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Johns Creek council launches investigation into Mayor Mike Bodker
by Nicole Dow
June 18, 2013 12:54 PM | 4423 views | 17 17 comments | 243 243 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker
Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker
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Updated June 18 at 6:20 p.m.: Johns Creek City Councilman Randall Johnson sent a prepared explanation Tuesday afternoon of the city council's decision to investigate the actions of Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker. The statement is below:

The Johns Creek City Council voted unanimously (5-0) June 17 to hire an attorney to investigate Mayor Mike Bodker following concerns of Bodker violating the City’s charter and ethics ordinance.

“This action follows several reprimands of Mayor Bodker about certain questionable actions he’s taken over the last several years,” said City Council Member Randall Johnson. “Unfortunately, that approach didn’t work and now the Council is left with no other choice but to turn to the investigative process as allowed under the City’s charter (Section 3.12).”

The City charter specifically states that the mayor represents the will of the Council. “However, there have been allegations that he’s repeatedly involved himself in actions and situations that were outside the will of Council,” added Johnson.

Johnson said the Council wanted an independent, unbiased legal opinion, and therefore, has contracted with Wilson, Morton & Downs of Decatur to handle an investigation. The Council has the legal authority to do this under the City’s charter.

Once the investigation is completed, a report will be made available to the public at that time.

Updated June 18 at 1 p.m.: Actions of Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker will be looked into as city council members voted unanimously Monday after a private executive session to hire a third-party firm to launch an investigation, Councilman Randall Johnson said.

The vote was 5-0 as Bodker recused himself and Councilwoman Kelly Stewart was absent from the meeting.

Though Johnson — who said he was the driving force behind the Monday’s action — would not comment on the specifics, he said the decision to enter into the investigation was spurred on by “more of a pattern of behavior over time.”

City Manager John Kachmar will be handling the selection of the firm, said Johnson, who has recommended possible firms to Kachmar.

“The council decided to hire an independent third-party group to investigate,” he said. “We wanted to make it independent of city council [and] make it independent of the office of the city attorney [and] the office of the city manager.”

Johnson added, “It will be a firm that has nothing to do with Johns Creek [and] has no past or present business with anybody from Johns Creek — either elected or staff — and a firm that’s never done any business with Johns Creek, so they’re totally outside the city.”

He anticipates the investigation will last four to six weeks, and said a report will be made public at the end.

“[The firm] will interview each council member and the mayor individually and confidentially,” he said. “They’ll interview staff members and department heads, and they’ll take the investigation where it takes [them].”

Johnson added, “There have been no charges filed … We just want to make sure we’re all on the same page and just see where the investigation leads.”

Bodker was not able to be reached immediately for comment.

Comments
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Longtime JC Resident
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July 02, 2013
I've been a resident here since long before Johns Creek was even a dream. I've also met Mayor Bodker and 4 of the 5 current council members, as well as attended a few city council meetings. I'm willing to bet this investigation yields nothing of any substance and no formal charges against Bodker. It will, however, smear his reputation and create just enough suspicion among voters to allow another candidate to defeat him in the upcoming city election. At the very worst, there will be enough of a "violation" of city charter codes to render him ineligible to run for re-election, though I hope that doesn't happen. This whole fiasco is about toes being stepped on, feathers being ruffled and personal egos being bruised: it's a power-grab, pure and simple. One need only consider the ironic timing of the "investigation" to see that.

I agree with the previous poster who stated this council has not demonstrated much willingness to work with our neighboring cities, and I think Mayor Bodker was correct in his efforts to make nice with them when council was unwilling to do so. With specific regard to the Brumbelow traffic light issue, council refused to compromise one single inch while Mayor Bodker advocated alternative solutions to get the project finished. Of course, that would have required compromise and JC council just wouldn't budge. Both sides felt they were doing right by our citizens, but whenever you have projects that fall on city borders you are always going to have to compromise, it's just how business gets done.

Like another poster, I'm in favor of an investigation into all council members' actions as well. We'd probably find out that both sides bear some fault, but at least it wouldn't seem like such a character assassination attempt on the Mayor. If Bodker gets investigated, then they all need to be. They may believe they are smearing only Bodker, but this reflects on all of them, as well as the citizens of JC. Council should not be allowed to escape scrutiny, especially during an election year. The voters deserve to have all the information, not just one-sided accusations.
Why!
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June 23, 2013
Why would anyone in their right mind say just to let this go? No one has the details on this investigation yet.

Don't you want to know what violations the mayor is accused of? I do!! And if there are violations, kick the guy out.
anonymous
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June 23, 2013
I hardly think that hiring a lawyer to check to see if unethical behavior is a waste of taxpayers' money.

Also, one does not identify violation(s) to the press without having a law firm conduct a prior investigation.

Why was Bodker even asking a newly-elected council member to meet with Duluth, if it was against the other 5 members. It was a mute point!What was his motive here?

I do not think that this was the only violation, as the press reported multiple violations from Bodker.

Not Only The Mayor
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June 24, 2013
While at it, I think the city council should also have themselves "investigated". I'm confident that one or more of them have skeletons in their closets and have used their political position to influence decisions that have benefited their personal lives.

More to come, waiting to see who announces their candidacy for Mayor.......
JC Resident
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June 22, 2013
The city council is wasting our tax dollars on this investigation. None of the five City Council members voting for the investigation will identify even one ethics or other violation committed by Mayor Bodker. Instead, they hired an attorney with our tax dollars to see if he can drum up some charges, and all of this is taking place immediately before the municipal elections filing deadline. Apparently, one of these five council members hopes to vote Mike Bodker off City Council before the filing deadline and then possibly run unopposed. According to WSBTV.com, this mess appears to have started when Mike Bodker asked newly elected Council member Brad Raffensperger to attend a meeting in Duluth where Brad might have learned more about the proposed Rogers Bridge Park pedestrian bridge between Johns Creek and Duluth. The City Council had earlier removed this bridge from its list of active projects. Mike Bodker’s request of Brad to attend this meeting infuriated this Group of 5, who fired back at Mike telling him he was acting “outside the will of the Council.” Brad should have simply attended this meeting to learn more about the issue so that he was better educated on this project. Instead, the taxpayers are spending 10’s of thousands of dollars. This action is nothing but a witch hunt.
Precisely
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June 22, 2013
So one should ignore unethical behavior, like Mr. Investigatecouncil,suggests?

What?????

Ethics are the set of rules or principles governing any organization. Following those principles represents the ethical behavior. When a person shows unethical behavior; it means he is going against the rules or principles of that organization which will be counted as illegal. Therefore, unethical behavior is always counted as illegal conducts.
aboutthetrust
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June 20, 2013
I would trust the votes of 5 city council members over that of 1 ( Bodker's) any day!
voting
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June 20, 2013
Shouldn't all illegal or unethical matters be investigated?

Let's wait and see what the report will say.

I do not think that all five of the city council members would go lightly into an investigation if they didn't have some proof.

Heck, I would want to know what unethical things Bodker did BEFORE the election. I also think that 2 terms are enough. Going to vote for someone new this fall.

investigatecouncil
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June 20, 2013
So a city probably already considering raising our rates to come up with money needed to address the magnitude needs we don't have money for should investigate ALL unethical matters. So you are for the council being investigated too? Do you have a scope of how many investigations would ensue under that standard? Let's say you have a male council member and a female council member with an unusually close relationship. Should that be investigated as it just might seem questionable to some? The example cited by the media for the basis of this "investigation" and expense of tax dollars is very weak and doesn't pass my personal standard of evidence for taking such action.
Investigatecouncil
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June 20, 2013
Let me get this straight... right before qualifying for the upcoming election, the City Council votes to waste our tax dollars on some flimsy ethics investigation? I wonder it matters that one of them wants to run for Mayor in the next election. I wonder if matters that said Council person has zero name recognition in the overall community or hope in eternity of beating Bodker without some dirty scandal to degrade the Mayor. Seems to me that the next investigation should be into the Council misusing tax payer funds in the course of campaign ploys. Bodker is an ethical and strong leader. Yes, he's firm and can rub some people wrong. At the end of the day though, our Council has a terrible reputation working with neighboring cities and the community. Look at the money and opportunities our city has lost out on due to THEIR arrogance. How many of you have sat in on a Council meeting and watched your representatives in action? Everyone should take the time. It's very enlightening. The Mayor should be unwavering when he feels strongly that the councils actions aren't in the best interest of the citizens. Kudos to Kelly for not involving herself in such questionable council action.
Johns Creek resident
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June 19, 2013
If there is smoke, there is usually fire. The council is not made up of one person. If all the members have a concern, it was well of them to make this investigation.

I, personally, believe that the mayor should serve no more than 2 terms. We don't need a "career" politician. Like George Washington did - he left office, he did not make it a "career".

Did you hear that we have some politicians that are nearing 100!!!!! How can they vote on important issues when they can't even comprehend what they are voting on!

Again, more "career" politicians. We don't need this!
Glass Houses
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June 19, 2013
WOW! I hope non of you serve on a jury....it seems as if your motto is "Guilty until proven Innocent".

I'm so happy that there are city residents like yourselves that are squeaky-clean and free of sin!!

You all need to run for city office and get elected!

Bye-Bye Bodker
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June 19, 2013
It is about time this bully and self-appointed dictator gets looked at. He is an ego maniac and a blight on the city. While he might not be corrupt, a unanimous decision by council shows something might be stinking in Johns Creek.
uptownguy
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June 19, 2013
"Good bye cruel world, I am off to join a circus" could this be Bodker's next statement?
R.U. Bodker?
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June 18, 2013
"It feels like a witch hunt," Bodker said (to the Johns Creek Herald). Coincidence in wording? Egomaniac that he is, I would not be surprised to learn that he is indeed Kurius. Will be interesting to see where investigation does lead. There's plenty there to find.
JC taxpayer
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June 18, 2013
I applaud the city council members. Johns Creek needs an honest mayor, not a maverick whose goals are "himself".

Can't wait to see the results!
I.M Kurius
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June 18, 2013
Sounds like a witch hunt to me (no offense intended towards those that roll like that.) Let's go use taxpayer dollars to dig around in the Mayor's work life for the last five years just to see what shows up.

While the law firm is at it, could they give us a similar investigation on Randall Johnson, you know, "just to see where the investigation leads"?
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