GBI continues to review ADICA expenditures - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

GBI continues to review ADICA expenditures

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is digging in deep, carefully examining façade grants that the Inner City Authority's ousted director awarded to businesses without the board's approval.

One specific example is that $50,000 grant a board member received, was it legal?

The ADICA board meets this Wednesday. They'll be discussing leases and promises Don Buie made to businesses. They'll have to figure out which ones are legit and which ones won't be honored.

One item that won't be on the agenda is discussion of façade grants Buie awarded. The main reason is to allow the GBI some room. District Attorney Greg Edwards asked the GBI to expand its initial investigation into Don Buie's money management to take a look at all of ADICA's expenses and how those façade grants were awarded and if a board member should have legally been allowed to receive any money.

District Attorney Greg Edwards hasn't received a report from the GBI on fired ADICA Director Don Buie, but he knows that when he does it will be massive.  He said, "We're going to make sure everything is looked into and I think it will be helpful for both the board and the public to know what's going on with this situation."

In addition to the alleged mismanagement and misallocation of taxpayer dollars by Buie, Edwards has asked the law enforcement agency to expand their investigation. They are taking a look at facades Buie awarded, including the grant board member L'Juana Woods received. A $50,000 check signed by Buie.

"All of that will be reviewed," said Edwards. "All of that is part of this whole process to see if there's anything that needs to be considered further in terms of appropriate transactions, who did them, the whole nine yards, we're getting a thorough investigation."

And Facade grants aren't the only issue that the ADICA board must deal with. They'll also be taking a look at leases Buie made with property owners and any verbal commitments he made. They also must decide if and when to pay the county for four months of back rent it's owed on the Dollar Square property.  Dougherty County Commissioner Jack Stone said, "I know the money is due Dougherty County and it doesn't matter if it's ADICA or who, I just want to make sure our money is paid."

Agent Mike Lewis of the GBI says they are still combing over information they've received and he's not sure when they'll be able to hand over the file to the D.A.  A special called meeting for the ADICA board is scheduled for this Wednesday at five.

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