Johns Creek Chamber
appen dec 2010 Duplicate

Johns Creek council votes to subpoena mayor


Prosecutor seeks phone, property records



Bodker_Mike_2007_mug_we
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Bodker (click for larger version)
September 20, 2013
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – In a 4-1 vote, the Johns Creek City Council subpoenaed phone records and rental documents from Mayor Mike Bodker, as part of their investigation into alleged ethical violations.

Bodker denies any wrongdoing, and instead demands to know what he is charged with before he will turn over his personal records.

At a special called meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19, the five members of the City Council — Bodker absent — met to hear evidence from special investigator Robert Wilson.

Wilson complained the mayor was uncooperative with his investigation by withholding documents and refusing to meet.

"The investigation that is underway has reached a point where I do not have the cooperation to the level that I need it," Wilson said.

Wilson said he tried for the past 40 days to meet with the mayor and has requested documents of Bodker's attorney. Wilson said neither of these requests have happened, stalling his investigation.

"I do not ask for these lightly, but there comes a point where this is what you have to do," Wilson said. "I need the records and I don't need to wait until next spring to get them."

In response to Wilson's request, the council voted 4-1 – with Councilmember Kelly Stewart voting against – to approve subpoenas to have the mayor turn over records that include personal cell phone usage dating to January 2007. In addition, the special investigator wants lease and rental documents pertaining to Bodker's properties at Abberley Township and Johns Creek Walk, more importantly, checks relating to rent paid on those properties.

Wilson claims Bodker's attorneys have agreed to release some of the documents, but only after they have filtered and redacted information, an option that is "unacceptable."

"It's frustrating," said Councilmember Randall Johnson, as he made the motion to issue the subpoenas. "This [investigation] is dragging on. It's dragging on because Mike Bodker is refusing to cooperate. He's not turning over information that, in today's online availability of records, he could turn this information over in a day. What is he hiding? I don't understand what he's hiding."

Bodker denies that he is not cooperating, but questions the need for the records.

"I'm not going to allow the government to invade my personal information… without any charges against me," he said. "You have to draw a line in the sand."

Characterizing the request as well as the investigation as a waste of taxpayer money and "politically motivated," Bodker said he was not turning over the documents on principle.

"I have nothing to hide, but I do have a right to privacy," he said.

He said he did rent apartments in Johns Creek Walk and Abberley Township, however he denied using his position as mayor to benefit from the transactions.

"You can't make wide requests [for personal documents] without specifics," he said. "Either put up or shut up."

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    about time
    September 20, 2013 | 08:10 PM

    It's about time that subpoenas will be served. Bodker would probably have never released those records and the investigation would have been put on hold forever. good job council.

    Mars
    Johns creek
  2. report print email
    Timing
    September 21, 2013 | 08:33 AM

    It is clear this will not be resolved before the election, and if the mayor is re-elected, then what?

    An observer
    Johns creek
  3. report print email
    An Observer
    September 21, 2013 | 11:19 AM

    Doesn't matter if Bodker wins or loses. He will still be under investigation until this whole thing is concluded. BTW, who would vote for Bodker, not I.

    Mars
    Johns creek
  4. report print email
    To: Timing
    September 21, 2013 | 11:19 AM

    The question as to whether the madness and dysfunction will go away after the election is actually dependent on the Council Member races. Right now there is a five member coalition in the council that really has control over everything with their majority in voting matters. Two of them are up for re-election and are being contested. Randall Johnson will have one opponent. Karen Richardson will have two. Bev Miller's post is also open now. That will have to be filled in a special election next year though. As you've probably heard, she elected to qualify for the Mayoral race while still in her council seat. The benefit to her in doing this is that if she loses her bid for Mayor, she can run for her council seat back in the special election. This clearly benefits her, but is a big fleecing of the taxpayers. We will now pay 200K for a special election to fill one council post. Had she resigned her council seat before qualifying, her council seat would have been filled in the Nov general election at no additional cost to all of us but she knew that meant she would be out all together if she didn't prevail against Bodker. Bottom line, the taxpayer bill for just her is 200k. If you are one that believes the "investigation" is a political manuever to aid her campaign, then the price tag is much higher already.

    Essentially, who is elected/re-elected to the council posts will have the greatest impact on whether Johns Creek will have a focused, productive and citizen/community focused Council. The Mayor is only one vote. The three council posts are where the power balance will shift or go back to status quo.

    As far as the Mayoral election, folks will have to decide which candidate has the best track record, qualifications, and can lead the council in a productive and appropriate way while cultivating GOOD relationships with our neighbors in Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton, Duluth, Forsyth, etc. The ability to work with other cities effectively is very important. We are not an island.

    For me, it's not a hard decision at this point. It might have been had this investigation business not started. I'm not big a believer in coincidences or innocent scandals of political convenience and benefit. I believe someone has led our council astray and we're seeing a lot embarrassing, questionable and costly actions coming as a result of it.

    Hoochfamily
    Johns Creek
  5. report print email
    Bodker
    September 21, 2013 | 11:50 AM

    Council obviously is on a witch hunt. Bodker has 7 years of a close to spotless record. Now all of a sudden, ironically right befor election time out of the blue an "investigation" is launched? Really? The timing and intent smells.

    Resident
    Alpharetta
  6. report print email
    M Bodker
    September 22, 2013 | 09:23 AM

    Hooch: No, you are wrong.

    No matter who wins the election, the investigation on M. Bodker will continue.

    There may be state/city laws that have been broken by him.

    Vicki
    Johns Creek
  7. report print email
    Investigation
    September 22, 2013 | 09:26 AM

    Resident: How do you know that Bodker has had a spotless record? Everything was hidden until now!

    Bodker was disciplined before by the city council for his actions.

    And when others came forward with complaints, what was the council supposed to do? Ignore them?



    Vickie
    Johns Creek
  8. report print email
    What is the Charge?
    September 22, 2013 | 12:36 PM

    What is the law on a subpoena for personal info without being charged with a crime? Does Bodker have to comply if he has yet to be charged with anything? In fact, why would anyone not charged with a crime agree to participate in a witch hunt? Is that a violation of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution? I do not know but I am sure his lawyers will make sure Bodker has all the rights afforded him. And I would encourage that practice.

    (not knowing the law myself) I tend to agree with Bodker's lawyer that you shouldn't make wide requests for personal documents without specific charges. I mean. If that is the argument why not randomly subpoena everyone's personal records and search for crimes? Isn't that the best way to figure out who's a criminal and who is not? But the question is what are his Constitutional rights afforded to Bodker.

    Charge him with a crime? Otherwise this is just seems like an election year fishing trip.

    Concerned JC CItizen
    Johns Creek
  9. report print email
    Sadly
    September 22, 2013 | 04:56 PM

    I predict this is going to get much uglier and I hope those that started it realize that if they have made false statements to the public, the investigation door can swing both ways. It is really difficult to make sure your own backyard has been in tip top shape for seven years before going down this road. Ambition can be a person's best and worst friend.

    hoochfamily
    jc
  10. report print email
    Vicki.. please read and post accurately
    September 22, 2013 | 05:26 PM

    Please review my post. I did not say anything about if the investigation would continue post election.

    Hoochfamily
    jc
  11. report print email
    this mess
    September 22, 2013 | 08:04 PM

    this whole mess can be resolved when this mayor admits to wrongdoing and goes back to being just a plain citizen.
    no more politicians staying in the same office term after term.his 8 years are enough, bring on someone new and untainted.
    bev miller sounds like a wise choice for the next mayor, I think she will get our votes.

    johns creek voter
    johns creek
  12. report print email
    Wild Goose Chase
    September 22, 2013 | 09:22 PM

    The WSB TV report said cell phone records. Who has not used a cellphone for personal use when the fee is paid for by the company. If the city has a per call contract then shame on them for bad management. What are the other issues? Tell the citizens so we can decide.

    This is Nuts
    johns creek
  13. report print email
    To: Wild Goose Chase
    September 23, 2013 | 11:16 AM

    The actual resolution outlining what they voted to supoena is on the city website under the city council section. It reads ALL cell phone records and itemized statements for the entire seven years. During the very theatrical presentation from the council's attorney on Thursday, he stated the records to include texts, calls, emails, etc.

    Concil's supporters can't seem to explain why the council didn't do anything in seven years if they mayor truly did something wrong and they knew about it. They can't say they didn't know about it and claim he was disciplined for it at the same time. At what does "disciplined" mean anyway? I don't see anything about being disciplined in the City Charter. Did I miss it?

    JC Citizen
    Johns Creek
  14. report print email
    JC
    September 23, 2013 | 02:49 PM

    JCcitizen you seem like you are missing everything. It is all over the internet, on the JC website, everywhere!

    Disciplined basically means "warned".

    DP
    Johns Creek
  15. report print email
    Concerned
    September 23, 2013 | 03:07 PM

    Why don't the city council members hand over their last 7 years of texts/emails/phone calls without knowing what they were charged with AND pay for their own legal defense? It is a crime what they are doing. Wrongful tax money that they could not fund individually and the timing of it all is suspicious. Why didn't they file an ethics violation if he did anything wrong? And why act irresponsibly and wait 7 years if he even did anything (which I don't believe he did anything)? Seems like a costly tactic by his opponent Bev Miller and an unruly council.

    Concerned voter
    Johns creek
  16. report print email
    I am missing nothing...
    September 23, 2013 | 03:48 PM

    disciplined means nothing more than they officially stated disapproval of something. It's like a censure in Congress where the majority party slaps around the minority at their own behest to score political points. It's meaningless to almost everyone but themselves. As long as we're on the subject though... tell everyone what the atrocity was he committed to earn the council's disapproval. I'm sure it was something very important that took priority over all the other matters of doing business in for the City. Hopefully it wasn't something petty and ridiculous like not agreeing with a them on something. Afterall, isn't the reason for having multiple council members is in fact to ensure diverse perseptive, opinions, ideas and such?

    JC Citizen
    Johns Creek
  17. report print email
    Miller Costly Comment
    September 23, 2013 | 05:39 PM

    Concerned says "Seems like a costly tactic by his opponent Bev Miller" I bet she is the problem. I had a personal dealing with that lady and I certainly do not want her to be Mayor.

    JC Resident
    Johns Creek
  18. report print email
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely
    September 23, 2013 | 08:59 PM

    It's time for fresh blood on our city council. I respect the time and effort the three remaining original city council members have put into the start up of Johns Creek but just like our representatives in DC they have become intoxicated with their positions and have let their egos take over. Mike Bodker has performed beyond the position description for mayor. No mayor in Georgia has done more for their town than Mayor Bodker. No one is better informed about our city than he is and you can observe that if you attend a city council meeting. He understands the issues and it's almost embarrassing the lack of knowledge of some of the other members. Enough is enough. Make the investigation public so the voters can decide who the best candidate is based in the facts.

    Small town small politics
    Johns Creek GA 30097
  19. report print email
    Bev Miller
    September 24, 2013 | 09:52 AM

    BEV MILLER is going to get our votes.

    We are tired of Bodker's claims that he is innocent yet he won't hand over any records.

    Bodker is wasting more tax dollars by his constant stalls! It is nauseating!

    Voters {4}
    JohnsCreek
  20. report print email
    Voters (4) JohnsCreek should ask what are the charges
    September 24, 2013 | 04:06 PM

    Mr. Wilson and whoever is behind the investigation are just digging everywhere they can to find anything to hang their hat on!
    If there is something there, come out with it already and let the voters decide. If someone came to you and said they wanted to see your phone records or mortgage payment book because "we think there might be something wrong but we don't know what it is," would you hand over your documents?

    SMALL TOWN SMALL POLITICS
    JOHNS CREEK
  21. report print email
    Cell Phone Records
    September 24, 2013 | 05:42 PM

    Cities north of the Chattahoochee haven't been "small" in years. Many decisions that impact the long term success of a City come before our Mayors and City Councils. Have you ever noticed a public official with head down, texting during a meeting? Ever wonder whether they are on City phone or their own personal one? How do we know the text they are sending or receiving isn't going to influence an important decision if it is being sent/received on a personal cell phone? Is it subject to public records laws? I guess we'll see. I for one believe any official that doesn't want their personal cell records perused by the public should not use it during official proceedings. This is going to get interesting.

    Small Towns No More
    Alpharetta
  22. report print email
    clarify
    September 25, 2013 | 09:11 AM

    So you are saying that they all should be required to produce their cell records, no just the mayor since all of their phones have open/public records on them?

    Joso
    JC
  23. report print email
    I don't think "during official proceedings"
    September 25, 2013 | 09:46 AM

    has any direct impact or bearing ultimately as to whether the info on cell phones is public information or not. I haven't heard the Mayor object to providing that kind of relevant info. I've heard him to say, tell me what you are investigating and I'll give you any records that are relevant to that, but I'm not giving seven years of person/private communications with family, friends, business associates, etc. What he's offering is really all they are legally entitled to and need in the first place. I think they may have asked for a ridiculous cache of documents knowing that he, like everyone else on the planet, would be offended and push back on the outrageous request. Seems they planned to take advantage of that as "uncooperative" and "hiding something" from the beginning. Just my thougts after seeing this thing roll along. If I recall accurately, there are professional PR folks and spinmeisters on the council side of this. They know how to strategize, spin and leverage media to their advantage. It's how they make a living. That's why we have to be critical and independent thinkers. Too many in politics assume us to mindless, easily led sheep.

    Hoochfamily2013
    JC
  24. report print email
    Bodker
    September 25, 2013 | 09:56 AM

    Bodker refused giving up records.He knew of some of the charges, yet he still refused, Then the city sent out the suppoenas. That;s how it works people. You don't cooperate, you get a suppoena. Foolish guy.

    John T
    Johns Creek
  25. report print email
    Subpoena proven to be based on lies...
    September 25, 2013 | 10:55 AM

    It's the City Council's job to state the exact nature of the charges/allegations against the Mayor. Since when is it the defendants job to identify and evangelize the allegations against them? It's the City's job to make a formal request through the attorney for specific documents. It's not the defendants job to "know" what they are looking for and run around gathering it up proactively so the City doesn't have to request it. It's the council's duty to communicate openly and honestly with the taxpayers who are funding this madness. Lying in front of news cameras and the public about the Mayor not cooperating to get a subpoena is unethical, outrageous and an ethics violation of a very serious nature in my opinion. Most courts use 30 days a minimum for producing documents/records but our City council is screaming "lack of cooperation" and issuing a subpoena after 15/16 days? Millerites... be careful thinking any means is worth the end you want because it won't be the day you find yourself on the other side.

    hoochfamily
    Johns Creek
  26. report print email
    I am a Bev Miller fan
    September 25, 2013 | 04:22 PM

    I am voting for Bev Miller. She is not embroiled in controversy as Bodker is. Bodker has proved that he cannot play nice with the city council members that we have elected. Frankly, Bodker has proved that he can't play nice with anybody.

    Johns Creek Senior
    Johns Creek
  27. report print email
    Bev orchestrated the controversy
    September 26, 2013 | 12:41 PM

    You're right. Bev isn't embroiled. Conveniently, she votes with the others to investigate Bodker before the election, then leaves the council putting her in a position not to have to answer for any of this. She sits quietly watching while her gullible lackeys take the pounding alone. Karen and Randall are the most exposed, and will be the most damamged when it comes time to put that "X" on the ballot. Ironic that this whole sham only has one benefactor...Bev Miller.

    Public Eye
    JC
  28. report print email
    Public Eye
    September 26, 2013 | 06:54 PM

    Bev Miller gets my vote. I agree whole heartedly with Senior. Bodker has proved himself unworthy of our trust. Bye Bye Bodker.

    LindaBr
    JCreek
  29. report print email
    Presumption of guilt is sickening
    September 27, 2013 | 12:46 PM

    This investigation is so obviously a political smear campaign designed to benefit Miller and the other council members aligned with her. Thankfully, we have one voice of reason on council in Kelly Stewart who is not afraid to stand up for what's right and fair. Bodker has not been formally charged with ANYTHING, and yet council is demanding all kinds of personal information. I didn't even know he and his wife had been separated (nor did I need to), but now it all makes sense why council wants more personal information. It only gives them ammunition to smear him even further. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe Mr. Bodker doesn't want his personal cell phone information made public because it could be used against him in a divorce proceeding, should one ever come to pass? It appears Miller and the other vindictive council members have Bodker right where they want him because so many foolish simpleton voters will just assume he's guilty of wrongdoing and vote with Miller and friends. It's no secret around town that she's had her eye on that Mayor job for years now. Adding to that, Bodker has publicly disagreed with council on a few issues, so I suspect she and the others have been waiting for their opportunity to pounce. Marital woes and a pending re-election provided the perfect opportunity to bring him down in the most public and vicious way. Do you really think Miller and her aligned council members care that this embarrasses our citizens and our city? Obviously not, their thirst for power seems to have overshadowed the common good, otherwise they would just shut up and CHARGE him already if they had any proof of wrongdoing. Since they have not, I can only assume this investigation is a taxpayer-funded digging expedition. Unfortunately, the damage to Bodker's reputation has already been done. Here's the bottom line for me: Bodker probably shouldn't have commented publicly if he disagreed with council, but there must be other ways council could have handled this in a less public and costly manner. Either they should have pursued an internal investigation or named their charges against Bodker at the outset so he could address the charges directly. In not formally charging him with any specific offense, it's my understanding council is violating city policy. How can this be allowed to stand?

    Concerned Voter
    Johns Creek
  30. report print email
    Its simple
    September 27, 2013 | 08:02 PM

    WITCH HUNT: 1) a rigorous campaign to round up or expose dissenters on the pretext of safeguarding the welfare of the public, 2) An investigation carried out to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

    John Johnson
    Johns Creek
  31. report print email
    Sure nuff
    September 29, 2013 | 07:10 PM

    This is NOT a witch hunt. Some of the charges have been presented by the council. Can't wait to hear the rest. Sure to be an eye opener.

    Mars
    Johns Creek
  32. report print email
    Re: I am a Bev Miller Fan
    September 29, 2013 | 07:19 PM

    To the "I am a Bev Miller fan." Why don't you look into how Bodker has worked with every other mayor in north fulton, the state of Georgia and all over the United States and wonder how he developed those working and professional relationships and then ask those people about Bev Miller. She has pissed off more neighboring cities and created more strife than spent building up and working with others. Bodker has worked relentlessly to work with and accomplish resolutions and solutions while the council destroys and picks fights with the neighboring cities. You can't elect someone who doesn't work outside her little circle of evil council. You have to know how to work with everyone and just because Bodker and the council don't get along doesn't mean he is the problem. Look at their responses and how mature they have acted in all this drama. Bodker has worked hard and will continue to work with and fight for greater improvements for the people of johns creek - not for himself like the council selfishly do.

    Concerned voter
    Johns creek
  33. report print email
    say what?
    October 01, 2013 | 11:00 AM

    This is not whether or not the mayor played nice with other cities, this about unethical conduct on his part!

    Worked hard? Do you think any accomplishments made, were made solely by Bodker? The city council took part in any accomplishments.

    Johns Creeker
    Johns Creek
  34. report print email
    To: Johns Creeker
    October 02, 2013 | 03:46 PM

    I disagree with your statements on the basis of fact.

    1. There haven't been any consistent allegations YET in this "investigation". I will soon make available to the public a very illuminating picture of this investigation and "allegations".
    2. The relationships with neighboring cities have been held together by Mayor Bodker. As previous person said, they may not have the highest regard for Bev and a few others on the current council.

    When gangs form in a council, then they become the controlling and deciding factor for everything as they always have a majority vote. People should do homework. Go to City Council page on Johnscreekga.gov and look at the minutes of the council meetings. You can see who voted in each instance and how they voted. Data is a unbiased informant. I wouldn't be surprised if others don't replace Bodker in the headlines before this is over.

    JC Citizen
    Johns Creek
  35. report print email
    Endorsement
    October 03, 2013 | 09:39 AM

    Even Brad Raffensperger has endorsed Bev Miller for mayor!

    Voter
    Johns Creek
  36. report print email
    City Council/Mayor
    October 10, 2013 | 12:34 PM

    Wow. Classy. Sounds like it might be time to "clean house" in several areas of Johns Creek government. This is embarrassing.

    2 JCVOTERS
    Johns Creek
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