Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DeKalb County and Ethics (From The Peach Pundit)

June 17, 2014 13:05 pm
It turns out that DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson has been billing DeKalb County for his personal cell phone. Over the past three years it adds up to almost $5000.
From the AJC
Watson put $4,882 worth of cellphone costs on his county debit card between May 2011 and March 2014 for an average of about $140 per month paid by taxpayers, according to Verizon bills obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an open records request.
Watson, who represents about 350,000 residents in east DeKalb, said earlier this month that the expense was justified because he used his personal cellphone to talk with residents and government officials as part of his daily job as a commissioner.
“I do use my personal phone for county business. If the county thought it was wrong, why would they pay for it for three years?” Watson said. “I don’t see the big deal about the cellphone.”
This seems a bit ridiculous. I understand that sometimes you use your personal phone for work. I know I’ve done it; the only phone number I have is my cell. That being said, I don’t have a second work issued cellphone that is paid by the company (or in this case the government).
I can’t say I really buy the “but more people know my personal number” defense either. You’re an elected official. People put their trust in you to govern effectively and fairly. Not waste their money because you want to the County Government to pay for your monthly subscription to Verizon Navigation because you can’t find Google Maps.
Maybe there’s an argument that you can partially expense your personal cell phone bill to the county because you did county business on it. That’s fine, but all $140/month for three years? That’s stretching it.
The other money quote came from our own editor Stefan. And I don’t think I could have said it better.
Stefan Turkheimer, an attorney whose practice includes political law and employment law, said charging the government for personal cellphone bills could amount to ethical and criminal violations.
“If independent people were looking at it, they’d have a hard time justifying two cellphones,” Turkheimer said. “This is not an extension of his salary. Use of his P-card is not part of his benefits package. It’s something that allows him to do his job.”
It all seems like just another day using taxpayers’ money in DeKalb county.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did Bill Campbell teach these idiots nothing?

Anonymous said...

What's funny is all of em are coming clean about wasteful spending only because they've been caught. Watson acts if he's doing us a favor by coming forward with his phone bill. Just another croney.

Anonymous said...

Imagine the value of your stock holdings, property, pay increases, etc. if the world didn't have to contend with these idiot crooks, current retards in Iraq, etc. Money used combatting them would have cured all cancers long ago. Thanks for holding up good in the rest of the world fuck-sticks.

Anonymous said...

If Dr. Alexander is our god then that must make Chief Harris our savior. These two can walk on water and make miracles happen. It would be a miracle if the two of them had an ounce of integrity or ethics in them. We should all drink the snake oil they are selling and kneel down and worship them. They decided to have a active shooter scenario without telling everyone involved that it was a training exercise. So if an officer was injured or involved in an accident they would put the blame on the officer. Yes we need training but let's have training that does not place the officers and the public in danger. This is not a weekend warrior play army. I guess that Dr. Degree you bought online didn't come with any common sense.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:44
This is the same Dr Alexander who told us that Burrell Ellis is an honest man, after the search warrants were served on Ellis. That's when he completely lost me. I wonder if he would've made the same statement if that had happened to an officer?

Anonymous said...

Who is Stan Watson's phone company? I'm willing to bet it is MetroPCS, who only offers unlimited calling plans, so I'm not sure why the tax payers should have to cover any of his bill. It's not like work calls added to his bill. Better yet, why didn't Stan just make his son pay his phone bill with some of the money he earned working at places Stan threatened unless they hired his kid?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet. If/since DeKalb County has been paying for Stan "the crook" Watson's personal phone bill then DeKalb County can pull all his phone record including texts to see what kind of shady dealings he is into. Scratch that maybe the FBI can.

Anonymous said...

I say round them all up and threw the book at them. First start with the 5th floor and work down. This mess does not make any sense how these dekalb employees are destroying this once great place to work.

Anonymous said...

Part of Dr. Alexander's job is to promote public safety and the department. Getting paid for public appearances............WTF..... that's what his salary is for. If he wants to go on the speaking trail like Clinton, Trump, or motovational speakers and snake oil salesmen then resign. This guy is an educated azzwipe from the word go and if it's deemed ethical it would be sinful.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/vernon-jones-hiding-in-plain-sight-campaign/ngQm6/#cmComments

Jones overshadows anything else going on right now, for me, at least. Why aren't you writing about this??

Anonymous said...

I use my cell phone all the time for county business. Officers calling me calling the Lt and Capt. Taking pictures of perps and injured Officers. I will be submitting a reimbursement for tonight for the past three years. It's no big deal!

Anonymous said...

JUNE 23, 2014 AT 2:53 PM.... 21 me!

Anonymous said...

I completely understand if you had positive feelings about Cedric Alexander for the first few months after he arrived. But if you still believe this arrogant dumb ass actually cares about DKPD at this point then you are an absolute idiot!

Fees for speaking engagements? I wouldn't pay a quarter to hear that moron speak about the weather. If he told me the sun was shining I wouldn't believe him. Not because he isn't an expert on the weather, because of course he is, but because every other sentence out of his mouth is a lie.

Anonymous said...

Well, if he'd been able get the kick backs in South Carolina, he might have been able to pay his own phone bill. Graft just isn't as easy to come by as it used to be. Give the crook a break!

Anonymous said...

Put a fork in Watson, hes done.

Anonymous said...

I heard just yesterday that an employee attempted to bring attention to the fact that "Dr" Alexander is attempting to seek payment for public appearances on this very blog. The post seems to be deleted and the employee placed on administrative leave. SMH! Watch your back ppl.

Anonymous said...

Don't count on Stan being done. He was re-elected with over 60% of the vote for his super district. His constituents are super stupid. And they vote.

Anonymous said...

Another mega-cityhood initiative: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/briarcliff-and-lakeside-combine-forces-for-cityhoo/ngYRQ/

Anonymous said...

STAN WATSON & THE REST OF THE DEKALB THIEVES SHOULD BE IN JAIL,THERE ARE PEOPLE IN JAIL FOR LESS! LEE MAY & THE DA SHOULD SOON FOLLOW!WHAT IS THE FBI WAITING ON? IF NO ONE GO TO JAIL,CAN WE SAY THE FBI IS CROOKED TOO! I PRAY THEY ARE NOT CROOKED TOO. THAT ETHIC COMMITTEE IS A JOKE!EACH ELECTED OFFICIAL HAVE A PERSON ON THERE TO MAKE SURE NOTHING HAPPENS TO THEM,THAT'S WHY EVERYTHING IS THROWN OUT,IT'S A JOKE!