Saturday, September 25, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

Finalist for DeKalb housing chief could have a conflict

By Jim Walls
For the AJC

The DeKalb County Housing Authority -- already beset with questions about gifts of money or services from vendors -- may be about to hire another vendor as its next executive director.

If Eugene P. "Pete" Walker Jr. becomes DeKalb's new public housing chief, he will oversee the job performance of his current employer, Mercy Housing Southeast, a nonprofit paid to manage several of the authority's properties. He's currently Mercy's president.

Walker, one of three finalists for the housing job, also runs Millennium Development Partners, a for-profit company that does financial and bond consulting for the housing authority.

Walker declined to talk last week about how he would manage any potential conflict of interest with either business, or whether he would even have one. So did Glenwood Ross, chairman of the authority's board, and board member George Maddox.

The two other finalists for the housing job, Robert Kenner and Art Milligan, have a combined 22 years' experience running housing authorities in Florida and North Carolina, while Walker has a degree in business administration and was once CFO of the Atlanta Development Authority. The board met Friday in closed session to talk about personnel but emerged without announcing a decision.
. . .
Maddox, a former state legislator, received $3,000 in campaign contributions from the authority's development partner in 2006 and 2008, and $500 more to help put a new roof on his church. Walker also gave him $1,000 in political contributions.

Walker has his own political connections in DeKalb. His father, Eugene Walker, is a former state senator and former member of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The elder Walker, because of his own actions, is also a former chairman of the DeKalb Development Authority. He had to step down last year following revelations that interests seeking a $45 million tax break from the authority had donated $20,000 to his campaign for a school board seat. Most of those donations went undisclosed until after the election.

DeKalb's housing authority has substantial issues to address -- not just nagging ethical questions, but money matters as well. HUD is wrapping up a forensic audit of the agency after finding $2.5 million intended for public housing recipients was spent instead on ineligible costs, including office supplies, rental cars and the like.


Click here to read the entire story at the AJC.


Anonymous said...

I recently heard from extremely reliable sources that back in the mid 1980's there was about $7,000.00 taken from the NAACP in DeKalb County. There was to be a big investigation and Gene Walker did everything possible to help cover up that the money was missing to protect the information from coming up and did not want a formal investigation into the situation to see where the money went.

Now is this really the type of family we want overseeing our Housing Authority or our School Board money. I do not think so.
I am still in shock that sources indicate that Gene Walker covered up a crime like this.

Anonymous said...

Junior learned from the best.

Anonymous said...

The Housing Authority mess is the result of our CEO and Board of Commissioners not paying attention, just like the BOE doesn't pay attention to Central Office spending.

The CEO and commissioners appoint the Housing Authority board members. Why don't our county CEO and BOC members care about millions of our tax dollars being wasted???

Get them to post every check online. No more waste, no more graft, no more nepotism, no more damn corruption in this county!!

Anonymous said...

It used to be the DeKalb/Decatur Housing Authority. The Decatur City Council opted out of it because of the corruption on the Housing Authority, and the shadiness was even worse while Vern Jones was CEO.

Wonder if New Birth would hire Vern as the new pastor if Eddie Long is found guilty. Ha!

Anonymous said...

There is so much dysfunction in DeKalb it is scary. It is time to slice the county up they way Fulton has become, removing much of the resources that seem to lead to so much corruption

Anonymous said...

The housing authority was at it's worst during the Maloof (profound overbuilding) and Levetan
(giving tax credits to much of the overbuilt that went into foreclosure) regimes.
During Vernon's tenure he pissed off the old white guard by installing some of his own bondits and boodlers in the housing authority. Decatur opted out: not from honesty. Nothing has EVER been right with the housing authorities. The best thing that could ever happen to Dekalb would be for the feds to deny any more monies (excepting for tenant vouchers at the current levels) to any of the housing authorities in Dekalb. This would include the Decatur, Dekalb, Lithonia, and Atlanta housing authorities.
They also should do an audit going back to the 90s on how many properties were refianced (under bonds) for two to three times their prior appraised values.
Oh, to be able to name names.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is time to dissolve DeKalb county.

Cerebration said...

9:09, if you really do have viable information, I encourage you to report it to Sally Yates, the federal judge for the SE.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is time to dissolve DeKalb county.

Amen and amen!

Anonymous said...

Conflict of Interest is nothing new in the Walker House. They never feel they have a conflict of interest.

My sources regarding the missing funds were members of the NAACP who wanted to have the investigation. However, Gene Walker wanted it covered up. The sources are extremely reliable.

The words used to discribe Gene Walker was a crook. As a citizen of DeKalb I was totally in shock.

I have also heard many stories from legislatures members who served with Gene Walker who tell stories of Gene having problems that caused him to leave the legislature when he did. Hearing these stories from all the old timers makes it obvious of course why Dr. Waler would be supportive of Eddie Long and his situation. It also is interesting all the money Eddie Long contributing to Gene Walker's campaign in 2008. This is a great deal of money for Eddie Long to contribute even with his current salaries. Eddie Long lives a very lavish lifestyle. How could he afford this kind of donation? The donations are just as interesting as some of Gene Walker's other campaign contributions in 2008. The contributions along show the conflict of interests he may have regarding his connections to the pastor at New Birth and possible the Powers of Newbirth.

Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not I would think it inappropriate for any person who represents students to assume innocents or guilt automatically. Regardless of guilt of innocence the pictures sent to these young men were inappropriate for a bishop, a teacher, a principal, a coach, or any adult in a position of authority to send to any young man. The pictures are crossing the ethical boundaries and a teacher or principal would probable lose their professional lincense for doing such a thing. However, Bishop Long due to his status feels he can brush this under the rug. The pictures were inappropriate to send to young men if they were sent. The presents were totally inappropriate if they came from Bishop Long. If Bishop Long took these tickets from this young man (which apparently the judge in Dekalb saw as a problem as the young man is getting another opportunity with the courts with this tickets due to the situation) to get them fixed this is totally not ethical or correct.

If Bishop Long is not guilty of this he does appear to be guilty of very poor judgement and feeling like he has the authority to do these things because he is Bishop Long.

Cerebration said...

I find it curious that the bishop can confidently state that he can get tickets fixed for these boys and then find out that the sheriff is on the board of the bishop's school for these at-risk boys.

Anonymous said...

I thought the new Internal Auditor reported directly to the BOE and indirectly to the Superintendent. Here is the DCSS 6/21/10 posting regarding the Internal Auditor. Did this change when the individual was hired:
"Georgia Position for Superintendent

DeKalb County School System Division of Human Resources
Address: 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Expires 06/21/2010

The DeKalb County School System is seeking a highly qualified individual to serve as Director of Internal Audit and Compliance. This individual will report to the Superintendent. The eligible candidate will perform internal audits for the District including, operational, financial, compliance, and risk assessment activities across the District.....

..... Administer the local school/department audit program. Perform other related duties as assigned by the Superintendent......

... Documents may be mailed or hand delivered to the DeKalb County School System, Department of Human Resources, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 – OR – faxed to 678-676-0187.

Position Title Director, Internal Audit/Compl

Location / Responsibility Centers Number SUPERINTENDENT / 700

Salary $82,509.25 to $108,251.15"


Cerebration said...

That should be wrong -- he should definitely report to the board with a dotted line to the super. Everyone reporting to Lewis directly and Lewis controlling what information was shared - not to mention that he never had an auditor or audit at all - was what got us into trouble before.

Anonymous said...

to 1:09 PM

"Powers of New Birth"?
Who's are they?

Anonymous said...

Aren't the Feds trying to recover $2.5 million from DCHA that was nor properly spent, accounted for or something like that. The story was on WSB TV but died after a day. Maybe Jeff Dickerson also works for the County. lol

DK County and DCSS are both rotten. North DK should team up with the new Milton County when it is formed. Then NBBC can overtly run the remaining mess.

Anonymous said...

It appears that the Walker family has never had a real job in private industry but lives off the public dole. Setting up a non-profit company to benefit from public grants and funding is still a government job in my book. Junior should get a real job.

In this huge metro area, surely there are many more better qualified people.

How in the world do they advertise these jobs? Or maybe that is part of the "friends and family" problem.

Anonymous said...

Mercy south is the bunch of worthies that talked the city of Lithonia into okaying a totally uneeded 96 unit complex a few years ago. This was right after all the stink with the city going broke.
There are NO market rate rentals around the city of Lithonia. It appears that they let Mercy have no mercy towards them.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration
"That should be wrong -- he should definitely report to the board with a dotted line to the super. "

The 2010-2011 Organizational Chart listed on the DCSS website has the Internal Auditor reporting directly to the BOE and indirectly to the superintendent.
( and clock on Organizational Chart)

As you can see from the jobs listing, the reporting scheme is just the opposite.

I wonder which is correct?