ATLANTA - With little fanfare and no real discussion, Fulton County Commissioners voted in February to approve a $363,000 contract to Road to Recovery.
Road to Recovery provides substance abuse treatment for defendants going through Fulton County’s well respected DUI court.
Within one month of awarding the contract, Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves says the commission voted to rescind the contract and start all over.
Why did the commission change its mind? A FOX 5 Investigation found the DUI court coordinator, Bradley Jones, also worked for the winning bidder.
Someone tipped off the commission and the I-Team to the possible conflict of interest.
Bradley Jones told us, “At this point right now though, I'm not commenting because the bid is going back out. So, I'm hands off. I'm not touching anything with that.
When we got the tip, it didn’t take long to find Bradley Jones. He was on a video touting Road to Recovery’s program and was listed on its web site as Clinical Director.
“I don't have any control over their web site,” Jones told me.
Jones also told me he has never been a Road to Recovery employee. He was only a contractor.
Judge Susan Edlein told me, off camera, that sje knew Bradley Jones worked for Road to Recovery. She says it was only limited, after hours work.
She didn't think it was a conflict of interest because he was not an "owner or officer" of Road to Recovery and he "didn't evaluate the bids."
She's right. Bradley Jones didn't evaluate the bids. But, he was involved in the process. At the first bid conference, he signed in representing the county and according to bidders, answered questions.
“What I commented on,” said Jones, ‘was the treatment program, but I was not an evaluator on the bid. What's the conflict if I'm not evaluating the bid.”
When the County Commission learned of the potential conflict, they rescinded the contract and plan to put it out to bid again.
“Because of the appearance of potential conflict,” Commission Chairman John Eaves said, “we felt that it was best to rescind the contract, in the spirit of transparency for the public, all participants felt it was fair.”
Judge Edlein says Bradley Jones no longer works for Road to Recovery and he will not be a part of the next bid.