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.”