Hey, wait a minute! Isn’t $37 million just about the amount of the ‘shortfall’ in the budget that caused the firing of Marcus Turk? Could it be… the attorney’s fees cannot be paid with SPLOST money so they come from the general budget. That is something we’ve been crying out about for quite some time. We have asked and asked for an accounting and transparency in the monthly budget regarding attorney’s fees. These fees have never added up in the documents accessible to the public. The only winners in this situation are named “King” and “Spalding”.
From today’s AJC article:
District Attorney to ask judges to consider convening a grand jury to investigate the school board
By Ty Tagami
The cost to taxpayers of a 5-year-old legal dispute between the DeKalb County School District and a construction management company has risen to $37 million, according to new court records.
A grand jury highlighted those numbers and other issues in criticizing the school board — and reiterating a call by a preceding grand jury for a broad investigation. The grand jury, like another in December, asked District Attorney Robert James to convene a special grand jury to investigate the board’s activities, and James said he would ask the superior court judges to consider it.
The legal bills come from a lawsuit with former construction manager Heery/Mitchell. DeKalb fired Heery/Mitchell in February 2007, complaining that the company, which oversaw $1 billion in sales tax funded school construction, had problems with costs and delays.
Heery/Mitchell sued later that month for $1.5 million in unpaid invoices and damages. DeKalb countersued, claiming the company mismanaged more than $100 million and defrauded the district.
DeKalb has paid law firm King & Spalding $18 million for its work on the case, and owes the firm another $19 million, according to a summary of a discussion Monday between the nine members of the school board and the DeKalb grand jury
Read on (if you can stand to):