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Buie stripped of financial authority

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - New information Thursday night about the investigation into ADICA CEO Don Buie. Buie is being stripped of some of his authority and control over city money while he's under investigation. And, the city manager plans to audit all purchases and expenses Buie has made.

We also now have the checks Buie paid to a contract employee who claims she had a romantic relationship with him.

As of Thursday evening, Don Buie no longer has any control of ADICA or City funds without specific approval of the ADICA board or City Manager Al Lott.

Lott said, "Well it's certainly a concern of mine and a concern of many citizens that while this investigation is going on that no more damage can be done if there's any truth to the allegations that have been alleged."

Allegations that Buie received a kick-back from a contract worker and that he had an inappropriate relationship with her. Because of that investigation, Buie must now also give up his city credit card and Lott says he's conducting a full scale audit of ADICA finances since Buie was hired in November of 2007.

Lott said, "They're going to look at the expenses and scrutinize them in the same fashion that they do with other departments within the city and if there are any improprieties, that will all be a part of any actions that will be taken, if any."

It is a series of checks Buie wrote to Nicole Brown, a contract worker and an apparent girlfriend, that the GBI is looking into. We got our hands on copies of them today. In total, the payments are just over $3500, but the main check in question is one written for $2,225.

City manager Al Lott is Buie's direct supervisor. Lott says city policy dictates when he can take disciplinary action against Buie.  Lott said, "To remove somebody or to suspend somebody or to take negative personnel actions against any employee where there is no concrete evidence, or the results of an investigation are not final would be irresponsible and I'm not going to do it."

In addition to copies of the checks, WALB also obtained invoices from Nicole Brown for services she provided for ADICA. While they are all somewhat vague, the invoices do total up to the amount in the checks she received.

Don Buie was required to submit all ADICA financial documents to the city's finance director by the close of business Thursday.

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