GBI looking at Tyrone complaint

Fri, 02/06/2009 - 3:52pm
By: Ben Nelms

A complaint filed last summer by Tyrone resident Dick Shelley over alleged malfeasance by former town administrative staff and investigated by Tyrone Police has been forwarded to Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) by District Attorney Scott Ballard. GBI is completing its investigation and is expected to return the results to Ballard in the near future.

Shelley’s complaint lists his concerns over alleged improprieties relating to money paid to former town clerk Valerie Caldwell and former town manager Barry Amos. Portions of those amounts, nearly $23,000 for Caldwell and more than $20,000 for Amos, were unaccounted for, the complaint said. The complaint also alleges inconsistencies in the lack of time-sheet record keeping, improprieties in the bidding process and questions over calls by the new administration for a forensic audit of those matters than was later changed to a non-forensic audit.

Shelley requested that his complaint be turned over to the district attorney and Georgia Bureau of Investigation. A July 30 letter from Police Chief Brandon Perkins informed Shelley that an investigation into the matter had begun.

Ballard and Perkins both said it was better to have a third party review the investigation it was appropriate for his office to request that GBI look into the matter.

GBI Special Agent Rodney Wall said Friday the agency received the investigation in November and is expected to complete its own investigation shortly and return the results to Ballard.

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Submitted by mysteryman on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 6:51pm.

The Tyrone Police precient is just steps away from Gracie and co chambers, so why is it that the G.B.I has to step in, are the local investigator to afraid to arrest one of their own.....HMM just food for thought folks.....PEACE

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 2:10pm.

Because the Tyrone Police rightly believed, that you can’t effectively investigate your employer. The Police sought the advice of District Attorney Ballard who reviewed their report. The D.A. is not an investigative office, but the GBI is. This is a serious and long overdue investigation into many years of past Tyrone questions.

Tyrone had become a virtual dictatorship by Town Managers, with no oversight measures by past Councils. When new Financial Consultant Mary Sturm finally let the cat out of the bag at the June 10, 2008 Council Meeting about checks written to employees without any explanations; it set in motion many other financial questions requiring public answers. But the Council became secret as usual and tried to sweep it all under the rug. This created rampant suspicion by citizens, because the new 2008 Council appeared to be covering up discrepancies that were no fault of their own, supposedly.

Three things need to come out of this GBI investigation. 1. The financial facts need to be made public. 2. Investigation needs to be expanded beyond the GBI scope of the non-explained checks written to employees into other areas. 3. The investigation needs to teach future councils that they are elected to represent the people openly and not the government secretly. Explanations of actions taken in secretive executive sessions, needs to be transcribed for public records.

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Submitted by suggarfoot on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 7:57pm.

and whoever put Ms Strum in place to do the digging.

I'm glad that someone is investigating this. So many taxpayers of Tyrone were treated badly when we asked for simple answers from the past employees of Tyrone. It is unbelievable now we put up with this, but one by one,...separately, we were all conquered, and it seemed the will of the developers ruled.

While it sounds like I'm saying this is good because we were treated badley....I'm saying...the reason...may come once and for all...the reason we all felt railroaded.

I feel we were justified in out feelings of misrepresentation. Now we will have an answer. I hope that once the seemingly excessive extra pay is proven to be justified or unjutifield, everything else will be questioned...and if some look bad..or have to give back money?...oh[]o happens!

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Submitted by suggarfoot on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 2:39pm.

When this happened, I got a copy of the employees rules concering overtime and vacation. I never saw anything that said you could pay yourself like they did. If you can't, then it would seem, at the very least, they should have to give the money back.

Submitted by Valerie on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 7:24pm.

The Powder Springs City Manager was fired last month for not giving Council accurate financial reports incurring unnecessary expenses and not properly preparing operating statements and budgets. Sounds exactly like Tyrone. Now why do you think these City Managers don’t give accurate financial statements? The reason is, they’ve got something to hide. Tyrone has something to hide, that’s why the GBI want to know the hidden facts about their public funds.

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