Albany woman sent to prison holds multi-million city garbage contract - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany woman sent to prison holds multi-million city garbage contract

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Albany- For more than two years since Dora Wilson was charged with running a major smuggling operation, she has collected on the $3.4 million dollar contract to haul garbage.

The company, once Southwest Carriers, went from hauling goods across America, to hauling solid waste for the city's garbage company.

"As far as her business goes, she's done a great job doing her business," said Pinky Douglas, director of the Small and Disadvantaged Business Office run by Albany and Dougherty County.

But before she was running a business moving garbage, she was helping run a major drug-smuggling operation. Wilson, her son Donald and two other women, were busted with 280 pounds of marijuana in May 2002, the biggest bust in Dougherty County history.

After she was arrested and awaiting federal trial, Wilson landed the sub contract to haul garbage in Albany. She got help landing that contract from the Small and Disadvantaged Business Office. The company was originally in the name of Dora's daughter, Donna Wilson. Later, it was transferred to Dora's name.

Even though she went through a criminal background check for a business license in April 2003, the pending federal case did not show up. The woman who runs the disadvantaged business office tells us criminal history is not an issue for her office.

"We, as an office, have no jurisdiction or legal guides to allow us to check anybody's credit or criminal background," Douglas said.

Douglas did find out about the charges after the contract was awarded to Wilson.

"At that time, we couldn't do anything but just wait until the legal force takes its course. Because we can't take a contract away from somebody because of speculation, but now that it's proven, it's a different story."

Dora was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison. Her son Donald was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months. Now the city has to find out how to handle the remainder of the contract.

"It's our job to make sure the city is taken care of and we're employing the right kinds of people," she said.

Those people shouldn't be part of plan to sell 280 pounds of pot in and around the city. Wilson's workers were on the job Friday picking up garbage in West Albany, but it's still up in the air who will handle the job after Friday.

When we called Transwaste, the company ultimately responsible for handling west Albany Garbage, they did not have an answer. In fact they were unaware that their subcontractor, Wilson, went to prison Friday or that she was even facing federal charges.

The local Transwaste manager says he is contacting his corporate office, but he did guarantee that garbage pick up would continue on schedule next week.

Wilson was immediately taken in to custody after sentencing by Federal Judge Louis Sands.

posted by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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