Summary of Advisory Opinion 14

Summary of Advisory Opinion 14; Order on Hearing Concerning Complaint of Fern Garber and William Garber for Finding of Alleged Conflict of Interest and Ethical Violations by Ed McBrayer of the Development Authority of DeKalb County > September 15, 2010


On August 11, 2010, the DeKalb County Board of Ethics convened a full plenary hearing of evidence to be presented to the Board in support of the complaints of Fred Wooten, of Fern Garber, and William Garber. Complainants allege conflict of interest and ethical violation by Ed McBrayer. At the time of Fred Wooten’s initial complaint, McBrayer was the treasurer of the Development Authority of DeKalb County (Authority) and also Executive Director of the PATH foundation (PATH) which is a privately funded non-profit organization that cooperates and partners with governmental authorities in the planning, design building and maintenance of green path ways and trails in DeKalb County communities. Mr. Wooten offered that PATH brings before the Authority contracts and other matters for the approval of the Authority or the DeKalb Board of Commissioners, ultimately while McBrayer is a member of the Authority considering and voting upon such matters promoted by PATH.


Complainants, Fred Wooten, of Fern Garber, and William Garber, request an opinion of the Board as to an alleged conflict of interest and other ethical violations of Ed McBrayer as a member of the Development Authority of DeKalb County and as relate to his work with or for the PATH foundation on projects complainants alleged were governed by or concerned with the work of the Development Authority.


The Board ruled that Ed McBrayer had not violated any ethical provision of the DeKalb County Code of Ethics, as amended 1992, and he is, therefore, dismissed from such allegations in the subject complaints filed by Fern Garber and William Garber.


The complaint of Mr. Wooten was found to be a motion for reconsideration of Board Advisory Opinion No. 12. Proffered by Mr. Wooten as an additional complaint, the Board ruled that the complaint was barred by estoppel and dismissed and the motion of reconsideration is denied.

As to the complaints of Fern Garber and William Garber the Board heard all the evidence and argument and briefing of counsel and reached a decision and opinion that there was not sufficient evidence to support a finding of ethical violation Ed McBrayer.