DeKalb BOC’s former chief of staff indicted

July 20, 20162min1260
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A former DeKalb County Board of Commissioners chief of staff and a man who did business with the county were indicted Tuesday, July 19, for theft and conspiracy.

Morris Williams and Douglas Wayne Cotter were charged on two counts of theft by taking and one count each of conspiracy to defraud a political subdivision. Cotter also was indicted for making a false statement.

“County employees and those who do business with the county are held to a higher standard because they provide or use resources to further the best interests of DeKalb citizens and businesses,” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said. “If you betray the public trust, you must be held accountable.”

As chief of staff in June 2011, Williams instructed Cotter to submit an invoice to DeKalb County for work done by Water Removal Services on then-Commissioner Lee May’s behalf.

The price tag Cotter submitted for the work was inflated by $4,000.

Several days after the invoice was submitted, the company was paid approximately $6,400 by DeKalb County. At Cotter’s insistence, the company subsequently cut a $4,000 check to May.

Someone other than May endorsed the check in May’s name, and Cotter cashed the check at his family’s business in Dawson County.

May said he is cooperating with authorities.

“I am aware that a former county employee and contractor have been implicated in wrongdoing. I support the judicial process and will cooperate to the fullest extent possible,” May said. “The judicial process must run its course, but I am looking forward to a successful resolution to this matter.”

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