ADICA problems pre-date Buie - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ADICA problems pre-date Buie

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Paperwork problems at the Inner City Authority began long before Don Buie ever set foot in Albany. For years, Albany Tomorrow Incorporated served as the redevelopment agent for ADICA on sales tax projects.  

And for years, checks were written with little to no documentation.

There is evidence that Don Buie essentially created funding programs for downtown businesses and gave them money with no oversight or direction from the ADICA board.  

The most shocking document of the day may be one in which Don Buie and Tim Washington, the owner of the Dollar Square in Downtown Albany hammered out details of Washington's lease with ADICA over an email.

In it, Buie decided Washington had to pay only a dollar a month and he promised up to $40,000 for build out assistance, a program it seems Buie just made up. In all, a package worth close to $70,000.  

It's one of many questions Assistant City Manager James Taylor is trying to answer. What is the binding lease ADICA actually has with the Dollar Square?

"Can a contract be binding for $1? Absolutely," said Assistant City Manager James Taylor.

But there's another contract, provided by Washington which he signed that says he should be paying $700 a month to ADICA. A payment he's never made. 

"All the paperwork you're going through, we're trying to go through too and we've got boxes of papers we haven't seen," said Taylor.

But some of the paperwork we've seen shows poor or absolutely zero documentation on checks written for thousands of dollars to different people. Checks written even before Buie was hired.

"We got a lot to find out. A lot that concerns us and obviously concerns you," Taylor said.

Concerns beyond Buie writing out checks to his wife, a girlfriend, and even himself. Questions about all the money spent by ADICA, for many years past.

"The regrettable poor acting didn't begin with Don Buie, particularly as it relates to the façade grants, but certainly he perpetuated it and we'll just have to continue to investigate it until we can find out the whole truth and can fully inform the public."

Don Buie's termination letter lists multiple reasons for him being fired. First, insufficient documentation regarding reimbursements of almost $10,000, questionable travel expenses and those checks he wrote to his own wife.

Buie has ten days to appeal his termination to the city manager. If he requests a hearing, he'll have to bring documentation to prove his case.


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