Johns Creek mayor denies allegations of ethics violations - FOX 35 News Orlando

Johns Creek mayor denies allegations of ethics violations

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Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker denies allegations of ethics violations. Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker denies allegations of ethics violations.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -

With just two weeks left until the mayoral election, the Johns Creek City Council released an interim report on alleged ethics violations by Mayor Mike Bodker.
 
The report accuses Mayor Bodker of taking a gratuity from a developer he voted to approve a rezoning matter for, but the mayor still categorically denies the accusations against him.

In a 4-1 vote, the Johns Creek City Council waived attorney-client privilege and released the 28-page interim report on its ethics violation probe into Bodker.

Post 3 Councilmember Karen Richardson says the report shows the mayor accepted favors, possibly in exchange for a vote on a developer's zoning request.

"He accepted contributions. He voted on a zoning of Mr. Aaronson's, and he accepted reduced rent from Mr. Aaronson," Richardson said.

But with a group of supporters at his side that included the mayors of Milton, Roswell and a Fulton County commissioner, Mayor Bodker said the report itself proves his innocence.

"It says, 'We have no proof the developer sought to improperly influence the mayor,'" Bodker said. "So, a gratuity implies that someone is trying to pay you off. And at the end of the day that's just simply not true. It's never been true, and it never will be true."

But council members say the mayor's actions violated the city charter and possibly state law.

"Even the appearance that we have curried favor to a contributor is an appearance that we cannot afford to have as public officials," Richardson said.

With days left until the election, Mayor Bodker called the ethics investigation and timing of the release of the interim report a political witch hunt.

"I think all along that this has been the use of taxpayer funds to manipulate the outcome of an election," Bodker said.

Richardson said, "This is not a political witch hunt. It's a hunt for the truth. The mayor's behavior is what prompted this investigation."
    
There has been no word yet on when the full ethics probe report will be released. Post 6 Councilmember Bev Miller resigned from her seat in August to run against Bodker.

The election is on Nov. 5.

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