Ex-chair of Fulton County company was paid out as both of those personnel and board member, AJC finds

In interviews with the AJC, the agency’s two most recent govt directors contradicted a person one more about who Shaw noted to — the executive director or the board. And a few board users who had oversight of the agency during this time, which include the present govt director, insisted […]

In interviews with the AJC, the agency’s two most recent govt directors contradicted a person one more about who Shaw noted to — the executive director or the board.

And a few board users who had oversight of the agency during this time, which include the present govt director, insisted they experienced no know-how of the arrangement until eventually after Shaw resigned as chairman in November, even although Shaw at occasions applied his chairman and director of external affairs titles on his electronic mail signature.

Even though meeting minutes demonstrate Shaw routinely provided a report to the board as chairman, they do not demonstrate he delivered any reports as external affairs director.

ExploreFulton authority halts controversial payouts as tensions with county mount

Shaw withdrew from consideration for reappointment to the authority board in June, adhering to reporting by the AJC and Channel 2 Action Information that disclosed he and other board associates collected hundreds of hundreds of dollars in per diems. The Fulton County Board of Commissioners later said it could come across no evidence it ever licensed for every diems for the DAFC board, meaning the payments may possibly in no way have been authorized.

Fulton Commission Chairman Robb Pitts instructed the AJC he has been manufactured aware of as quite a few as two governmental organizations that are scrutinizing the authority subsequent the AJC’s reporting, but was uncertain if either company has opened a official investigation.

“From the public’s point of watch, you can not make clear away $1 million in money for a component-time career,” Pitts explained. “That’s difficult.”

Caption

Fulton Fee Chairman Robb Pitts at the Ga Condition Capitol in Atlanta, Monday, March 8, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/[email protected])

Credit score: Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]

Shaw canceled a Tuesday job interview with the AJC owing to overall health motives and then declined to remedy emailed questions because he did not have entry to authority documents.

Unanimous votes without public input

The authority normally employs less than 5 people but has an outsized role in the region’s economic climate and tax selection, having the electric power to dole out worthwhile subsidies and tax breaks to builders. 9 appointed board members govern it.

The 91-12 months-old Shaw joined the DAFC board in the mid-1990s and held its most obvious roles, including board chairman, soon after building a identify for himself as a best official in the condition and Fulton County Republican parties.

Bob Shaw, seen here in a recent specially called Zoom meeting, is the former chairman of the Development Authority of Fulton County.
Caption

Bob Shaw, noticed below in a modern specifically known as Zoom assembly, is the previous chairman of the Growth Authority of Fulton County.

On Might 27, 2014, right after the authority’s leading government resigned, Shaw stepped in as interim government director upon unanimous vote of the board. A few times later on, documents demonstrate Shaw commenced earning a $5,000 month-to-month income, which grew to $6,500 per month.

State law requires development authorities to publish notice of a probable financial involvement of a board member, this sort of as Shaw’s employment, in the county’s lawful organ at the very least 30 times prior to “consummating these transaction.” The AJC could obtain no this sort of recognize in the on-line archive of the Fulton Each day Report.

On Aug. 26, 2014, the DAFC board met to hire Al Nash as govt director and approve the generation of a new workers job for Shaw as director of external affairs. Shaw’s appointment was authorized unanimously, and Shaw recused himself from the vote, as is also essential by point out law, conference minutes display.

A day afterwards, DAFC published a lawful detect in the Day-to-day Report stating the authority would think about a resolution hiring Shaw at its Sept. 23 meeting.

But on Aug. 29, DAFC posted one more discover stating rather that the board had currently voted Aug. 26 to employ Shaw, and his work would begin Oct. 1.

Shaw’s using the services of was not on the agenda and was not discussed or voted on at the Sept. 23 meeting, according to board minutes. DAFC records display the authority commenced spending Shaw for his new task that working day.

For this tale, the authority delivered the AJC an unsigned board resolution dated Sept. 23, 2014, noting Shaw’s employing as director of exterior affairs and the development of his employees position. The authority are unable to find an formal, signed copy of the resolution, board associates Steve Broadbent and Sam Bacote informed the AJC.

The resolution states Shaw was liable for schooling a new executive director, supporting company progress and overseeing shopper interactions. It also mentioned Shaw would earn wage of $6,500 for each thirty day period and did not prohibit him from earning board for every diems.

The board’s resolution incorporated no termination time period, but minutes from the August meeting claimed the career was to last “during the changeover time period and at the satisfaction of the Authority for a time period not to exceed 1 year,” until extended by the board.

The AJC could obtain no history of the board extending Shaw’s work. Broadbent, a person of two recent board associates who served on the DAFC board in 2014, explained “to my awareness, the board under no circumstances took an additional vote on the make a difference.”

Broadbent stated he thought the executive director could “extend the arrangement.” But the board’s 2014 resolution claimed Shaw served at the enjoyment of the board.

The authority mentioned no deal existed for Shaw’s role as director of external affairs and it did not supply one particular for his tenure as government director.

In 2013, the comprehensive yr just before Shaw started his task with the authority, he attained about $45,500 in for every diems. His complete payment, such as salary, jumped to $96,950 in 2014 and $148,750 in 2015, in accordance to tax information received by the AJC.

In an e mail, Broadbent stated he did not remember “if the payment of equally for every diem and income was a dialogue place all through the (August 2014) meeting.”

Broadbent reported the board treasurer had oversight of all payments, which includes compensation. The treasurer for significantly of the time Shaw attained a wage was Walter Metze Jr., who did not react to a letter hand-sent to his house.

Broadbent and Turpeau explained the govt director supervised Shaw in his staff role. But as chairman, Shaw supervised the executive director, suggesting he was officially the subordinate to and boss of the identical man or woman.

In a transient telephone interview, previous executive director Nash stated supervision of Shaw was not his work.

“I’ve obtained no remark on that,” Nash explained. “That’s some thing they’re working with and I’ve put it in the earlier. You want to converse to the board about that.”

Two resources of profits

In his purpose as chairman, Shaw collected a per diem of up to $200 for board conferences — and for signing documents to approach proposed tax breaks that arrived just before the board for thought. He also at instances gathered board stipends for the variety of items on the authority’s assembly agendas and for conference with enterprise and political officers, all whilst evidently on the clock as exterior affairs director.

“What we’re viewing now is Bob Shaw had a very pleasant minimal variety heading on and there was no way he was going to say no to any of these discounts,” explained Julian Bene, a longtime critic of DAFC and a former member of the metropolis of Atlanta’s growth authority. “It’s an massive conflict of desire that Shaw had, and it exhibits what a rogue company this was.”

A law professor and a previous district legal professional interviewed by the AJC explained Shaw amassing a income and stipends at the same time elevated thoughts about a conflict of desire, but a felony case would deal with a significant stress of evidence.

“The only way I could see that is if you could display prison fraud,” stated Jessica Cino, a regulation professor at Georgia Condition University. “And legal fraud is a substantial bar.”

Previous Gwinnett County district legal professional Danny Porter mentioned some governing administration officers have been prosecuted for double-dipping, but he stated it may not come up to a felony offense in this case.

“It appears like that (board resolution) states you can crack the regulation of the state of Georgia,” he claimed.

Responsibility to report?

Turpeau mentioned the DAFC board was not informed of how substantially income the authority paid out Shaw right until just after the AJC sought records June 16 of per diem investing and tax files due to the fact 2011.

The authority did not disclose Shaw’s position right up until right after the AJC reviewed the tax records and uncovered Shaw gained somewhere around $78,000 a lot more for each year for many a long time than the authority’s per diem databases showed.

An AJC evaluation of DAFC information demonstrates Shaw acquired much more than $500,000 each and every in for every diems and income because 2011. He resigned his personnel posture successful Jan. 31 of this yr, but ongoing collecting per diem right up until at minimum April.

Turpeau mentioned he became mindful of Shaw’s purpose as a paid staff and chairman earning per diems in November when he succeeded Shaw. Broadbent mentioned he uncovered Shaw was nevertheless an employee about the very same time.

The authority in November enacted its initial for every diem plan limiting board fees to no additional than one for every working day, but it did not ban board users from receiving a wage and for every diem till June 22, as the AJC was getting ready publication of this tale.

Turpeau said in an e mail he felt Shaw’s twin roles ended up “not appropriate” and the workers position unwanted, and requested Shaw in November to resign as an employee.

But he said he did not disclose Shaw’s twin roles to other county officers.

Commissioner Lee Morris, who in Could nominated Shaw for reappointment to the board, reported he did not know about Shaw’s valuable for every diem payments or the paid out position with the authority until a handful of times in the past.

Commissioner Lee Morris speaks on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption

Commissioner Lee Morris speaks on Wednesday, May perhaps 5, 2021. (Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit score: Rebecca Wright

Credit history: Rebecca Wright

“Any just one of all those authority customers experienced, in my opinion, an absolute general public duty to disclose this to any individual, and that would obviously incorporate Mr. Turpeau,” Morris claimed. Experienced he known, Morris reported he would not have nominated his prolonged-time mate for re-appointment.

On July 14, Turpeau and perhaps other authority users are scheduled to look just before the Fulton board of commissioners, wherever they are specified to facial area inquiries about the agency’s per diem payments and Shaw’s generous payment for previously undisclosed do the job.

Amidst the scrutiny, the authority has relied on a crisis conversation expert who fees up to $275 for each hour for information.

“DAFC learned of questionable procedures from the previous. We set insurance policies in put to stop them in the future,” Turpeau mentioned in more than one trade with the AJC. “We are all set to go forward.”

AJC reporter Isaiah Poritz contributed to this report.

Our Reporting

Reporting this month by the AJC and Channel 2 Motion Information showed board members of the Growth Authority of Fulton County have been paid out per diems that may possibly not have been lawful. The AJC noted previous Enhancement Authority of Fulton County Chairman Bob Shaw collected virtually $360,000 in for every diems from 2015 to April of this year, like at situations for signing documents or for the range of agenda items just before the board on a presented working day.

Tax documents received by the AJC later on confirmed Shaw earned hundreds of hundreds of pounds more than the authority had formerly disclosed. Upon questioning about the discrepancy by the AJC, DAFC disclosed Shaw had a job with the authority for additional than 6 years, earning each salary and for every diem for the duration of this time. As the AJC geared up this tale for publication, DAFC’s board voted to near a loophole in its policy to protect against board members from earning salary and for each diem.

Edie Villetas

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