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September 19, 2007

JCWSA BOARD ASKED TO LOOK AT ETHICS QUESTIONS ON LAND DEALINGS BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Jasper County Water & Sewer Authority (JCWSA) held its monthly meeting last Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 6:00PM in the Bank of Monticello Annex. The room was unusually full with a newspaper reporter, a former member (Roger Bell), and 8 other guests.

No JCWSA member was introduced to the public nor were there name plates displayed; therefore those in attendance did not know who was speaking if they didn’t personally know who the member was.

JCWSA members are: Brac Pound, Chairman; Tate Turner, Mark Walton, Bud Cowan, Foy Bentley, Ken McMichael, Jehan El Jorbagy, Jimmy Harrison, and Merrill Clark.

Others in attendance were Linda Jordan, Executive Director-Secretary-and Treasurer; Tom Brazil—Systems Engineer; and Frank Sherrill— with Hightower Engineering, Authority Engineer

After the meeting was opened, Mary Patrick, Chairman of the TWG addressed the JCWSA board. She questioned why the agenda was not posted until 4:30PM the previous day. She pointed out that, based on Open Meetings Law, the intent of the agenda is to let people know as far in advance as possible what will be discussed during the meeting. The JCWSA agenda does not let anyone know what will be discussed. It tells WHO might be speaking—Treasurer’s report; Director’s Report; Engineer’s report; etc. However, under Unfinished business and New Business nothing is ever listed. Mrs. Patrick questioned why this was their policy.

The TWG Chairman then produced maps, deeds, and property listings, and it appeared that relatives of Executive Director Linda Jordan were buying land in areas where proposed new water lines were being considered.

Two possible instances of conflicts were cited:

  • Ocmulgee Gate Subdivision located off Jackson Lake Rd. on Cook Rd. is owned by E.O. Jordan, Inc., David Morrison, Inc. and DIR, Inc. (Van Box). David Morrison Inc. and DIR, Inc. owned several more lots in subdivisions along Cook Rd.
  • The most recent purchase by E.O. Jordan, David Morrison, and Michael Shane Sealy (Mrs. Jordan’s son-in-law) is at the corner of Palalto Rd. and Thomason Rd. directly across from the proposed 900 acre subdivision-- land owned by William Blincoe. JCWSA discussed at their 8/23/07 meeting that there had been talks with Mr. Blincoe about providing water to his proposed subdivision.
  • NOTE: According to the Secretary of State Online Information, Executive Director Linda Jordan is Secretary and Treasurer (CFO) of E.O. Jordan, Inc. with her husband (E.O. Jordan) as President (CEO).

Listen to entire presentation here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-H2Uhycugc

See Maps and Ownership listing of Ocmulgee Gate here:
http://www.taxdogs.com/ogmulgeegate.pdf

See Maps and Deeds of Palalto Road land here:
http://www.taxdogs.com/palaltoroad.pdf

Mr. Lynn Short also addressed the JCWSA Board. He told the Board how he and his wife were called by Linda Jordan who arranged a meeting to meet at Brac Pound’s office last October. Mr. Short said, “It wasn’t really a meeting; it was more like an ambush.” Tate Turner, Brac Pound, and Frank Sherill were there and wanted to buy the Short land. According to Mr. Short, Chairman Pound stated, in a threatening manner, that they (JCWSA) could just take the land. The Short land is located in the area that the JCWSA calls the “Cedar Creek Well Fields.”

See: http://www.taxdogs.com/090707cedarcreek.htm

Listen to Mr. Short’s presentation here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndnzi1yh_HU

Later during the meeting, Ms. El Jorbagy presented a draft of an Ethics Policy she had been working on. Unfortunately Ms. El Jorbagy was not in attendance during the opening comments and the questions, comments, and presentations by those that attended and addressed the JCWSA. However, she was provided with the documentation after the meeting.

TWG encourages the JCWSA board to review these situations very seriously. An Ethics Policy is definitely needed immediately. A better method of public notice of JCWSA Meetings and their proposed items to be discussed is also sorely needed.

To comment on this article or to let your feelings be known email us at taxpayerwatchdogs@yahoo.com or visit our website. You can also Speak Out on the
message board set up to do just that: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/speakoutjasper/

TWG
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g discussed and enacted.
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