District Attorney Paul Howard says no crime in airport vendor theft investigation

- A criminal theft investigation involving a controversial airport vendor has come to an end.

The vendor is Darrell Anderson, a business partner and family friend of Mayor Kasim Reed.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard says there was no crime and the case is closed.

Background

The district attorney's office investigation followed a 2014 FOX 5 I-Team report regarding Anderson’s purchase of a vehicle for his airport contract.

Anderson, runs Curbside Management Services, which overseas taxis, shuttle, and limousines, at the airport.

Our investigation found, in 2012, Anderson sent the city an invoice requesting $25,000 to buy a "Jeep Liberty 4 DR vehicle" to use at the airport.

The airport cut him a check for the full amount.  But, we found Anderson had bought a used Jeep Liberty that cost only $12,340.

Darrel Anderson's attorney told the District Attorney, despite that invoice for a Jeep Liberty, Anderson actually used the airport’s $25,000 to buy another more expensive car nearly four months later.

But, even that car didn't cost the full $25,000. When we pointed out the discrepancy - two years after the fact - Anderson repaid the city the difference of $2540.

Paul Howard believes Mr. Anderson’s version of events and says the city was satisfied with the repayment.

The File

When the case was closed, we examined the investigative file and found a different opinion.

A lawyer investigating the case wrote up a recommendation to Mr. Howard that "ANDERSON knowingly submitted false documents to obtain a $25,000 payment for a vehicle that was purchased for $12,340."

The staff found Anderson committed the offenses of "Theft by Taking and False Statements & Writings."

Howard says over time that opinion evolved, and he makes the final decision. He says after interviewing Darrell Anderson, he and the staff concluded there was no crime.

Common Cause

William Perry, former director of Common Cause and now director of Georgia Ethics Watchdogs calls the decision “a joke.”

Perry, who had requested the investigation, told us: “I think it is one hundred percent  political. This is the elected official’s fraternity looking out and taking care of each other.”

Two weeks ago, the Atlanta City Council awarded Anderson another three year, ten million dollar contract to run shuttle services between terminals.

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