New Johns Creek council ends mayoral probe

3-2 vote sends investigator packing

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - The investigation into the mayor's conduct over the past seven years has officially ended, as a new broom swept away the investigator and ended the investigation. The newly elected councilmembers, Cori Davenport and Lenny Zaprowski, joined with Councilwoman Kelly Stewart at the Jan. 6 City Council meeting to end the investigation and to rescind or withdraw any subpoenas issued for the mayoral probe.

With their actions, the contract with attorney Robert Wilson and his law firm Wilson, Morton and Downs was terminated, effective immediately.

The termination vote required four separate votes with four results, all 3 to 2 with Mayor Mike Bodker abstaining. The minority in each case were Councilmen Brad Raffensperger and Ivan Figueroa.

Raffensperger first tried to have the move to end the investigation tabled. He said with two new councilmembers on board, they should have more time to familiarize themselves with “new information” that Wilson had procured.

“I don't think the new members are up to speed on this yet. We could have the vote in two weeks,” Raffensperger said.

Figueroa agreed, saying they have not heard the supplemental report that had just been received.

Evidently others had, as that report was apparently leaked to WSB-TV. Bodker said he had been shown a copy by a TV reporter that was stamped “Privileged Communication.”

“So it obviously came from someone on this council,” Bodker said.

Space was reserved for two TV stations that sent cameras. City Communications Director Rosemary Taylor said she had notified the two stations to come.

Raffensperger did not say he leaked the documents, but he did say it was his understanding there was a waiver of information sent by investigator Wilson to council.

Bodker said he did not want to pursue the matter, but he warned council that any confidential information had to be authorized by a majority vote of council to be released.

Both Raffensperger and Figueroa said the investigation should continue to its conclusion, and that this “new information” should be evaluated.

“We talk over and over about transparency. The mayor has made allegations not supported by this new information. We have these subpoenas before a judge that [Bodker and Stewart] said we didn't have the authority to do. We should now see it through,” Figueroa said. “We have new information.”

Stewart stepped up to say she had no interest in pursuing the investigation any further.

“I am so uninterested in another penny on this investigation,” she said. “We have had an election and it is obvious the voters have spoken too. I want no more divisiveness. This has been political from the get-go. We need to get past this.”

Figueroa replied that in his opinion the investigation was not political. He further added the investigation could easily have cleared the mayor of wrongdoing.

“Without going through the whole process, we will never know [what the truth is],” he said.

Of course the city is paying for its side of the investigation. Bodker is funding his defense purely from his own pockets.

Raffensperger defended his part in the investigation.

“It was not political on my part,” he said.

Stewart shot back, “Not political? You sent out a mailer on this [during the election].”

Councilman Lenny Zaprowski said he could not in good conscience continue to fund the investigation.

“I can't see spending any more money on this,” he said.

The motion to end the investigation carried 3 to 2. Zaprowski, Stewart and Davenport voted yea; Figueroa and Raffensperger voted nay; Bodker recused himself.