By Karen Cohilas - bio | email
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Did an ADICA board member break the law when she accepted a $50,000 facade grant? That's part of the GBI investigation into the financial dealings of the Inner City Authority's now-fired director. But city leaders also want to know if board members violated any ethical rules.
City Attorney Nathan Davis didn't specifically address L'Juana Woods' $50,000 grant that she received from Buie without board approval, but he did say that the ADICA board is governed by a state code of ethics that says board members should not solicit, accept, or agree to accept gifts and that board members should never engage in conduct which constitutes a breach of public trust.
City Commissioner Roger Marietta isn't satisfied with the way the ADICA board has been operating over the last few years. "I was unhappy with the entire board," he said, "just generally not keeping a closer eye on their Executive Director."
While the city appoints ADICA board members, the commission has no legal authority to remove them. Marietta wants that to change. "Well, I think to restore the public confidence in the ADICA board, if it's apparent to the city commission that people on the board maybe shouldn't be there, that we can remove them."
For poor oversight, or unethical, illegal or immoral behavior. While the city can't remove those board members, the Governor can. That according to a Code of Ethics set up by the state. "If someone feels like rules are not being followed, they make a complaint with the Governor's office," said Attorney Nathan Davis.
Those rules include engaging in conduct which breaches the public trust, and accepting economic opportunity where the board member's conduct could be influenced. Marietta says board member L'Juana Woods receiving a $50,000 façade grant from Buie, without the rest of the board knowing, may fall under those rules. He said, "it does seem like it's unethical."
The ADICA board meets Wednesday afternoon. While the façade grant for L'Juanna Woods' restaurant isn't on the agenda, we've been told a board member is going to make a motion that she be asked to return that money to the authority.
Tuesday, The city commission tabled a resolution which would give them authority to remove ADICA board members. They plan to discuss that resolution at an upcoming meeting.
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