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Complaint Says DeKalb Commissioner Steered Contracts to Friends

Commissioner Jeff Rader is the latest DeKalb County official facing an ethics complaint.

DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader is under fire after an ethics complaint alleged he used his position to steer county contracts to friends. (Screenshot: DeKalb County government website)
DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader is under fire after an ethics complaint alleged he used his position to steer county contracts to friends. (Screenshot: DeKalb County government website)

A DeKalb County commissioner is the latest to be in hot water, this time for steering government contracts to workers at his former employer.

WABE reports an ethics complaint has been filed against Jeff Rader for steering money to his former company Jacobs Engineering in Perimeter Center.

Rader tells the radio station that the county ethics board gave him guidance in 2007 because his former firm does business with the county.

“And I’ve used that advisory opinion to guide my conduct since then,” Rader told WABE. “So I believe my conduct has been consistent with that advisory opinion and therefore will serve as a defense against the complaint.”

As previously reported on Patch, four other DeKalb County officials are under investigation by the county ethics board.

The ethics board is also investigating Burrell Ellis, Elaine Boyer, Kelvin Walton, and Nina Hall.

Former DeKalb County CEO Ellis is slated to go on trial in September on charges he pressured contractors for campaign donations. A judge ruled in April that secret recordings of Ellis can be used against him. He faces 14 felony charges, ranging from bribery to theft, which he has consistently denied.

Boyer apologized in March for allegedly misusing her county debit card for thousands of dollars of personal expenses, and said she didn’t realize the practice was prohibited. According to an investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boyer used her county VISA card for non-work-related expenses that included meals, rental cars, and airline tickets to a ski resort.

The cases against Walton and Hall — whose sworn court testimony indicated they were involved in activities that led to the corruption case against Ellis — could result in their firings. Interim CEO Lee May has suspended the pair, with pay, until the court case is settled, AJC.com reports.

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