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 11:59am.

Sorry but you have to go outside the box to investigate this, then there is no bias investigation that can come back in the future, like in court.

Contact State Attorney General, Thurbert Baker’s office at 404-656-3300.
Explain what you believe has been wrongly done, what proof and documents you have and if they will investigate into the possible wrong doings. They have their own investigators. (The Chief should have already done this)

As for the overtime pay. You only have overtime when you are short of manpower, or can’t manage what you have or both. If overtime has been paid in the past then precedence has been established and should include all city employees, police, and fire.

You might have an issue with not paying overtime, see link to Georgia Department of Labor and go down to “Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)” then go to “USDOL Employment Law Guide – Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay”.

Georgia Department of Labor Link

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 4:06pm.

Thanks for the info on Fair Labor Act. I had been trying to piece that together. In Tyrone’s case they violated the Labor law by not keeping records and exempting some personnel that they shouldn’t have. I notice that violators are prosecuted criminally. I’ll give this info to the Police investigators.

Specifically what do you mean about bias investigations in the future. Do you mean that if the Tyrone Police does a biased investigation that can be proven, a new investigation can be had? It’s Res Judicata after the Police investigation and indictment? The Atty General won’t interfere with an ongoing investigation? There can or can’t be simultaneous State & Local investigations? Should the State be involved now and why?

Are you a lawyer Boss? If so, would you like a lucrative class action suit against Tyrone on inverse condemnation, violation of ministerial duties in zoning procedures, constitutionality, equal protection, non conforming use violations, and all that have cost Tyrone business and property owners million of dollars over the last 11 years? If not, do you know a qualified hungry zoning lawyer who would take a high winnable case on a contingency? All discovery and legal research has already been done. I have a law degree but am not licensed.

Submitted by outcry30290 on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:42am.

I don’t know about a witch hunt. I personally want to know why so much money was given to two employees and why no one else knew about it. Why were these employees allowed to encumber that much time and then allowed to give themselves such large checks if nothing else it is very suspicious. When you have such a tight budget that it squeaks, how is it possible that there was that much money in the budget? I thought these were salaried employees, did the salary budget go over the projected amount? Doesn’t Council have to approve over budgeted amounts? If for nothing else it seems measures need to be put into place to make sure this no longer happens. I hope this does clear up a lot and we can move on. But when you look at it, no matter what kind of findings the TPD come back with, will we believe them? That is why I am pushing for another department to investigate. If they find nothing is it because that is what they were told to find or if they find something how uncomfortable will that be for them with Grace and Gloria being on the Council? As far as Brock, he is a good man, but if what you are implying is true, then he should be gone too. Or my point was, that could explain why Sheryl, Barry and Valerie did not want him in that office, remember, his wife worked for them at one time. Maybe they didn’t want him too close. I’m just saying.

Submitted by Margot on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:53pm.

You should be on the council. It’s more than suspicious at this point. Nothing was budgeted for the money that was taken. If I was on council, I certainly would want to know if spending went over budget, and I would want to approve it. Major Brock is part of the solution, not the problem. Barry didn’t want him as Chief because he knew Brock couldn’t be controlled. Barry had fired Brock’s wife in 2000 under very very suspicious circumstances; and even Brock and his wife couldn’t find out if council approved it or even why she was fired. What we do know about the situation was that Tammie was sent by Barry to a week seminar on government. When she returned, Barry & Valerie met her at the door and handed all of her personal items to her in a box. Barry asked for her resignation saying “you just don’t fit into our plans”; and if you don’t resign, you will be fired and a bad report put in your file. Tammie resigned and after that no one could find out why. Then word started circulating that the reason was money was missing. But one of the real reasons was that Tammy was in charge of purchase orders and she would not approve purchases for Barry that did not follow regulations. Now we know who was really responsible for missing money. Barry was autocratic dictator who controlled everything and everyone was afraid of him. That’s why so much is coming out now that Barry gone. There’s no telling what a good investigation will turn up. Everyone who worked with Barry including past council members and employees should be questioned in this investigation.

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 12:39pm.

All elected Tyrone Officials both past and present should be questioned about the investigation. They were elected to protect the citizens best interests. They hired the employees. Sheryl Lee was mentioned in the complaint because Valerie testified that Sheryl gave her and Barry permission to take the money. She should be the first to be questioned. At this time that’s all that’s known about Sheryl.

This is a criminal investigation; good or bad hiring decisions is a Management/Council decision. It’s up to the citizens to make their Officials perform responsibly. The problem is the citizens don’t pay enough attention, but they are the real bosses in a democracy if they will ban together in large enough groups. The real way to control management is to learn the law or legal administrative procedures, because Tyrone violates procedures on almost a daily basis and has done so at least since 1996. That’s an established fact from the records. But you’re right about the importance of this investigation to learn as much as possible to insure future good government. Help us!.

Concern about Tyrone investigating itself is an issue. But we’re lucky to have anyone investigating, the Council refused an earlier request. The Police didn’t refuse. I have confidence in the Tyrone Police Dept. They say a thorough unbiased investigation will be done. They have already been given some very strong evidence and they have said all evidence will be given to the District Attorney. It’s up to the D.A. to decide if criminal laws have been violated, not the Tyrone Police.

This evidence will become public record that’s when we need you “Outcry” and other citizens to put pressure on to make sure the investigation was thorough and properly evaluated. If the D.A. does nothing we can go to the State Attorney General for further investigation.

No way we can depend on our elected representatives. The two Councilwomen you mentioned are more bark than bite. They were given evidence of criminal violations in May 2007 and did nothing. They could have gone directly to the District Attorney but didn’t.

We’ve just about lost our democracy to government control. The citizens must step forward. It’s now or never for Tyrone. Let’s make an example out of the guilty ones. Let’s make sure Council doesn’t put pressure on the Police to sweep something under the rug.

Submitted by outcry30290 on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 1:35pm.

Thank you for the information Tyrone Confidential. I am confused though. You mention that it is important for us citizens to keep pressure on them to properly investigate the matter. Then you mention that we cannot allow Council to pressure the police. How do we exactly do that when this council is having secretive meetings, discussing items not posted on the agenda, etc. How do we know how the investigation is going? Isn’t an ongoing investigation kept secret until the findings are made public? We can’t trust any town government to be honest with us. The police department is on the council’s payroll, they are going to do anything in their power to make them happy. If nothing else, the police department is smart enough to know that they need to do what makes the council happy because they have demonstrated all too often that there is no loyalty to the town employees. I am glad that you have so much faith in the police department, I do not. I have seen what kind of puppet that they have made of Perkins. He is afraid to sneeze in front of them let alone investigate them. I will say it again, I would be a lot more confident about this investigation if another department were handling it. I’ll do my part Tyrone Confidential, please keep us updated.

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 9:15am.

It’s not easy to make Tyrone’s government serve the people you don’t know about all the secrecy, but write a letter asking a question, when they don’t answer or avoid your question, you know it’s a secret. Things always leak out and will get on the blog. We won’t know about the investigation until a report is made. If it says no actionable violations were found, then you’ll know the investigation was a farce. The Police Dept is not happy about being cheated out of over-time pay. I guarantee they’re checking this out. No one to my knowledge has ever made a formal complaint about the administration to the Police. This is different; trust me, they already have enough damaging evidence from the complaint to make the D.A. open his eyes. Of course there is definitely a good old boy network in Fayette County. Government’s modus operandi is always to ignore a problem until everyone gives up. If you keep pushing it becomes easier for government to do right than keeping fighting to ignore wrongs. Government officials are bullies but like all bullies they back off when they see you won’t quit. Government doesn’t like newspapers to write negative articles. But don’t bother with the Fayette News, they’re part of the network. Call the Citizen, they’re starting to become a real newspaper. Call John Hollis with the Atlanta Journal, he covers Fayette County. Try Mark Darrow & Smola’s trick, call Fox News about the investigation. Let’s give the Tyrone Police a chance. If they fail the State Attorney is next. Go to the Council and ask them to adopt the State Ethics Law. They don’t want to do it because it would create a citizens oversight committee. Tell Eric Dial to make a motion on it, he brought it up several months ago for discussion. They will vote against it of course, but that will be really bad publicity. Watch the Tyrone Citizen for an article on the investigation! They know about it.

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