As the city council-led investigation continues, councilmembers voted unanimously Monday to approve waiving attorney-client privilege for city attorneys — including outside counsel who once represented the city — so they may be able to speak freely to investigators from the law firm of Wilson, Morton and Downs about matters previously deemed confidential.
Bodker recused himself from the discussion and vote on the matter.
Councilman Randall Johnson said waiving the attorney-client privilege will allow for items spoken during closed executive session meetings to be made privy to the investigative team.
City Attorney Bill Riley said the waiver keeps him from facing an ethical dilemma when it comes to what he can and cannot say to the investigators due to the “sensitive nature” of the case. He told councilmembers he would feel more comfortable if the attorney-client privilege was waived, even though some may argue there is no need to do so.
“I’m not so sure that I need a waiver to speak to another attorney who is working for the city about city business in an investigation where he has the same duty,” Riley said.
However, Councilwoman Karen Richardson said it is better to be safe than sorry.
The waiver states the investigation is looking into the conduct and actions of Bodker in relation to the city charter, city ethics code, and state and federal laws. City councilmembers have remained silent about the specifics of the ongoing case.
Johns Creek Communications Manager Rosemary Taylor said it has not been determined how much longer the investigation will continue.