DeKalb County Continues to Suck

Posted: 6:01 p.m. Friday, April 24, 2015
Ch. 2 Investigation reveals possible kickback to DeKalb officials

By Jodie Fleischer
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/ch-2-investigation-reveals-possible-kickback-dekal/nk3Rn/

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County’s Interim CEO Lee May is calling for an investigation into a $4,000 check with his name on it, saying he didn’t endorse it, or receive the money from it when it was cashed.

A Chanel 2 Action News – Atlanta Journal Constitution investigation uncovered the check while looking into work done at May’s home which was paid for by DeKalb taxpayers. The vendor who did the work went on to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in DeKalb contracts.

“Absolutely, I plan on having a conversation to figure out what the hell was done, excuse my French,” May told investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer.

The money trail surrounding the $4,000 check appears to end with one of three men: interim CEO Lee May, the commissioners’ former chief of staff Morris Williams or businessman Doug Cotter.

“Morris [Williams] contacted me and said, ‘Doug, Lee’s having some financial trouble, is there any way you can help him out?'” Cotter recounted.

May was a DeKalb commissioner at the time, and had just filed bankruptcy.

Cotter got the check from a water removal and restoration company that had just completed work at May’s home in January.

“It could have been a reimbursement check. Yes, but it wasn’t my signature on it and I’m not sure how the check got out there,” said John Meyer, who used to own that company, Water Removal Services.

Cotter says it couldn’t be a reimbursement, because the county directly paid for the work at May’s house, roughly $6,500. But the $4,000 check was made out to Lee May, personally, six days later.

Cotter says he delivered it to Morris Williams because he was close friends with him and saw him more often than he saw May, since Williams was the commissioners’ chief of staff he worked at the Decatur office full time.

Within a few days, Cotter says he heard from Morris Williams again.

“Morris asked me, ‘Doug, is there any way you can cash this for Lee?’ said Cotter, “I said sure, I know both of them.”

Cotter’s family owns a liquor store with a check cashing business inside, and he admits he’s the one who turned that check into $4,000 cash.

“I handed that money to Morris Williams and that was the last time I saw it,” said Cotter, “I was hoping it was going to the intended use , to help Lee [May] and his family.”

“I’m answering this very clearly,” said May, “That is not a check that was cut to me. I’ve never received $1 let alone $4000.”

The contract connection
Records show two weeks after that check cleared, bidding opened on a new county contract for water removal. Cotter submitted a bid for the same company that had done the work at May’s home, Water Removal Services, and won the contract.

“I never wanted to participate down there to begin with, that’s why we never took that contract,” said Meyer, the company’s former owner, “We just kind of backed out.”

But Meyer says Cotter still wanted the contract badly.

In fact, three days before Cotter placed the Water Removal Services bid, he reserved the name for his own new company. Haw Creek Restoration went on to make more than $300,000 in DeKalb work.

“If it’s a situation where a brand new company is getting work and they didn’t compete after it, absolutely not, that should not occur,” said May.

But it did occur. May has asked DeKalb County’s new purchasing director to investigate why it was allowed.

Fleischer asked Cotter if the $4,000 had anything to do with his bid to win that contract.
“No!” Cotter replied, “No. Lee had nothing to do with the bidding process.”

Lee May says he also had nothing to do with that check.

“It is absolutely not my signature,” said May, adding that he didn’t even know the check existed.
Fleischer pulled samples of Lee May’s signature from official county records, as well as samples of Morris Williams’ handwriting, since Cotter says when he got the check back from Williams it was already endorsed with May’s name on the back.

The “M” in May appears to resemble the “M” in Morris Williams’ regular signature.
After 17 years with the county, Williams abruptly retired last month, just as the FBI began investigating all of this. Williams had since been promoted to the position of deputy chief operating officer.

Morris Williams declined our request for an on-camera interview. By phone, he would only say Cotter’s version of events “did not happen that way.” Williams said he did not receive “that amount of money” from Cotter, but he refused to comment when Fleischer asked whether he ever gave May any money.

May has been particularly vocal in his efforts to root out DeKalb corruption since he’s taken over as interim CEO. He forwarded all of the records Channel 2 requested and a copy of the $4,000 check to the GBI, FBI, the district attorney and local law enforcement to prove he’s serious about getting to the bottom of it.

“For someone to benefit off my name, that’s inappropriate, that’s illegal and they need to be dealt with,” said May.
——————————–

Updated: 8:43 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | Posted: 6:23 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2015
DeKalb CEO launches investigation into own county
By Richard Belcher and Jodie Fleischer

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/dekalb-ceo-launches-investigation-own-county/nkZNq/

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The man heading up DeKalb County has ordered a comprehensive review of operations in his county in search of corruption.

Interim CEO Lee May announced Wednesday that he’s launching an investigation and he wants all 6,000 employees to cooperate.

The investigation will employ two of the people who spent 10 months digging into the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde will have unfettered authority to look at whatever they want.

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May’s announcement comes on the heels of a year-long Channel 2 Action News and Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation exposing misspending, corruption and theft within DeKalb County government.

Our reporting led the district attorney’s investigators and the FBI to file records requests to obtain many of the same records we did; it has already led to guilty pleas, ongoing criminal investigations and more than $25,000 repaid to DeKalb taxpayers.

Last April, May rewrote the county’s purchasing card policy after our investigation caught then-Commissioner Elaine Boyer spending taxpayer dollars on airline tickets, family vacations and other personal expenses. She resigned, and pleaded guilty to federal charges after we uncovered her scheme to pay a man who didn’t do any work but billed more than $80,000 and then funneled much of it back to Boyer’s personal bank account.

“To the people of DeKalb, I’m just deeply, deeply sorry,” Boyer told investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer.

Last June, we exposed Commissioner Stan Watson’s use of taxpayer money to pay for his personal cellphone, even though he also had a county-issued phone. He agreed to pay back about $5,000. Watson said at the time he believed it was permissible, but agreed to stop because Channel 2 was asking about it.
He has not repaid roughly $1,800 in taxpayer money spent to operate his campaign website, exposed after an investigation in September.
Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and her aide failed to provide receipts for more than $45,000 spent with county debit cards. Sutton said she didn’t know she was required to keep receipts. She said she didn’t know she used taxpayer dollars to pay a $130 speeding ticket she got while driving a rental car at an out-of-town conference. She also paid more than $30,000 to her boyfriend, as a consultant.
“Every dime I’ve spent has been spent for the public interest,” Barnes Sutton said.
Just last month we exposed questions about a phony ethics opinion that allowed DeKalb Development Authority Chairman Vaughn Irons to win a million-dollar contract for his personal development company, APD Solutions.
Watson voted on that contract, even though he was on Irons’ payroll at the time.
“I apologize to the citizens if I did that, I didn’t know I did that,” Watson told Fleischer.
In mid-February, former DeKalb zoning official Jerry Clark pleaded guilty to taking a bribe from a nightclub owner who wanted a special land use permit. That vote was the subject of a Channel 2 Action News investigation in 2012.
Former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis is facing a 14-count indictment accusing him of shaking down vendors for campaign contributions and manipulating contracts, among other things. His first trial ended in a hung jury; the retrial is scheduled for later this year.
During the original Ellis trial, state’s witness and unindicted co-conspirator Kelvin Walton, the former DeKalb purchasing director, admitted vendors gave him cash to help a secretary out of financial trouble. That secretary also sat on numerous selection committees to award contracts.

——————————————-

 

“Pacific Ocean Now Dead From Fukushima”! By http://www.thenuclearproctologist.org/

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Must Watch Video!

“HORROR”  “Pacific Ocean Now Dead From Fukushima Radiation”  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1FrscZBjhc&list=TLdJ28vujOJspnMzaADNRXD7_AfpiMeO-H 

Streamed live on Aug 10, 2014

http://www.thenuclearproctologist.org/ The entire 200 kilometers we checked of Canadian Pacific Coast Line was devoid of all life , recovery is highly unlikely . This presentation will be followed tonight with a Q & A session at 8 pm pacific Canada time on this same site beautifulgirlbydana . Watch the live presentation Aug

Nuclear Power Sux!

UC Berkeley Nuclear Expert:…”citizens should be prepared”

Bloomberg: Fukushima a global disaster with huge environmental consequences… like all nuclear catastrophes — UC Berkeley Nuclear Expert: There’s ‘clear and obvious’ consequences from radiation release… citizens should be prepared… ‘cold truth’ is accidents will always occur

 
Published: April 9th, 2014 at 12:10 pm ET
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Bloomberg, Apr. 4, 2014: World Needs to Get Ready for the Next Nuclear Plant Accident– Three major atomic accidents in 35 years are forcing the world’s nuclear industry to stop imagining it can prevent more catastrophes and to focus instead on how to contain them. […] scientists warn the next nuclear accident is waiting to happen […] the causes of the three events followed no pattern, and the inability to immediately contain them escalated the episodes into global disasters with huge economic, environmental and political consequences. […] according to the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev it was a factor in bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union […]

Joonhong Ahn, professor at the Department of Nuclear Engineering of University of California, Berkeley: “The cold truth is that, no matter what you do on the technological improvements side, accidents will occur — somewhere, someplace.” […] The consequences of radiation release, contamination and evacuation of people is “clear and obvious” […] That means governments and citizens should be prepared, not just nuclear utilities […] The problem with an engineering solution [is]  those defense systems can also fail […] “This is an endless cycle. Whatever is your technology, however it is developed, we always have residual risk.” When the next nuclear accident occurs the world needs to have better knowledge of how to limit the spread of radiation and do the clean-up, including removing radiation […] We also need more understanding of the impact of low-dose radiation on organisms […] “This is about recovery from an accident, not preventing an accident […] It’s completely different. And I think this concept is very necessary for the future of nuclear utilization.”

Gregory Jaczko, ex-chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: “We have this accident and people will say, you know, it was caused by this and that […] But the next accident is going to be something different. Nobody can tell you where or when or what exactly it is going to be […] Once you have an accident, a low-probability and high consequence event, you can no longer call it a low probability event […] It is an event that’s happened and you cannot ignore the consequences simply because it was never supposed to happen. The consequences are real. Probabilities are always hypothetical.” […] The cost of cleaning up Fukushima may be more than the total cost of building all the world’s nuclear plants to date […] “If we look at this technology and we challenge ourselves to make technology that meets this standard then we’ll see that there are ways to do it […] But if there aren’t ways to do it — economically viable ways to do it […] this is perhaps then not a technology that we want to rely on well into the future.”

See also: Former Top U.S. Nuclear Official: U.S. nuclear plants should be phased out — “Can’t guarantee against accident causing widespread land contamination”

 
Published: April 9th, 2014 at 12:10 pm ET
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  5. ‘New tests show elevated radiation’ near U.S. nuclear site — ‘More airborne radiation detected’ around WIPP — Gov’t issues press release on ‘radiological event’ (MAP)February 24, 2014

Birth Defects From Radiation Sux!

http://enenews.com/nbc-bizarre-cluster-of-severe-birth-defects-haunts-experts-in-pacific-northwest-officials-refused-to-tell-nbc-news-how-many-new-cases-theyd-received-in-2013-county-on-border-o

 

NBC: ‘Bizarre’ cluster of severe birth defects haunts experts in Pacific Northwest — “I definitely believe something is going on… Maybe it just hit once and blew through” — Officials refused to say how many new cases in 2013 — County on border of most polluted nuclear site in Hemisphere

Published: February 18th, 2014 at 12:34 pm ET
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NBC News, Feb. 17, 2014: ‘Bizarre’ Cluster of Severe Birth Defects Haunts Health Experts — A mysterious cluster of severe birth defects in rural Washington state [and] reports of new cases continue to climb. Federal and state officials won’t say how many women in a three-county area near Yakima, Wash., have had babies with anencephaly, a heart-breaking condition in which they’re born missing parts of the brain or skull. And they admit they haven’t interviewed any of the women in question, or told the mothers there’s a potentially widespread problem. […] nearly two dozen cases in three years, a rate four times the national average […] Susie Ball of the Central Washington Genetics Program at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, says she has reported “eight or nine” additional cases of anencephaly and spina bifida […] The agencies released a report last summer detailing an investigation of 27 women with pregnancies that resulted in neural tube defects in Yakima, Franklin and Benton counties between 2010 and 2013. […] Health officials originally were alerted to the problem by a nurse, Sara Barron, 58 […] A 30-year nursing veteran, she’d seen perhaps one or two devastating cases of anencephaly in her wide-ranging career [then saw 2 in 6-month period of ~180 total births]. […] At a regional medical meeting, there were more anecdotal reports. […] CDC and state officials refused to tell NBC News how many new cases they’d received in 2013 […]

Mandy Stahre, head of CDC inquiry:There were very few of us that could spend time doing this investigation […] I’m not sure the women knew they were part of a cluster.”

CDC: “A clear cause of the elevated prevalence of anencephaly was not determined.”

Allison Ashley-Koch, professor at the Duke University Medical Center for Human Genetics: “Any time you see a geographic cluster of a pretty severe birth defect, it does make you wonder if there is a common exposure […] really would be wonderful to [do] interviews regarding common environmental exposures […] They may have eaten the same type of produce […]“

Andrea Jackman, daughter has most severe form of spina bifida: “I had no idea […] I honestly was really surprised that nobody had said anything. […] There’s got to be something. I mean, something causes it […] If you could find a way to stop this from happening, why wouldn’t you want to do that? Why would you not want to tell people?”

Sara Barron, Yakima-area nurse who discovered cluster: “30 deliveries a month and there’s two cases in a six-month period […]  I was talking to another doctor about it and she has a third one coming. My teeth dropped. It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ […] This is bizarre […] This is a very, very small area […] I definitely believe something is going on […] There was something. Maybe it just hit once and blew through, God willing. If there are still cases going on, we need to know.”

NBC’s report failed to mention the cluster’s proximity to Hanford. For more information, see our 2013 article: “Worrisome” spike in deadly birth defects around leaking U.S. nuclear site — Officials claim “it could be a complete coincidence” — No news reports mention it’s by the most contaminated area in Western Hemisphere #Hanford

Published: February 18th, 2014 at 12:34 pm ET
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Japan and Fukushima in Particular Sux More Than DeKalb County

http://enenews.com/celebrated-medical-doctor-fukushima-has-humanity-on-brink-of-a-possible-worldwide-nuclear-holocaust-the-world-as-we-know-it-has-changed-effects-on-our-health-are-incomprehensible

Celebrated Physician: Fukushima has humanity “on brink of a possible worldwide nuclear holocaust” — “The world as we know it has changed” — “Effects on our health are incomprehensible”

 
Published: October 31st, 2013 at 11:46 am ET 
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Infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Hosea, MD in the Santa Barbara Independent, October 31, 2013: Radioactive Fallout from Fukushima — The World as We Know It Has Changed […] I believe that humanity is standing on the brink of a possible worldwide nuclear holocaust. The world as we know it has already changed as the result of radioactive material that has been released into the air and the ocean. I am not an alarmist, but I am alarmed. […] I know radioactivity has been and continues to be released into the air and ocean. The effects on our health are incomprehensible because the magnitude of radioactivity released and the extent of spread and contamination are virtually unknown. […] In my clinical career, I have had the good fortune to care for the homeless and the disenfranchised and the rich and the famous. When one is lying in a hospital bed with those special gowns that are wide open in the back, everyone is pretty much the same. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are gifts of life for all of us no matter what our creed or our color. I know that these precious gifts have been contaminated. The silence from the media and the powers that be has been deafening. […] We have an opportunity to help the Japanese with the crisis in Fukushima. I want the best and the brightest that money CAN’T buy to be making those decisions. This is not a request–this is an inalienable right for the sake of our children and our children’s children.  The time to act is now. 

More about Dr. Hosea from the Santa Barbara News-Press: Mention Dr. Stephen Hosea and the accolades begin. […] “He is just a phenomenal doctor, as well as just a wonderful guy,” said Dr. Elliot Schulman, health officer and Santa Barbara County Public Health director. “Everyone concurs,” said Peter MacDougall, past president of the Cottage Hospital board of directors. “Not only does he have tremendously strong technical competencies, but his personal modalities with patients, his caring, the deep sensitivity he shows represent just a terrific model for new doctors. “He’s as close to a model physician as you could ask for,” Mr. MacDougall said. “We are, frankly, blessed to have a man of his talents.” […] a leading specialist on infectious disease […] Government officials consider him a go-to guy, regularly seeking his advice on stemming the spread of illness. […] Shortly after his 1973 graduation from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Hosea began his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. […]

Nov. 1, 2013: If you’re anywhere near the Santa Barbara area on Friday, do not miss Dr. Hosea’s lecture, “The Perils of Fukushima: What You Don’t Know Really Could Kill You” — Cottage Hospital, Burtness Auditorium, 400 W. Pueblo St. Santa Barbara at 12:15p.

Learn more about Friday’s event here

Published: October 31st, 2013 at 11:46 am ET
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October 31st, 2013 | Category: CaliforniaUS/CanadaWest Coast

Georgia’s Rulings on Foreclosures SUX!

NOVEMBER 15, 2013 BY 

Jeff Barnes, Esq. On the Ball!

 http://foreclosuredefensenationwide.com/?p=533

US BANK ADMITS, IN WRITING FROM THEIR CORPORATE OFFICE, THAT THE BORROWER IS A PARTY TO AN MBS TRANSACTION; THAT SECURITIZATION TRUSTEES ARE NOT INVOLVED IN THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS; HAVE NO ADVANCE KNOWLEDGE OF WHEN A LOAN HAS DEFAULTED; THAT THE “TRUE BENEFICIAL OWNERS” OF A SECURITIZED MORTGAGE ARE THE INVESTORS IN THE MBS; AND THAT THE GOAL OF A SERVICER IS TO “MAXIMIZE THE RETURN TO INVESTORS”                                                                                                                                                                                                 November 6, 2013

 We have been provided with a copy of U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Services’ “Role of the Corporate Trustee” brochure which makes certain incredible admissions, several of which squarely disprove and nullify the holdings of various courts around the country which have taken the position that the borrower “is not a party to” the securitization and is thus not entitled to discovery or challenges to the mortgage loan transfer process. The brochure accompanied a letter from US Bank to one of our clients which states: “Your account is governed by your loan documents and the Trust’s governing documents”, which admission clearly demonstrates that the borrower’s loan is directly related to documents governing whatever securitized mortgage loan trust the loan has allegedly been transferred to. This brochure proves that Courts which have held to the contrary are wrong on the facts. 

The first heading of the brochure is styled “Distinct Party Roles”. The first sentence of this heading states: “Parties involved in a MBS transaction include the borrower, the originator, the servicer and the trustee, each with their own distinct roles, responsibilities and limitations.” MBS is defined at the beginning of the brochure as the sale of “Mortgage Backed Securities in the capital markets”. The fourth page of the brochure also identifies the “Parties to a Mortgage Backed Securities Transaction”, with the first being the “Borrower”, followed by the Investment Bank/Sponsor, the Investor, the Originator, the Servicer, the Trust (referred to “generally as a special purpose entity, such as a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC)”), and the Trustee (stating that “the trustee does not have an economic or beneficial interest in the loans”). 

The second page sets forth that U.S. Bank, as Trustee, “does not have any discretion or authority in the foreclosure process.” If this is true, how can U.S. Bank as Trustee be the Plaintiff in judicial foreclosures or the foreclosing party in non-judicial foreclosures if it has “no authority in the foreclosure process”? 

The second page also states: “All trustees for MBS transactions, including U.S. Bank, have no advance knowledge of when a mortgage loan has defaulted.” Really? So when, for example, MERS assigns, in 2011, a loan to a 2004 Trust where the loan has been in default since 2008, no MBS “trustee” bank (and note that it says “All” trustees) do not know that a loan coming into the trust is in default? The trust just blindly accepts loans which may or may not be in default without any advanced due diligence? Right. Sure. Of course. LOL. 

However, that may be true, because the trustee banks do not want to know, for then they can take advantage of the numerous insurances, credit default swaps, reserve pools, etc. set up to pay the trust when loans are in default, as discussed below. 

The same page states that “Any action taken by the servicer must maximize the return on the investment made by the ‘beneficial owners of the trust’ — the investors.” The fourth page of the brochure states that the investors are “the true beneficial owners of the mortgages”, and the third page of the brochure states “Whether the servicer pursues a foreclosure or considers a modification of the loan, the goal is still to maximize the return to investors” (who, again, are the true beneficial owners of the mortgage loans). 

This is a critical admission in terms of what happens when a loan is securitized. The borrower initiated a mortgage loan with a regulated mortgage banking institution, which is subject to mortgage banking rules, regulations, and conditions, with the obligation evidenced by the loan documents being one of simple loaning of money and repayment, period. Once a loan is sold off into a securitization, the homeowner is no longer dealing with a regulated mortgage banking institution, but with an unregulated private equity investor which is under no obligation to act in the best interest to maintain the loan relationship, but to “maximize the return”. This, as we know, almost always involves foreclosure and denial of a loan mod, as a foreclosure (a) results in the acquisition of a tangible asset (the property); and (b) permits the trust to take advantage of reserve pools, credit default swaps, first loss reserves, and other insurances to reap even more monies in connection with the claimed “default” (with no right of setoff as to the value of the property against any such insurance claims), and in a situation where the same risk was permitted to be underwritten many times over, as there was no corresponding legislation or regulation which precluded a MBS insurer (such as AIG, MGIC, etc.) from writing a policy on the same risk more than once. 

As those of you know who have had Bloomberg reports done on securitized loans, the screens show loans which have been placed into many tranches (we saw one where the same loan was collateralized in 41 separate tranches, each of which corresponded to a different class of MBS), and with each class of MBS having its own insurance, the “trust” could make 41 separate insurance claims AND foreclose on the house as well! Talk about “maximizing return for the investor”! What has happened is that the securitization parties have unilaterally changed the entire nature of the mortgage loan contract without any prior notice to or approval from the borrower. 

There is no language in any Note or Mortgage document (DOT, Security Deed, or Mortgage) by which the borrower is put on notice that the entire nature of the mortgage loan contract and the other contracting party may be unilaterally changed from a loan with a regulated mortgage lender to an “investment” contract with a private equity investor. This, in our business, is called “fraud by omission” for purposes of inducing someone to sign a contract, with material nondisclosure of matters which the borrower had to have to make the proper decision as to whether to sign the contract or not. 

U.S. Bank has now confirmed, in writing from its own corporate offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, so much of what we have been arguing for years. This brochure should be filed in every securitization case for discovery purposes and opposing summary judgments or motions to dismiss where the securitized trustee “bank” takes the position that “the borrower is not part of the securitization and thus has no standing to question it.” U. S. Bank has confirmed that the borrower is in fact a party to an MBS transaction, period, and that the mortgage loan is in fact governed, in part, by “the Trust’s governing documents”, which are thus absolutely relevant for discovery purposes. 

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,

http://www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com