(In the latest coverup in the Augusta Equipmentgate Scandal, which saw City of Augusta, Georgia resources deployed to work on private property in Lincoln County in March 2017 has just been released. In it, the Augusta Richmond County Grand Jury issued a statement which said they found no criminality had occurred.)
The Presentment of the Augusta Richmond County Grand Jury of yesterday, June 27, 2017 on the Use of Augusta manpower, heavy equipment, trailers, supplies, fuel, fringe benefits and trucks on Private Property in Lincoln County back in March contained this statement:
The testimony revealed that the excavator was never actually used, as the weather at the time was inclement.
The presentment also says that the Augusta mini excavator was on the Lincoln County private property from March 8, 2017 to March 17, 2017.
That statement is most interesting as video taken on March 16, 2017 at the Lincoln County site shows a large freshly-installed culvert and drainage work that certainly seems to have been performed by an excavator, and the only excavator in evidence was the one owned by the City of Augusta.
District Attorney Natalie Paine needs to determine which witness provided that testimony and whether perjury occurred.
If there was no perjury in the production of that presentment, she needs to explain why not and, while she is at it, explain why so many material aspects of this incident were omitted from any investigation by her or the Augusta Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
Remember the good old days out here in the rural counties when your commissioner could rock, grade and maybe even pave your driveway if you supported him? Well, those days are gone out here because our commissioners don’t want to go to prison. Now, there is hope and help from our good neighbors down in Augusta, with their new Public-private partnership we are calling the Mary Davis Sand and Gravel Company. Call Augusta Mayor Pro tem Davis at (706) 821-1831 and you may be able to arrange what one of my neighbors got here in Lincoln County – men, trucks, trailers, supplies, fringe benefits, and heavy equipment expended fixing a private road. All for FREE!
No need to worry about tipping the Augusta workers, either because they get the greater of 3 months severance pay or a full retirement if they get caught.
Even getting 300 tons of stone like THIS isn’t impossible, because the Augusta Landfill down on Deans Bridge Road has stockpiles of everything you need – sand, gravel, screenings, surge stone and even rip rap. Those can be loaded up and sent out to us through the same gate that the equipment loaned to my neighbor was.
If you look at the pictures of my neighbor’s Augusta-built project, there is even drain pipe furnished with the deal you get from Mary Davis.
You don’t even have to pay a registered contractor with expensive insurance, permits, a business or contractor’s license in your county, either. Those gifts give a pretty big bonus to your free work value from Mary Davis.
If the equipment from the landfill is tied up and can’t get to you, then the nice sheriff down there has a guy who will meet your equipment needs with no delay, stationed at the shooting range next door.
Augusta taxpayers and residents, you do not qualify for this program, so don’t attempt to call. You give but cannot receive.
We out here in the sticks thank you for your generosity and the kind treatment we get from Mary Davis Sand and Gravel.
On Thursday, May 25, 2017 citizens of Augusta, Georgia and surrounding counties were shocked to learn that City of Augusta personnel, vehicles, materials and construction equipment had been found deployed and operating on private land in Lincoln County, Georgia, 40 miles from their assigned work site at the Augusta Solid Waste Facility on Deans Bridge Road.
This week the resulting uproar concluded with the resignation of Augusta Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson. Will the Johnson resignation calm the turmoil surrounding a botched investigation by a conflicted Augusta Richmond County Sheriff Department, who turned out to be the custodian of an excavator used in the misbegotten affair, the apparently imprudent white commissioners defending Johnson against evidence, black commissioners defending an Administrator who bungled accountability, and a District Attorney who remains to be kept clueless of the events?
Stay tuned. What happens in Augusta, should stay in Augusta. This time it didn’t and the repercussions look to be immense.
Here is the first hand account of the events from March 15, 2017 through May 28, 2017. Names have been replaced by Pseudonyms.
Wednesday March 15, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER reaches the top of a hill on an easement road between lands of Cox, Kitchens, bank and partners Troy Meeks and Landowner O of Statesboro, sees construction equipment and stone pile. Stops to video beagle. Joined by neighbor and Informant.
THE ARROWFLINGER meets Informant going back to get serial numbers and photos of an equipment trailer he claims is City of Augusta owned. Informant wants to know who bought the property where the stone pile is. THE ARROWFLINGER states he has met Landowner O, but not his partner.
Texts Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant
2017-03-15 19:01:29 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I got confirmation it’s county equipment.
2017-03-15 19:09:41 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Do you have a guess about when it was bought?
2017-03-15 19:14:26 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I can find out.
2017-03-15 19:44:20 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
You know, if they are not alerted and they are getting rock for free, they will be at it for days because that road has to be rocked all the way to Booths Branch Road. They excavated and installed a 30 or 36 inch pipe in the creek bed last week.
2017-03-15 19:50:06 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Your bud who is talking to you might/probably spill the beans, but if we just observe for a few days and take pictures we will have a better picture. The land was bought by Landowner O (guy I met) and Landowner M of Statesboro. We need the serial number off the equipment and the ARCSWD inventory or purchase record. If it looks strong, then state investigators should be called.
2017-03-15 19:55:49 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Landowner M used to work with Director as a contractor.
2017-03-15 19:57:10 Informant Phone Number Redacted
The trailer was purchased by the county and I took pic of the VIN number. The escalator was seized by the county and falls under the Sheriff.
2017-03-15 19:58:16 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I will go back early tomorrow and photo the VIN of the track hoe.
2017-03-15 20:04:11 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I am gonna go out early on my walk. Probably find a good spot on Booth branch near the gate to observe.
2017-03-15 20:12:31 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Sounds like the Boyz came to play in our backyards! I am amazed.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Texts of March 16, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant
2017-03-16 09:40:44 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Good morning! A dump truck left about 10 minutes ago. Let’s observe today. They plan on ditching the low spot inside the gate. So they don’t plan on stopping today. I think another rock truck might be coming.
2017-03-16 09:43:09 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-16 09:44:30 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I think if you want to do this up right, we need to notify Sheriff Beggs, followed shortly by Roundtree. The pols will just f**k it up. So will we if we go for a big ‘got you’, as delicious and tempting as that might be.
2017-03-16 09:45:40 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Get the pros in. If they f**k it up then I or we can raise hell.
2017-03-16 09:48:38 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-16 09:51:26 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I got a conference call, T 10. I will get with you after that.
2017-03-16 09:53:06 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
They dropped a load at the second wet spot between the gate and creek.
2017-03-16 10:46:00 THE ARROWFLINGER
Two dump trucks videoed entering gate and then leaving after dumping loads at stone stockpile on hill.
2017-03-16 11:08:00 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Two trucks came and dumped. Got some video.
2017-03-16 11:08:08 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-16 11:08:33 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Got names of haulers, I think.
2017-03-16 11:51:58 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Got pix and video of all equipment with serial numbers.
2017-03-16 13:12:45 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I can call Augusta Commissioner MW and just talk to him. He can’t stand the Director.
2017-03-16 13:30:11 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Yes, but anything Augusta Commissioner MW can do can be done if law enforcement drops the ball. Law enforcement can remove these people. Augusta Commissioner MW can only fire them.
2017-03-16 13:31:30 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Law enforcement can surveillance them when they bring in dozers and graders.
2017-03-16 13:36:09 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Ok, I will stand by. You know more than me.
2017-03-16 13:37:07 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Also, I don’t see permits posted.
2017-03-16 13:38:47 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I am going to call Sheriff Beggs in a bit.
2017-03-16 13:39:04 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Knitter is doing research.
2017-03-16 13:40:15 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
On Augusta database. Knitter is a systems person.
Knitter emails THE ARROWFLINGER a .pdf showing that Landowner M attended a prebid conference for landfill work at the ARC Solid Waste Facility on 1/20/2017.
2017-03-16 Around 14:00:00
THE ARROWFLINGER calls ARC Chief Deputy, with whom he had conversed about contract mismanagement and fraud during the Augusta SPLOST 7b campaign in 2015. Tells that 2 pieces of equipment are reported to be operating in Lincoln County and one of them is assigned to the ARC Sheriff Department Shooting Range at the Deans Bridge Road landfill. Chief Deputy denies that Sheriff Department has any equipment.
THE ARROWFLINGER is texted the email address of Augusta Richmond County Chief Deputy by same for purpose of uploading pictures and serial numbers from Canon camera that is not net-connected.
THE ARROWFLINGER sends ARC Chief Deputy summary of situation, events, observations and equipment serial numbers.
Chief Deputy requests pictures be emailed, saying he will, “…get to the bottom of this.”
THE ARROWFLINGER suggests that ARC Chief Deputy hold off until following Monday, based upon information from inside Solid Waste Department that additional ARC assets would be deployed to Lincoln County site. It was noted that even heavier equipment would be needed to place the stone.
Texts of March 16, 2017 between THE ARROWFLINGER and InformantResume
2017-03-16 18:48:07 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
ARC Chief Deputy Redacted is now interested. Told him waiting til Monday to pursue is advised. Told him I now believe this is a real deal. Suggested CID come up under coordination and advice of Sheriff Bruce Beggs.
2017-03-16 19:07:53 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-16 19:29:50 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I suggested that. Told him I will be here.
2017-03-16 19:32:42 Informant Phone Number Redacted
THE ARROWFLINGER called back by Lincoln Sheriff Beggs, who indicates he has discussed with ARC Chief Deputy.
THE ARROWFLINGER takes his dog, Lilly, for a tour of fields and then down Booth Branch Road. There was a navy blue 3/4 ton, long wheelbase pickup pulled into a 4-wheeler path onto Corps Land about 80 yards from the red gate into the combined properties and grading project. Did not get license plate.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Texts of March 17, 2017 between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant
THE ARROWFLINGER awakens during interlude when heating system was off. Hears heavy truck in the distance. Goes outside and finds the sound coming from Booths Branch Road. Quickly dons insulated coverall, grabs automatic pistol and digital camcorder. Calls Informant. Gets no answer. Jumps in truck. Drives to red gate at properties/ grading site. Waits and listens. Concludes that the truck was leaving, not entering.
2017-03-17 09:43:08 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
All equipment was removed in the middle of the night.
2017-03-17 09:45:06 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
No stone deliveries this morning?
2017-03-17 09:46:57 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Long trailer and excavator are GONE.
2017-03-17 09:47:46 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Well it might be back on Monday.
2017-03-17 09:48:29 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Unless someone said something to them.
2017-03-17 09:49:05 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I think the latter. Sold out. Again.
2017-03-17 09:50:03 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
They should be delivering more rock at the standing water spots.
2017-03-17 09:50:12 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-17 09:52:27 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Yea well we have proof they have county equipment out here.
2017-03-17 09:55:53 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I am with you. I think someone tipped them off.
2017-03-17 10:01:28 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Can’t talk anymore. We might have given the right people what they need.
2017-03-17 10:10:22 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I just got a call (from Inside Source at ARC Landfill). We should talk.
2017-03-16 About 10:20
THE ARROWFLINGER calls Landowner K, with whom Landowners O and M have an easement agreement with cost-sharing provisions to discuss the condiserable part of the construction on her land. She states she is not paying anything and that Landowner M told her that they can repair the easement road at least cost because they have connections in Richmond and Columbia Counties. Also discussed was the new culvert installation and the work done on US Army Corps of Engineers lands.
2017-03-17 12:42:21 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I have a visitor (ARCSD Investigator) at 3 who may want to come talk to you, if you are open.
2017-03-17 12:48:39 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-17 15:04:34 Informant Phone Number Redacted
You coming to my place or yours?
2017-03-17 16:09:08 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
They (investigators) are headed back to you.
2017-03-17 16:09:40 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Ok, I am telling them everything I know.
2017-03-17 16:10:16 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Tell them the truth. They will want your source.
2017-03-17 16:10:37 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
We went out to the site.
Informant calls THE ARROWFLINGER and reports an automobile parked at entrance gate to the combined properties where the work was going on.
2017-03-17 20:09:24 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Should I call the investigator?
2017-03-17 20:10:28 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-17 20:11:17 Informant Phone Number Redacted
And tell them what?
2017-03-17 20:17:42 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I called the shield (Sheriff?) number. They sending someone out.
2017-03-17 20:30:00 to 20:50:00
THE ARROWFLINGER spots Director emerging from around posted gate. Augusta Director explains that he came to check on one of his contractor’s pieces of equipment, as Bobcat Rentals had called his contractor concerned when an ARCSD investigator called earlier in the day. Shows text and photo sent.
2017-03-17 22:09:00 THE ARROWFLINGER
Transmits video of Director to ARCSD Investigator.
2017-03-17 22:35:39 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
(Pictures of Director)
2017-03-17 22:53:48 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-17 22:55:22 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Sent to investigator and our Sheriff.
2017-03-17 22:55:47 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Send short video, too.
2017-03-17 22:55:54 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-17 22:56:03 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Texts of March 18, 2017 between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant
2017-03-18 01:12:04 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Director’s name is not on the property. His equipment’s showed up there and he drives out here to check. Why?
2017-03-18 01:13:58 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Monday I will tell CID he was out here.
2017-03-18 01:17:23 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
He knew where it was!
2017-03-18 01:18:16 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-18 01:18:31 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Probably 500 yards inside gate?
2017-03-18 01:28:24 Informant Phone Number Redacted
The Bobcat belongs to Bobcat Renter, which is anther contractor who works for the landfill.
2017-03-18 01:32:31 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Yes, that was the name. Bobcat (of Augusta) gave Redacted LEI.
2017-03-18 01:33:24 Informant Phone Number Redacted
See, it’s all dirty.
2017-03-18 07:18:27 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
And it is why I have been looking to just leave. I have been fighting it like nobody else in this state for five years, except for hunting seasons, and have only lost “friends” who are on the gravy train. Knitter and I have been looking in McCormick and Abbeville Counties, but now I am thinking northern Mississippi or North Carolina. Yeah, it is like this all over, but any place else I don’t know about them and I damned sure won’t look again. I seesaw between going apes**t exposing how utterly crooked the Augusta area is, making fun of the ridiculous fakery, and just leaving. I think this deal is the last straw.
2017-03-18 12:49:37 Informant Phone Number Redacted
A white Silverado just pulled out with a Bobcat. I think it was Bobcat Renter.
2017-03-18 12:49:59 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-18 21:02:18 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
When we ride Lilly to tour fields for deer we will ride down Booths Branch Road to the gates and back. Probably in the next 30 minutes.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Texts of March 19, 2017 between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant
2017-03-19 09:51:08 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Yesterday they hand dug a drainage ditch to drain the mud puddles ten yards inside the gate. They also unloaded three rolls of geotextile fabric at the rock stockpile.
2017-03-19 09:51:24 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Monday, March 20, 2017
2017-03-20 06:16:34 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Heavy truck just went down Booth Branch Road. I am going to see what’s going on.
2017-03-20 06:19:36 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-20 06:36:55 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Drove Ranger out last 4-wheeler trail to left on Corps Land just before gate. Gonna walk Booth Branch past Landowner K.
2017-03-20 11:02:14 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Well, my early morning hike was a quiet one. No turkeys seen or heard.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
2017-03-21 10:10:55 Informant Phone Number Redacted
A big truck just went down.
2017-03-21 10:11:51 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-21 10:12:34 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Landowner O probably will keep on plan to finish.
2017-03-21 10:13:22 Informant Phone Number Redacted
It was the trash truck.
2017-03-21 10:15:37 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-21 10:16:18 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Filled my roller can up an hour ago.
THE ARROWFLINGER researches Grantor and Grantee Indices of the Clerk Of Superior Court of Lincoln County to ascertain if Landowner O and Landowner M had transferred any property interests to Director. Finds no evidence of that. Finds easement agreement from Landowner K to Landowners O and M after a $5000 payment which settled the access rights of the parties. Noted that all landowners bear maintenance and improvement costs.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
2017-03-22 08:11:29 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I’ve been in the woods since sun up. Haven’t heard any turkeys.
2017-03-22 08:30:11 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
They have been in hiding. I did see a gobbler on the side of a road in McCormick County Sunday.
2017-03-22 12:37:34 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Hey, I am sorry about this morning. I wasn’t trying to be rude.
2017-03-22 20:41:07 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I know. No problem. I want to talk over how you work from the house.
2017-03-22 20:41:56 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-22 20:45:55 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I thought I heard turkeys this morning on my walk back down below the houses on Bamboo Trail.
2017-03-22 20:46:22 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-22 20:46:24 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-03-22 20:46:43 Informant Phone Number Redacted
We can chat in the morning.
2017-03-22 20:46:57 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Thursday, April 27, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER calls ARCSD Investigator looking for update and leaves message requesting a return call.
Friday, April 28, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER calls Lincoln County Sheriff and leaves message asking him to prod ARCSD into giving an update citing uncertainty over personal status with respect to activity in the public eye.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
ARCSD Investigator calls THE ARROWFLINGER, apologizes for delay in responding, then says that the investigation was completed and turned over to the Augusta District Attorney and to the Augusta Administrator for an audit. Knitter hears the conversation because the Bluetooth truck phone grabbed the call and it was broadcast in the yard.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER texts Commissioner G to suggest that he look out for special audit funds for Administrator’s Office. No Response.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER turns over pictures and summary of events as they existed March 15 through March 20, 2017 to Osprey. Osprey is an Augusta resident with contacts who might discuss.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
2017-05-20 09:32:09 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Those Statesboro guys are up here for the first time in ages. They are boring perk test holes with an auger.
2017-05-20 12:01:36 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-20 12:03:12 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I thought those guys would squirm their way out of any trouble.
2017-05-20 12:06:31 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Does Landowner O even know? Landowner M is SCI and was with Dabbs… but is Landowner O an ARC contractor, too?
2017-05-20 12:08:48 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I think Landowner O is a contractor.
2017-05-20 12:24:35 Informant Phone Number Redacted
It’s awful funny they ran out of money and had to move all the equipment out at 3 am.
THE ARROWFLINGER calls Commissioner MW, leaves message to please call.
Monday, May 22, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER texts Commissioner G to relay that Osprey has pictures and video of Lincoln County events. Concludes with, “Its Y’all’s Hellhole.”
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER calls Commissioner H, leaves message to please call.
THE ARROWFLINGER calls Commissioner MW, leaves message to please call.
2017-05-24 19:29:20 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Well, you were right. They are blaming the guy who retired two days into the investigation, saying it was a mistake that the equipment got sent.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
THE ARROWFLINGER called Osprey. Both agreed that more commissioner angles needed than Commissioner G and Commissioner F, with whom Osprey had communicated.
THE ARROWFLINGER gets call from Commissioner MW, explains background and the developments to that point. Agrees to forward the unchanged, original questions and information of 3/15 to 3/20/2017 to ARC Clerk of Commission.
THE ARROWFLINGER emails information sent to Osprey on 05/18/2017 to ARC Clerk of Commission.
THE ARROWFLINGER confers with Osprey, who had talked with Director earlier, and who recommended that THE ARROWFLINGER call Director directly with issues and questions.
THE ARROWFLINGER called Director. Asked if Landowner M, Landowner O, or Bobcat Lessee are Augusta Contractors, and if he knows any of them. He said no. Asked if DW of Stateboro was a contractor. He said they were but had not done any work since 2013. Said that Landowner M’s firm was not awarded landfill contract after he was on bid documents at January 2017 bid meeting. (Confirmed by THE ARROWFLINGER) Award contested and work might be rebid. (THE ARROWFLINGER agreed, as it had been in the newspaper). Director asked about stone purchases and stated that Augusta purchases aggregates under annual bulk purchase agreement and stockpiles various stone products at landfill. (Known in advance by THE ARROWFLINGER). When asked how Director knew where Bobcat Lessee’s equipment was when Director and THE ARROWFLINGER met at the gate to the combined properties at 8:16 PM on March 16, 2017, Director stated that he was directed to follow the power line and that the equipment was parked under the power line.
Director asserted that the reason he could find his way in the dark when spotted coming out of the gate to the combined properties at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2017, was that he arrived in the daylight. (Official sunset was 7:37 PM, but conditions at his exit were clearly past darkness).
Director repeated his purpose for coming out of the gate to the combined properties at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2017 was that a contractor at his facility called him, after being unable to contact Director’s subordinate employee, and was concerned about verifying the location of the Bobcat and cutter, so he drove out to the site in Lincoln County to locate the equipment and report back to the contractor, which he had done.
Director queried THE ARROWFLINGER about why he was not called earlier into the process of determining the status of the investigation. THE ARROWFLINGER said that the investigation was in the hands of ARCSD and that he was told that it was turned over to the DA. THE ARROWFLINGER turned to Osprey, an Augusta citizen, to investigate, because Augusta is his city. THE ARROWFLINGER had performed considerable free work for Augusta and insisted on better contract controls since 2011, and did not feel compelled to conduct an investigation based upon GORA requests, because that cost money and the Augusta Commission had failed to act to provide a solution to that obstacle when it had been proposed.
Director suggested that he had answered all questions truthfully and that THE ARROWFLINGER should accept that, to which THE ARROWFLINGER responded that there were too many inconsistencies in how the work was sequenced and suddenly halted when the investigators arrived at the Augusta Solid Waste Facility on 3/16/17. Director asked if THE ARROWFLINGER had approached the landowners, to which THE ARROWFLINGER responded that the investigation should have done that and no report had been issued.
Director asserted that Administrator’s office and ARCSD had determined that there were no criminal violations, but that one of his supervisors had retired as planned, but moved up during the investigation. Director admitted that said supervisor had done work at the Lincoln site. THE ARROWFLINGER asked for a copy of that investigator’s report, but Director said he could not provide it.
THE ARROWFLINGER reminded Director of THE ARROWFLINGER’s powerful defense of Director in a commission meeting presentation on another matter.
THE ARROWFLINGER agreed to forward an accounting of the conversation to all who had gotten questions and information from THE ARROWFLINGER regarding the Lincoln County matter, and he did.
THE ARROWFLINGER emails ARC Clerk of Commission that he talked to Director and provided a summary of points upon which there was agreement, but not points of disagreement, which had been previously sent.
THE ARROWFLINGER agrees to discuss the March events in Lincoln County in an on-air conversation with Most Dangerous Man in Augusta Politics, Austin Rhodes of radio Station WGAC.
THE ARROWFLINGER goes on the Austin Rhodes program to discuss the March events in Lincoln County.
2017-05-25 23:47:35 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Three weeks ago, the investigator said it was referred to the DA and to City Administrator for an audit, but the DA has nothing. When the guy called that day that my new truck grabbed the audio and output it on the speaker, so Knitter heard him say it. They are trying to duck and cover, but I am satisfied I have it covered with enough proof. It would be helpful to show how Landowner M has recently been working there. They didn’t apparently get the contract, and Dabbs Williams did work in 2011, I found. The equipment they have conceded and also that the supervisor who was moonlighting retired 2 days into the investigation. Your info was spot on. The heat is on and some of them are spinning deeper. Hope your trip is productive. We got rain!
2017-05-25 23:50:28 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Nice. I heard some of it through the internet on the radio show. Good job.
2017-05-25 23:51:17 Informant Phone Number Redacted
If he was moonlighting, why was he driving a county truck out there? That’s the word I got from Inside Source.
Friday, May 26, 2017
2017-05-26 00:13:44 out Phone Number Redacted
I wish I had walked up the hill when the Bobcat brush cutter was being used and seen the truck. Pretty sure he was there on a weekday morning.
2017-05-26 00:31:49 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-26 18:12:36 out Phone Number Redacted
Can you tell me who got retired?
2017-05-26 18:13:13 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-28 00:35:00 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Also, McKinley has worked there so long and knows all the equipment I can’t imagine he would make a mistake. I think he is just covering for Director.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
2017-05-28 00:35:45 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Did Director contact you? If he did, he his trying to cover himself.
2017-05-28 00:39:21 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I was told to call him. I did.
2017-05-28 00:40:39 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Oh, well, he is a snake with a lot of political connections.
2017-05-28 00:41:11 Informant Phone Number Redacted
That’s based on my experience.
2017-05-28 00:44:39 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
He said he did not know Landowner M or Landowner O… the landowners. Said he did not know Bobcat Renter… the Bobcat lessee. Said DW has not worked there since 2014. Said stone is bought under annual contract and stockpiled. Got on my case for not calling him until after sending out claims (emails to ARC Commissioners).
2017-05-28 00:47:22 Informant Phone Number Redacted
That’s a lie. Bobcat Renter was out there last year helping extend the sides of the land fill to meet the air space. Landowner M was out there all the time. Him and Director went to lunch several times.
2017-05-28 00:48:03 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Said he got up here before dark, is why he had no flash light, and found the equipment because it was under the power line easement… Trouble with that is my video is time stamped 8:48 pm (exit time).
2017-05-28 00:48:40 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Augusta Commissioner G is barbequed.
2017-05-28 00:48:55 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-28 00:50:38 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I have Commissioners. Augusta Commissioner W and Augusta Commissioner G FURIOUS AND LOADED FOR BEAR for Tuesday’s Commission meeting.
2017-05-28 00:51:01 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Administrator in deep S**t.
2017-05-28 00:51:20 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-28 00:51:42 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-28 00:52:29 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I am going to have all their a$$es.
2017-05-28 00:54:14 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Good, if Director told you he didn’t know those guys he is lying. Why did he tell his staff he had property on the lake?
2017-05-28 00:55:47 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
That excavator has a small backward reflex clam-shell or scoop. Small blade. Not suited for moving stone piles. The loaders at landfill ARE.
2017-05-28 00:57:14 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Everyone out there knows the mini excavator, everyone used it, including McKinley.
2017-05-28 00:58:31 Informant Phone Number Redacted
What about the trailer the county just purchased, did he make a mistake with that, too?
2017-05-28 00:58:33 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
(I am hearing) Commissioner G says landfill doesn’t use that sort of stone. However, it is too fine to use for road without geotextile underlayment. There are four (actually three) rolls of that there.
2017-05-28 01:00:16 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Bull s**t. We use crush and run all the time. Look at the camp sites at the Sheriff range. They have three sites up there for campers. I know because I was told I could park mine there.
2017-05-28 01:00:29 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Sounds like McKinley was the Bobcat operator up here. Isn’t that what you found out?
2017-05-28 01:01:29 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Yes, I know he ran that for sure.
2017-05-28 01:02:18 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Well, that means an ARC employee destroyed US government property.
2017-05-28 01:02:45 Informant Phone Number Redacted
The landfill owns John Deere skid steers, not Bobcats.
2017-05-28 01:03:29 Informant Phone Number Redacted
McKinley loves Director and will cover until it’s his a$$.
2017-05-28 01:04:29 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I am gonna fry some a$$. Yes, Bobcat was rented to Bobcat Renter by Bobcat Augusta. Director was concerned about it because Bobcat called him.
2017-05-28 01:05:49 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Yea, brother he knew what was going on, he just wants to take his own or parents’ Winnebago out there.
2017-05-28 01:06:20 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
So Director was concerned about the Bobcat that destroyed Corps woodland. And his supervisor ran it. Perfect.
Footage from March 16, 2016 as events were unfolding.
2017-05-28 01:07:07 Informant Phone Number Redacted
You keep asking questions and I’ll keep giving information they can’t hide from us.
2017-05-28 01:07:32 Informant Phone Number Redacted
What about the trailer?
2017-05-28 01:08:18 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
The press and politicians want my hide. After five years you handed me something to tear Augusta apart with.
2017-05-28 01:08:19 Informant Phone Number Redacted
That was county property. No one made a mistake with that.
2017-05-28 01:08:44 Informant Phone Number Redacted
They brought it to me.
2017-05-28 01:09:14 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
It does not have property tag or number on it.
2017-05-28 01:10:09 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Oh, they are conceding that the trailer and excavator are Augusta assets.
2017-05-28 01:10:51 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-28 01:11:26 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
The landfill does have loaders and graders, right?
2017-05-28 01:11:47 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I would like to see Director gone. I want to live out there in peace.
2017-05-28 01:12:31 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
I am pretty sure that will happen.
2017-05-28 01:12:59 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Oh yea, Komatsu 320 front loaders, and they use Roads Department grader. They also have a CAT roller.
2017-05-28 01:13:43 in Phone Number Redacted
I know because I have worked on all of it.
2017-05-28 01:15:43 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Ok. Good. So you are sure others saw Director with Landowner M and know that Bobcat Renter did work there?
2017-05-28 01:16:49 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
The investigator did not turn over anything to the DA like he said. It was his bad luck that his call to me telling me that came on over my car speakerphone so everyone in my yard could hear it.
2017-05-28 01:17:37 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Buddy is ready to testify that he saw him up here. In fact, I was in the back seat (actually the passenger seat) of the investigator’s car, and Buddy did not see me when he stopped them in the road and demanded to know who they were.
2017-05-28 01:18:00 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
The Sheriff’s Department is screwed about as bad as Commissioner G and Director.
2017-05-28 01:22:21 Informant Phone Number Redacted
You can ask anyone who works at the landfill. When I quit, Bobcat Renter was working out there, and that was April last year.
2017-05-28 01:23:29 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Commissioner G called you a disgruntled employee. I am gonna make him rue those words. (Because it was a smokescreen. Informant had nothing to do with the perpetrator’s actions.)
2017-05-28 01:23:38 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Talk to ****. He was a supervisor and he just got hired back.
2017-05-28 01:24:57 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Sorry, I meant James ******.
2017-05-28 01:25:17 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Why would he say that when I resigned?
2017-05-28 01:26:19 Informant Phone Number Redacted
I went to lunch with him and Director and I said grace before the meal. Dirty people.
2017-05-28 01:26:30 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Don’t worry about that. You are gonna love it.
2017-05-28 01:27:07 Informant Phone Number Redacted
2017-05-28 01:28:24 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Gonna go back to bed. Good night!
2017-05-28 01:29:23 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Good night from California.
THE ARROWFLINGER calls Landowner K and learns that no investigators contacted her after the mid-March incidents. Conversation lasts 39 minutes. Topics beside social updating of family and friends include the easement road work. Three times Landowner K reiterates that Landowners M and O kept saying that they had connections to get the work done. No mention was made of Columbia or Richmond Counties in that context, as was the case in the mid-March conversation.
2017-05-28 15:36:00 THE ARROWFLINGER Phone Number Redacted
Investigators did not contact you or Landowner K.
2017-05-28 15:37:00 Informant Phone Number Redacted
Nope, I talked to them once. The day you were with them.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Augusta Administrator calls THE ARROWFLINGER on his land line phone (no logs) and a Q&A session resulted that lasted about 30 to 40 minutes. THE ARROWFLINGER called the Informant while the Administrator was on the other line to ascertain that the Informant would allow her to have his number. Later, Informant called to state that he and the Administrator had talked and would continue the next day.
Commissioner H calls to verify that the Administrator had talked to Informant.
Tragedy…… when you lose control and you got no soul, It’s tragedy
– The BeeGees
In the heady days of 2005, as the real estate bubble was inflating in full force, James Robert “Bob” Ward was lifting helicopter rides to show off many of the eight subdivisions in five states his company, Land Resources, Inc., was marketing worldwide. A short six years later Ward was in prison with a thirty year sentence for the murder of his wife. The bullet that ended her life wasn’t fired in the northern reaches of Lincoln County, Georgia, but the lingering tears of tragedy still water the financial landscape of the less than 8000 permanent citizens of the county and hapless investing victims far away.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Land Resources was founded in 1997 and had successfully completed a number of subdivisions in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. Most providently, HGTV picked Land Resource developments Cumberland Harbor and Grey Rock for two of its million-dollar home giveaways. Trouble arose from 2005, when Stillwater Coves in Lincoln County was announced, through 2008. A pattern emerged of unsophisticated, mostly rural county governments allowing Land Resources to market and sell lots before the basic infrastructure was completed to permit home-building. In 2008 Land Resources filed for bankruptcy protection. Suddenly lots that had sold for $300,000 were virtually worthless.
Bob Ward began this saga in Atlanta. Near the height of selling hundreds of millions of dollars of hot resort real estate in 2007, Ward and his wife moved to the Islesworth community in Orlando, Florida, this being also home to golfer Tiger Woods and his beating from wife Elin. When Bob Ward became subject of a criminal investigation, his wife Diane was called to testify, apparently causing the developer to shoot her in their bedroom in September 2009. The murder trial, incarceration, conviction, appeal, retrial, and drug overdose in prison made a twisting, turning and very compelling tabloid story. An excellent timeline from the perspective of the Grey Rock development can be found here.
The Big Four (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News), CNN, The Orlando Sentinel (a series on the saga), Atlanta Constitution, various Florida TV stations and even the UK Mirror jumped all over the murder tragedy and the accompanying trial, yet missed the total tragedy. The connection to the Greater Financial Crisis that became manifest in 2008 and which has morphed into a world-consuming monster went unnoticed. The Augusta area media seemingly slept through it all, especially the Lincoln County connection. The closest article to do it and the only one found to actually mention the murder trial was an article by the Augusta Chronicle’s LaTina Emerson of October 15, 2009 reporting that the successor to Ward’s bankrupt Land Resources had promised that the development remained on track for 2010. Amazingly it took one of the lowly commenters to note “…..the original developer being tried for murder? Seems it would be a story.”
Indeed it was. Ward’s Land Resources had sold out its Stillwater Cove lots in one week, garnering a reported $43 million (the author’s spreadsheet says $27 million) in the process. At the time of bankruptcy, the paving and grading of the roads had been completed, with water, sewer and fire protection systems only partially complete. Fortunately, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, under the direction of then Chairman Walker “Boss Hog” Norman, had insulated the county from all liability, obtaining performance and payment bonds on the crucial infrastructure before lots were allowed to be sold.
Most of the development was financed by Wachovia Bank, a rogue financial institution whose sullied name can be found in Augusta’s Parking Deck and Convention Center fiascos, the 2008 financial decimation of Augusta’s blueblood society, money laundering nearly a half-billion dollars for the Mexican drug cartel, identity fraud against elderly customers, selling $9 billion of bad securities as money-good, and $millions on mortgage fraud. There is much more to be reported in these pages on this bank. Those are stories for another day.
Elsewhere in county government, the tempting lure of the hundreds of millions of dollars in addition to the property tax base represented by the full build out of Stillwater Coves and the other lakefront subdivisions created in the boom was too great. Lincoln County needed a modern high school and that need had found a promising revenue stream. It was a case of chickens counted that were never to hatch. The Lincoln County Board of Education voted to build a $32 million new school complex to house junior high school and high school students. Financing for the project was to be $23 million. RW Allen, LLC was engaged to construct the complex.
More bad news erupted in 2009 when it was discovered that the bonds protecting the Stillwater Coves lot buyers had been issued in an even bigger fraud. An insurance man named Ray Miller had sold fictitious bonds covering more than $500 million in projects. The bonds covering one of the water systems at Stillwater Coves proved to be worthless. The county doesn’t seem to be at fault, however, for most of the bonds had been forged in the name of legitimate bond insurers. Perhaps the only mistake that the county made was to allow reduction, perhaps too early, in some of the coverage on the bonds that were good. Perhaps the discipline to achieve completion of infrastructure before any subdivision lots are sold is better. Tragedy would have been averted!
The school board found itself in a fiasco when it decided to house only high school students in the new school, keeping the junior students at an old school. The State Board of Education withheld funds based upon the fact that the school it agreed to fund was for grades 6-12. Citizens cried FRAUD and for good reason.
Many of the lot buyers lost their life savings in the meltdown of the Land Resources empire. Diane Ward lost her life. Lincoln County found itself financially crippled with extraordinarily high property taxes created by the school bond debt, a collapsed lake front property tax base, and the reality that three successive property tax exemptions involving timberland removed two thirds of the county from the tax digest. Existing residential property owners bore the brunt of the damage, with elderly property owners denied exemptions from school taxes afforded citizens of Columbia and Richmond Counties, because their money was needed to service the bonds. The corrupt shell of Wachovia Bank continues to threaten the viability of Wells Fargo Bank, who had the misfortune of wanting the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to fold Wachovia into their operations. The lots themselves might not ever be viable, as they were drawn up to be served by a sewage system that languishes without paying customers.
The waters remain still up on Graball Road but the tragedy continues.
At least now it isn’t an untold tragedy in Augusta and the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia and South Carolina. Lessons are never learned from things covered up.
Agraynation.com gets the big stories of our times and tries to make our readers think about what they mean.