If the recent confirmation of fraud, malfeasance and corruption in downtown government does not provoke every taxpaying citizen to some level of action or even revolt, our community has lost its hope and opportunity for a better future.
For the past six months the Dougherty County Taxpayers Association has contended that ADICA (the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority), empowered by the Albany City Commission, has been guilty of misappropriation and mismanagement of taxpayer funds and made every legal attempt to repulse an effort to hand over a $6 million blank check to Al Lott, Don Buie and ADICA to continue this act of fraud, collusion and waste of taxpayer funds.
A known and convicted felon, Don Buie did not act alone. He has been enabled to perpetuate his crime by a city manager, a mayor and every city commissioner who stood idly by, and if not obstructed our investigation under the Open Records Act, “looked the other way” while protecting Buie and their fraternity of career bureaucrats.
When confronted with a preponderance of criminal evidence (even implicating others), they continue their game of “dupe the public” by contending that there was no way they could have known about Buie because of the “seven-year limit on convictions under the Consumer Reporting Clarification Act.” Wrong again, Boss Hogg. CRCA was amended in 1998, removing any time restrictions (Section 605) regarding criminal convictions. Buie’s criminal record was “out there” for anyone to see.
How much longer will the citizens of Albany stand by while our city turns into a “little Chicago,” allowing these “bosses” to operate unchallenged by our own elected officials? They remain conspicuously silent.
Every city commissioner, the mayor, city manager and their accomplices all have dirty hands in this matter, and if they have any dignity, should resign. As a career military officer, Al Lott should know about the “code of conduct” and “chain of command,” which he clearly ignored by his handling of former Police Chief Younger’s unauthorized $40,000 severance, the re-instatement of Assistant Fire Chief Jollievette (after being fired for theft of services) and leaving Buie on the job for four weeks (after a GBI investigation was announced) to destroy evidence (of his misdeeds) and do damage control. If still in the military and his lieutenant had committed such a crime (particularly after his appointment by Lott), his lieutenant would have been court-martialed and his commanding officer (Lott) busted.
Our city commission is his boss, take note.
And now we learn of even more graft involving ADICA board member L’Juana Woods (sponsored by our own Willie Adams), who not only received an illegal $50,000 grant but defaulted on a $100,000 Capital City Bank loan and two months later received a $100,000 loan by Community and Economic Development. This is only what we know today, as the downtown sewage continues to “spill.”
Whether our city commissioners are left “on the hook” for a $1.4 million MacGregor Golf default (unsecured and now a loss to taxpayers), or overpaying for a piece of riverfront property without doing a $1,500 Phase 1 environmental assessment prior to closing, and later faced with an EPA $1.2 million cleanup assessment, they are at the center of a “broken,” unresponsive and irresponsible government.
As responsible citizens, our only choices are to leave Albany (which many are doing) and let these “characters” drown in their own “financial abyss” when the tax base disappears, or to unite into one body of concerned citizens, vote them out of office and take our city back. The DCTPA is the only tool we as citizens have to fight this failed government, and I invite every citizen to join us, become involved and take our city back. This is a “call to arms.” If not now, when?