We have an update in the investigation of ADICA board member, Lajuana Woods for accepting a very controversial facade grant from former downtown director, Don Buie.
We heard that the District Attorney will not prosecute her, if Woods would resign her ADICA board seat. She of course quickly did so, and will escape what many feel would be just punishment in a criminal trial.
As an ADICA board member, she certainly would have known her restaurant was outside the downtown area, eligible for such grants. She certainly would have known the board did not vote to approve a $50,000 grant for her business.
In response to our questions on this DA Greg Edwards had this to say.
"The state proposed to her that if she should resign that we would then forgo the further presentation to the grand jury. The goal to be accomplished through this presentation to the grand jury would have been the removal of miss woods from the office should the grand jury feel that it was appropriate."
We disagree with this action and wonder why with such clear evidence; all efforts towards punishment were dropped. What signal does this send to others who would so grossly abuse their elected board duties? She must pay back the $50,000 over a year period…interest free; we might add… and resign from a board?
This is hardly punishment that fits the crime. With her expensively decorated restaurant now open for business, Woods will continue to profit from the free loan from taxpayers, and feel bad about it, all the way to the bank.