DeKalb County's CEO reacts "rotten to the core" statement

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DeKalb County CEO Lee May on Wednesday expanded on a statement he gave in reaction to a letter from a team investigating corruption in the county last week.

May said that he was upset by the language that he said comes across as a blanket indictment against the county’s over 6,500 employees. While he did not disagree that there was corruption, he did criticize that the letter did not lay out all the facts.

Investigators called DeKalb County Government "rotten to the core". Since investigators started their work last spring then, they have gone through hundreds of thousands of documents and said they have found corruption in nearly every department.

Despite his initial reaction May vowed he was not firing the investigators and was looking forward to the full report. 

Commissioner Nancy Jester gave her initial reaction the day the letter was released. She said, "Things are very bad in DeKalb County; this is not a perception problem. This is a real problem."

Investigators said taxpayer money was used to buy liquor, catered meals, snacks, and even a cruise to the Bahamas for an employee. 

Investigators also found misuse of county vehicles, theft of county property and a bribery scheme involving a major county department.

Commissioner Jester said the findings are shocking. She said people need to be held accountable. 

“We need to hold people's feet to the fire on this. Taxpayers are harmed and we won't stop wasting money until we root out this corruption,” said Jester.

Lee appointed the investigators last March saying he wanted transparency. He echoed those sentiments on Wednesday adding that he felt the people of DeKalb County want to feel confident in their government. He said he would try to make things as transparent as possible moving forward.

May said he is anxiously awaiting the full report to be handed over within the next couple of weeks.