ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Inner City Authority board member says he thinks a downtown business owner was duped into a secret deal by former ADICA director Don Buie. Board members now want to know whether any of Buie's deals were illegal.
Dollar Square owner Tim Washington doesn't like the media attention he's getting these days.
First for a facade grant he received from Buie, now, a deal he had with Buie to pay only a dollar a month for rent.
Last night on WALB, we showed you what Dollar Square owner Tim Washington told the ADICA board about the lease he had with Don Buie.
"The $700 will be shown to the public. In case the public wants to know what this guy is paying, they can pull public record. That's done all over the country. It's done right here in Albany, Georgia," Washington said.
Washington says the media attention he's getting is unfair, but when I confronted him to set the story straight, he didn't have much to say. "My attorney told me, don't talk to nobody."
But attorney and ADICA board member Phil Cannon did talk to us. He says he believes Washington had the wool pulled over his eyes by Buie and that's why he went along with the proposal. "I'm not so sure that as an individual, he was intentional in defrauding the public," Cannon said.
But Washington did admit to a secret deal with Buie to pay only a dollar a month for 24 months, rather than the $700 per month the taxpayers would see.
"I do not think that you can evaluate any of these issues or these facade grants without considering the factor that Don Buie has conned and defrauded our entire community and each one of those individuals, whether those individuals actively participated in the fraud, that's a separate question," Cannon said.
With the answer to be determined by the GBI during their continuing investigation. "What I can see at this moment is that Don defrauded and conned everybody and everybody fell for it. Everybody fell for it," Cannon said.
He's currently at the center of a GBI investigation into misappropriation of taxpayer money.
Don Buie was fired as the ADICA CEO and downtown Manager last month.