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Johns Creek council members clash again over investigation

Stewart says council colluded before vote

October 11, 2013
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Another Johns Creek City Council meeting turned ugly Monday night when Councilwoman Kelly Stewart began questioning City Manager John Kachmar about when he first contacted the investigator, Decatur attorney Robert Wilson, about hiring him.

From there, it became an acrimonious verbal slugfest among Stewart, Councilman Randall Johnson and Councilwoman Karen Richardson. All three are up for re-election this November.

Stewart asked Kachmar who told him to contact Wilson on the afternoon of June 17 when the vote to initiate the investigation did not come until late that evening in a City Council executive session.

At first, Kachmar denied talking to Wilson before the vote, telling Stewart her "timeline was wrong."

When he was told that it was Wilson who said he was first contacted on Monday afternoon, Kachmar said that was simply to find out if he would be available and what his fees were at the request of council.

"I am asked to look into matters and provide information for them," Kachmar said.

That led Stewart to ask who specifically wanted that information before the meeting and the vote. Kachmar said it was all five members of council. (Bev Miller, who has resigned her council seat to run for mayor, was still a member at that time.)

Stewart got angry and accused the other members of colluding about the investigation before a vote had ever been taken.

"Do you believe all five asked the city manager to look for a lawyer on the same day?" she asked.

That was when Stewart brought up a state ethics investigation against Johnson.

Johnson said that happened when documents he had to file were not accepted by the state's computer and that he has filed for verification.

"I couldn't log on [the state's site], so I sent a fax," he said.

Stewart then said she is trying to get the latest invoice from the investigator, but said she is getting the "runaround" from the city for the August invoice. The city has received two invoices from Wilson Morton and Downs. One is for $12,237 dated Aug. 08, 2013, and one is dated Sept. 6, 2013, for $24,237.

"The reason the investigation is getting expensive is the cost goes up every day because the mayor refuses to turn over documents to us," Johnson said. "It is disingenuous to accuse us of running up the costs when it is the mayor who is delaying things."

Stewart said the investigation is on a fishing expedition asking for phone records going back seven years and wanting copies of leases. But Johnson said Stewart had it backwards.

"That is not where the investigation began. That is where it has been led after talking to witnesses. The witness list is up to 52 now," Johnson said.

When Stewart complained, Johnson told her there were FBI investigations and the GBI was involved, but she could find no evidence of that.

Johnson also said there were criminal charges including "gratuities violations" (reductions on his leases) and interfering with city contract negotiations.

Johnson later said the contract in question concerned the one with Rural Metro Ambulance. He also said he did not have any details about that.

When the arguments circled around to the original question of who told the city manager to get an investigator involved, Johnson answered it.

"We ask staff to get us the information all the time. That's what we do," he said.

Executive Editor, Appen Media.
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Tags: Community & Outreach, Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Stewart is on a witch hunt
    October 11, 2013 | 06:11 PM

    The same old, same old attempt of shifting blame away from one person {Bodker}and trying to pin it on another. Stewart, give it up.

    johns creek
  2. report print email
    Really Kelly.......
    October 11, 2013 | 06:28 PM

    Maybe it's time to look into Kelly's past in FANNIN COUNTY! DIG IN

    Johns Creek Voter
    Johns Creek
  3. report print email
    October 11, 2013 | 11:19 PM

    Tell us more about Kelly's past.

    resident of Johns Creek
    Johns Creek
  4. report print email
    Campaign contributors
    October 12, 2013 | 07:11 PM

    The Campaign Disclosure reports are now out. Why is the city lawyer's firm, Riley-McLendon, donating $2,000 each to council members Randall Johnson and Karen Richardson for their re-election?

    An observer
    Johns Creek
  5. report print email
    Bush and Kashmar
    October 13, 2013 | 07:34 PM

    This is enough. I believe that these men should handle their problems by duking it out in a boxing ring.

    I would also like to know about Ms. Stewart's controversy.

    Johns Creek
  6. report print email
    Kelly Stewart
    October 14, 2013 | 11:54 PM

    Aha I found it. Kelly Mull of Blue Ridge, Ga., The now Kelly Stewart


    Johns Creek
  7. report print email
    October 15, 2013 | 10:16 AM

    You guys are disgusting :( and deserve the circus you have in government--both your elected officials and your city manager.

  8. report print email
    October 15, 2013 | 10:48 AM

    The only people that are disgusting are Stewart and Bodker.

    Afraid of the truth, Ms. Disgusted?

    Johns Creek
  9. report print email
    October 15, 2013 | 02:06 PM

    You are disgusting and have drunk the cool-aid too! The issue is John Kachmar and his unbeleivably disrespectful (and possibly) criminal behaviour towards your fellow citizens.

    I'd understand if you wanted to throw EVERYONE out but instead you seem to want to focus on your little political enemies.

    Since this is about personalities for you let me see if I get this saga straight:

    Your boy, Randall, himself DOCUMENTED with at least FOUR ETHICS VIOLATIONS of his own calls for a political investigation into the Mayor. To date, there are no formal charges either criminal nor any formal ethics complaint that has been made.

    Your City Manager, with a history of dealing poorly with city councils, a history of ethical and criminal violations, a previous assault charge against a 14 year old--he was acquitted though he admitted grabbing the boy and telling him to shut up, and now a pending assault charge in which he does not deny saying some horrible and graphic things to YOUR fellow citizens--he is the issue! But you want to focus on personalities.

    SO you try to drudge up muck about Kelly Stewart and are happy to have tens of thousands of dollars spent regarding your Mayor. Hey, it is your money!

    Can ANY BLOGGER on here tell me a specific charge against the mayor or reveal what is so negative about Kelly?

    If you want ton throw out your mayor cause he was a crappy husband--fine! You find out he was a crook--throw the book at him. But you KNOW you have a city manager from hell and the same people foaming at the mouth to go after the Mayor are silent re: that nut job. Your silence in that matter is deafening and reveals you as petty, mean spirited and simply, ugly people.

    On second thought, citizens like you deserve the governement you have.

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