- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - DeKalb police sought emails Tuesday from county CEO Lee May and two other high-ranking officials in an ongoing fraud investigation, documents show.

Authorities stated in the warrants that police want the emails because the messages may contain information about a conspiracy to defraud the county. Besides May, investigators also targeted email traffic from former county commission Chief of Staff Morris Williams and former Purchasing Director Kelvin Walton.

May maintains his innocence and said in a statement that he wanted to get to the bottom of any potential wrongdoing.

“Personally, I have nothing to hide; and there will be nothing in my email to suggest I have done anything wrong,” May said. He referred all questions to law enforcement officials.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The focus of the probe was not entirely clear Tuesday. Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson sealed from public view affidavits from police officers that explain in more detail why investigators want those emails.

However, investigators are seeking emails starting on Dec. 13, 2010, when a sewer line backup soiled May’s living room floor. At the time, May was a county commissioner.

Rather than filing a claim through the county, homebuilder Doug Cotter arranged for Water Removal Services to make repairs to May’s home. Cotter shared office space with Water Removal Services. Not long after, the company issued a $4,000 check to May. Cotter has said the payment was meant to help May with personal financial problems. Five months later, the company was awarded a $300,000 contract to clean up floods and sewage spills in residences and business across DeKalb County. Walton said no one tampered with the bidding process.

May said he never received any money from the company and asked police to investigate.

Cotter, the homebuilder, has said Williams, the chief of staff, asked for the payment. Cotter said that he personal delivered the check to Williams, who then returned the endorsed check to Cotter and asked that Cotter cash it on behalf of May. Cotter said that he cashed the check at a liquor store and gave Williams the money at a fast food restaurant.

Williams, who resigned in March, has said Cotter’s account is not accurate.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, https://www.ajc.com


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