Buie investigation expands and charges are considered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Buie investigation expands and charges are considered

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It was a directive from the district attorney to the GBI, to expand the investigation of Don Buie's ADICA dealings as a closer look is taken at possible criminal charges against Buie for lying on what officials consider his job application.

City manager Al Lott is also looking into the way the city conducts background checks and is considering a change in the procedure. He could get Albany Police involved to do a more extensive investigation into those hired as department heads.

In a letter sent from Slavin Management Consultants they blame missing Don Buie's criminal record on the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act that prohibits them from going more than seven years into a persons past.

Buie's file doesn't contain that background check, that's kept by Slavin Management and just the information is discussed with City management Al Lott. What is disturbing is that Don Buie checked the no box on a question that asked about prior convictions and as we reported yesterday, he was convicted of Bank Fraud in 1994.

The investigation around former downtown manager Don Buie widens at the request of District Attorney Greg Edwards and the city commission. The GBI has been given a new directive.

"Expand the scope of the investigation to include the activities of the ADICA Board," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

That includes board members and any grant that may have been authorized by Don Buie or the board. The investigation could take months and part of it will be a simple box checked no on a questionnaire asking whether Buie's ever been convicted of violating any laws, other than minor traffic violations. Don Buie has.

"The representation has been that certain information was not given to the search organization," said Edwards.

Edwards said it could be considered making false statements to a government entity, a felony punishable by five years in jail. City manager Al Lott also questions why it wasn't found by the head hunter. "Wackenhut should have been able to discover what you discovered," said Albany City Manager Al Lott.

He even admits the court documents weren't hard to find.

"We knew you all would eventually find it because it wasn't buried as deeply as it could have been," said Lott.

He's asked Albany Police Chief John Proctor to follow behind Slavin Management if the city decides to use them again and perform a national search and accepts he's responsible for who's hired.

"I am not accountable for the management of ADICA that's not my job. I'm accountable for Mr. Buie's performance as a downtown manager. I'm accountable for what the head hunter did not do," said Lott.

Knowing what he knows now, Buie wouldn't have got an interview.

"Mr. Buie's terminated. He doesn't work for the city anymore. Once we found out who he was, we fired him and had we known he was that person two years ago we never would have interviewed him," said Lott.

Slavin Management has offered to help the city search for a new downtown manager without charging the city an additional professional fee. City Manager Al Lott said he's considering the offer.

District Attorney Greg Edwards said if charges are made against Don Buie those charges will come from the district attorney's office even though the GBI is investigating. So far, Buie has not been charged in the investigation.


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