Ethics Complaint Summaries

March 21, 2017

  • Mr. Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against John Matelski, Barry Puckett and Brad Bowen alleging a violation of the Ethics Code for their job related functions pertaining to ilegislate.  ilegislate allows elected officials and staff to electronically review meeting agendas, supporting documents and archived video.  On April 20, 2017, the Board of Ethics voted (4-0) to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction.

November 7, 2016

  • Mr. Plez Joyner filed a complaint against Mereda Davis Johnson alleging a violation of the Ethics Code for Johnson publicly speaking in opposition to efforts to create the “City of Stonecrest.”  On November 22, 2016, the Board of Ethics voted (6-0) to dismiss the complaint because the complaint failed to assert facts illustrating a violation of the Ethics Code.

June 30, 2016

  • Mr. Jerry Jackson filed a complaint against Larry Johnson and Mereda Davis Johnson. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) as the allegations on the face of the complaints did not show any possible violation of the Code of Ethics. June 30, 2016
  • Mr. Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Commissioner Jeff Rader. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0). June 30, 2016
  • Ms. Sandra Kaye Bowen filed a complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton. June 2, 2016. Complaint is pending and cannot be heard due to Superior Court lawsuit filed by Sharon Barnes-Sutton.
  • Mr. Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Ethics officer, Stacey Kalberman and the Board of Ethics for alleged failure to respond to an Open Records Request on June 17, 2016. On August 25, 2016 the Complaint was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

May 25, 2016

  • Ms. Viola Davis filed a complaint against Ms. Judy Brownlee, alleging she violated the Code of Ethics. The Board voted (5-0) in favor of finding Ms. Brownlee had violated section 22A(c)(7) of the Code of Ethics by and the Board voted unanimously to find 3 separate violations of 22A(c)(7) for failure to properly preserve government records, theft by taking, theft by deception, false certification by employee, use of public resources on behalf of political campaigns. The Board also issued a reprimand against Ms. Brownlee and assessed an administrative sanction in the total amount of $1,000.00. May 25, 2016
  • Mr. Jerry Jackson filed a complaint against Michelle Waldorf. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) for lack of jurisdiction. May 25, 2016
  • Mr. Thomas Mitchell Owens filed a complaint against Mr. Robert Lundsten. The Board, by unanimous vote (5-0) approved the agreement between Stacey Kalberman (Ethics Officer) and Mr. Lunden’s attorney for him to accept a reprimand with no fine imposed since he entered a plea of guilty in the criminal case against him. May 25, 2016

April 21, 2016

  • Ms. Michelle Bolding filed a complaint against Olympic Auto Sales. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (7-0) for lack of jurisdiction. April 21, 2016
  • Ms. Jane Cunningham filed a complaint against Officer J. Brown. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (7-0) for lack of jurisdiction. April 21, 2016
  • Mr. William Perry filed a complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton. April 21, 2016. Complaint is pending and cannot be heard due to Superior Court lawsuit filed by Sharon Barnes-Sutton.

March 3, 2016

  • Mr. Stanley Siegel, President and CEO of ARC Technologies Corp., files a complaint against Billy Malone in DeKalb County Sanitation Department asserting irregularities in a county bid process in which ARC Technologies Corp., was a bidder.  Mr. Siegel subsequently withdrew his complaint.  There being no basis for proceeding with the investigation, the Ethics Board confirmed the dismissal on May 25, 2016.

September 22, 2015

  • Ms. Viola Davis filed a complaint against Judy Brownlee. The Board found probable cause to believe Ms. Brownlee had violated section 22A(c)(7) of the Ethics Code. September 22, 2015. The matter was heard on May 25, 2016 and the Board voted unanimously to find 3 separate violations of 22A(c)(7) for failure to properly preserve government records, theft by taking, theft by deception, false certification by employee, use of public resources on behalf of political campaigns.
  • Ms. Barbara M. Lee filed a complaint against Commissioner Jeff Rader. The Board dismissed the complaint by 4-0 vote for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. September 22, 2015
  • Ms. Barbara M. Lee filed a complaint against Commissioner Nancy Jester. The Board dismissed the complaint by 4-0 vote for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. September 22, 2015
  • Mr. John Evans filed a complaint against Commissioner Jeff Rader. The Board dismissed the complaint by 4-0 vote for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. September 22, 2015
  • Mr. John Evans filed a complaint against Commissioner Kathie Gannon. The Board dismissed the complaint by 5-0 vote for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. September 22, 2015
  • Mr. John Evans filed a complaint against Commissioner Nancy Jester. The Board dismissed the complaint by 5-0 vote for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. September 22, 2015

August 7, 2015

  • Mr. Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Commissioner Stan Watson alleging violation of section 22A(c)(1), section 22A(c)(2), and section 22A(c)(5) of the Ethics Code. The Board found Mr. Watson had violated section 22A(c)(1), (2), and (5) of the Code of Ethics. Upon this finding, it was determined that the Board would reprimand Mr. Watson for violation section 22A(c)(1), (2), and (5) of the Code of Ethics. August 7, 2015.
  • Mr. Stephen Cox filed a complaint against Debra DeBerry. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (6-0) for lack of personal jurisdiction. August 13, 2015.
  • Ms. Beatrice W, Williams filed a complaint against Mr. Robert James. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (6-0) for lack of personal jurisdiction. August 13, 2015.

May 14, 2015

  • Mr. Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Mr. Vaughn Irons. May 14, 2015. Complaint is pending

March 3, 2015

  • A complaint was filed by Mr. Warren Mosby against Commissioner Jeff Rader, alleging violation of the Code of Ethics by using his purchasing card for personal benefit, using county funds and his commission budget for his personal benefit, and by not acknowledging his conflict of interest at each BOC meeting. The complaint was dismissed by a vote of 4-0 for lack of probable cause. March 3, 2015.
  • A complaint by Ms. Monica Parrot was filed against Commissioner Kathie Gannon and Ms. Michelle Walldorff. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) for lack of probable cause. March 3, 2015.

December 18, 2014

  • A complaint by Tree Creek Condominium Association was filed against Burrell Ellis (CEO), Joel Gottlieb (former Director of Finance), and Dr. Francis T. Kung’u (former Director of Watershed Management). On June 24, 20015, the Board voted unanimously (7-0) to dismiss Dr. Francis T. Kung’u from the complaint. The complaints against Burrell Ellis and Joel Gottlieb were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction on December 18, 2014.

November 13, 2014

  • A complaint was filed against Elaine Boyer by Mr. Thomas Owens, alleging she violated section 22A(c)(4) and (7). The Board accepted a Consent Order from Ms. Boyer with certain changes, i.e. note that was dismissing the allegation regarding bribery since there was no allegation or evidence to support it; change the title of the document to “Consent Order;” and place Ms. Boyer’s name on the signature line.
  • Two complaints were filed against the Board of Ethics by Rhea Johnson, alleging the Board violated the Code of Ethics by utilizing a county employee from the County Attorney’s Office as its administrative support person, and by allowing its records to be maintained in the County Attorney’s Office by its administrative support person. November 13, 2014
  • A complaint was filed by Mr. Robert Lundsten against Mr. John Ernst, alleging Mr. Ernst had participated in media interviews and made statements that indicated he had prejudged a pending matter by Mr. Lundsten. Complaint was dismissed on March 24, 2016.

October 13, 2014

  • A complaint was filed against Commissioner Jeff Rader by Mr. Timothy Brantley, alleging Commissioner Rader filed a lawsuit against him in retaliation for his ethics complaint; that he suspects that Mr. Rader is using county funds to finance the lawsuit; and that he should have notified the BOC at each meeting regarding his conflict of interest. The complaint was dismissed by a 5-1 vote. October 13, 2014.
  • Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Commissioner Stan Watson alleging that Commissioner Watson had violated the Code of Ethics by utilizing county funds for a campaign website and by using his purchasing card for personal items. October 13, 2014.

August 14, 2014

  • A complaint by Mr. Timothy Brantley was filed against Commissioner Jeff Rader. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. August 14, 2014
  • A complaint was filed against Commissioner Stan Watson by Mr. Rhea Johnson. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. August 14, 2014
  • A complaint was filed against Interim Sheriff, Jeff Mann, by Ms. Rhonda Taylor. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) due to lack of personal jurisdiction. August 14, 2014
  • A complaint was filed by Ms. Rhonda Taylor against Ms. Xernia Fortson, Sheriff’s Office. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. August 14, 2014
  • A complaint was filed against Interim CEO Lee May. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. August 14, 2014
  • A complaint was filed by Mr. Rhea Johnson against each member of the Board of Commissioners. The complaint was dismissed by unanimous vote (5-0) due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. August 14, 2014

June 24, 2014

  • Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton. June 24, 2014. Complaint is pending and cannot be heard due to Superior Court lawsuit filed by Sharon Barnes-Sutton.
  • Viola Davis filed a complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton. June 24, 2014
  • Brent Nieman and Ms. Mary Slaughter filed a complaint against Ms. Susan Apolinsky and the DeKalb Historic Preservation Commission, alleging violation of section 22A(c) of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics. The Board did not find probable cause to conduct a final hearing.
  • Schanavie Taylor filed a complaint against Mr. Derrick Andrews-Wright and Raja Andrews. By unanimous vote (7-0), the complaint was dismissed. June 24, 2014
  • Robert Ballou filed a complaint against the CEO’s office. By unanimous vote (7-0), the complaint was dismissed due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. June 24, 2014
  • Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against Interim CEO Lee May and Morris Williams. By unanimous vote (7-0), the Board voted to dismiss the complaint. June 24, 2014

May 8, 2014

  • A complaint was filed by Mr. Rhea Johnson against Interim CEO Lee May, alleging violations of the ethics code. The complaint was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. May 8, 2014
  • Viola Davis filed a complaint against members of the DeKalb County School Board. The complaint was dismissed due to lack of personal jurisdiction. May 8, 2014
  • A complaint was filed by K H Hospitality LLC – Chirag Patel against DeKalb Watershed Management. The complaint was dismissed due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. May 8, 2014
  • A complaint by Ms. Paula Moten was filed against Judge Withers, DeKalb county Recorder’s Court. The complaint was dismissed due to lack of personal jurisdiction. May 8, 2014
  • Thomas Mitchell Owens filed a complaint against CEO Burrell Ellis, Jr. May 8, 2014. Complaint is pending.
  • A complaint by Ms. Viola Davis was filed against Mr. Kelvin Walton (Director and Chief Procurement Officer). May 8, 2014. Complaint is pending.
  • A complaint by Ms. Viola Davis was filed against Ms. Nina Hall (Project Manager Watershed Management). May 8, 2014. Complaint is pending.

April 22, 2014

  • Rhea Johnson filed a complaint against CEO Burrell Ellis on April 22, 2014; however, no action was taken due to related criminal charges then pending against Ellis.  Johnson amended the complaint on July 6, 2015, following Ellis’ July 1, 2015, criminal convictions on attempted extortion and perjury charges in DeKalb County Superior Court.  The amended complaint requested Ellis’ removal from office.  On November 30, 2016, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed Ellis’ convictions.  Ellis was reinstated as CEO on December 12, 2016.  On March 16, 2017, the Board of Ethics voted to dismiss the ethics complaint.

Feb 19, 2013

  • A complaint was filed by Dave Carlson against Commissioner Elaine Boyer and County Attorney Lisa Chang, alleging violation of section 22A (c) of the Organizational Act when Commissioner Boyer directed Attorney Chang to contact him on July 25, 2012, and to direct him, on behalf of Commissioner Boyer, to remove content from a website that Mr. Carlson owned. The complaint against Commissioner Boyer was dismissed by a 3-2 vote due to insufficient evidence that an ethics violation occurred. The complaint against County Attorney Lisa Chang was dismissed by a 5-0 vote due to insufficient evidence that an ethics violation occurred. Feb 19, 2013.
  • A complaint was filed by Ms. Yvette Freeman against Ms. Erica Brooks, DeKalb County Police Department, DeKalb County Corrections and Morgan County Corrections. The complaint was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Feb 19, 2013
  • A complaint filed by Attorney Brian Daughdrill on behalf of Robert Buckler against Commissioner Jeff Rader. Complaint was withdrawn by Complainant.

August 11, 2010

  • A complaint was filed by Mr. Fred Wooten, Mr. William Gowen, and Ms. Fern Garber against Ed McBrayer, PATH Foundation Executive Director regarding a conflict of interest to Mr. McBrayer’s participation as a board member of the DeKalb County Development Authority and contracts/monies, awarded/paid to the PATH Foundation by DeKalb County. The code sections that apply are section 22A(a)(1) and section 22A(b)(8) of the DeKalb County Code of Ethics. The complaint was unanimously dismissed.  August 11, 2010

August 24, 2006

  • A complaint was filed by Mr. Mark W. Fowling, attorney for Legacy Investment Group, LLC, against Planning Commissioner, Donald Broussard,  alleging violation of sections 22A(a)(1) and 22A(c) of the Ethics Code.  The Board, in an Advisory Opinion to Legacy and Mr. Broussard, stated that Mr. Broussard did not violate sections 22A(a)(1) and 22A(c) of the Ethics Code. August 24, 2006

March 26, 2006

  • George Anderson filed a complaint against CEO Vernon Jones alleging that CEO Jones “engaged in an activity that is prohibited by a law that is applicable to him by virtue of being a member of the governing authority” by registering to vote knowing he did not have the qualifications required by law. The complaint was unanimously dismissed. March 26, 2006
  • George Anderson filed a complaint against CEO Vernon Jones alleging that CEO Jones “engaged in an activity that is prohibited by a law that is applicable to him by virtue of being a member of the governing authority”, by using his position as an elected official to pressure everyone (including an alleged rape victim) to cease and desist from further investigation/inquiry.” The complaint was dismissed with four members voting in favor and one member abstaining. March 26, 2006

January 10, 2006

  • Ron Marshall filed a complaint against the DeKalb County Board of Ethics. He then filed a second complaint alleging the first was not answered. The complaint was removed to the superior court, and dismissed sua sponte. January 10, 2006
  • A complaint by Mr. Barry Milteer was addressed. The Board determined that the Milteer case was not within the Board’s jurisdiction and the Complaint was dismissed. January 10, 2006

August 10, 2005

  • Ron Marshall filed a complaint against CEO Jones and Reverend Wiley Jackson, alleging CEO Jones inappropriately allowed state-issued grant money to go to Reverend Wiley Jackson’s church. The complaint was dismissed by a vote of 3-1. August 10, 2005
  • Ron Marshall filed a complaint against CEO Vernon Jones and Merit Employees, alleging improper use of county employees to campaign during his reelection bid during the summer of 2004. The complaint was dismissed by a vote of 5-0. August 10, 2005

October 14, 2004

  • A complaint was filed against Commissioner Henry Johnson by Ms. Joanne Rose, alleging violation of section 22(c)(4) of the Ethics Code. Having heard and considered the testimony and records from the complainant and the Commissioner, the Board determined by the unanimous vote that the issues raised were not in violation of the code of ethics, and that there was insufficient evidence presented to warrant more thorough investigation of this matter. It was suggested that this matter was better suited for another venue. October 14, 2004

May 11, 2004

  • A complaint was filed against Planning Commission Member Donald Broussard by Mr. Charles Buckley and Ms. Fred Milani, alleging violations of section 22A(c)(4) and section 22A(c)(2)(A)(ii) of the DeKalb County Ethics Code. The complaint was dismissed by a 7-0 vote. May 11, 2004
  • Common Cause, a community activist group, filed a complaint against the DeKalb County Ethics Board, stating that complaints filed with the Board are not being adequately investigated. Complainants allege further accused the Board of violating Sunshine Laws, by not keeping minutes of the Board’s meetings as required. Finally, Common Cause accused the Board of not responding to repeated open record requests and of “being on the other side and not on the side of concerned citizens.” May 11, 2005. – No further mention.  – Complaint appears to be unresolved because there is no resolution in the Board minutes.

March 15, 2004

  • Viola Davis and Ms. Josie Dean filed a complaint against Commissioner Lou Walker alleging violations of the Ethics Code. Their complaint was dismissed for lack of evidence, and lack of jurisdiction. March 15, 2004

June 3, 2004

  • Two complaints were filed against Commissioner Lou Walker. Complainants were Mr. Mike Kovachic and a group including South River Watershed Alliance, South DeKalb Neighborhoods Coalition, DeKalb County Civic Coalition and Dunwoody Homeowners Association. Both complaints alleged violation of section 22A(c)(1), (c)(4), (c)(6), 22A(d), and 22A(e) of the DeKalb County Code of Ethics. The Board found unanimously (7-0) that Commissioner Walker had not violated section 22A(c)(1), (c)(4), (c)(6), or 22A(e), but that he did violate section 22A(d) in failing to disclose his business relationship with the City of Atlanta prior to a Commission vote on the related matter. Upon further open deliberation, the Board unanimously determined that the appropriate punishment in this particular circumstance would be a public reprimand. June 3, 2004

October 14, 2003

  • George Anderson filed a complaint against CEO Vernon Jones alleging violation of section 22A (c)(7) of the DeKalb County Code of Ethics among other alleged ethics violations. The Board dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. October 14, 2003

March 19, 2003

  • Larry Jackson filed a complaint against Dr. Linda L. Hubert alleging violation of section 22A(g)(i)(1)of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics. After determining that that provision did not apply to Dr. Hubert, the Board dismissed the complaint. March 19, 2003