FOIAs documents expose campaign corruption at the highest levels of Municipal government: Johns Creek Mayor, Mike Bodker.
A massive trove of documents displays scandalous behavior from Mayor Bodker and his executive aide, Craig Kidd. In an astonishing conflict of interest, text messages on city phones display their discussion of conspiring City Council candidates to run for the upcoming election. There is the misuse of government time, resources, and City property. Taxpayer’s money is also left in Bodker’s garage, why?
Craig Kidd: Executive aide for Johns Creek Mayor
Craig Kidd makes 4X the salary of his boss Mayor Mike Bodker. The part-time Mayor has a full-time employee dedicated solely to him, with a base salary of $81K. $400 per month car allowance, gym membership, health insurance, long term disability, dental, life, full 17% 403b match and profit-sharing retirement plan. Totaling taxpayers well over $120K.
Bodker’s “Chief of Staff” Craig Kidd is also the First Vice-Chairman of the Fulton County Republican Party. There was a significant increase in elected Democrats to Fulton county positions that occurred during Craig Kidd’s 6 years as GOP Vice-Chair. Recently known as the ‘Blue Wave’.
Much of Craig Kidd’s time during city hours using city property was spent scouting Democratic candidates to run for Johns Creek City Council seats.
Craig Kidd: I spoke with Kausche’s aide. I think she and I will have a meeting this week to discuss November. I imagine I will blow her mind. Mike Bodker: Talked to Angelika Friday about the same topic she keeps getting no way from folks Mike Bodker: I hope we can trust her given that Stephanie was already telling people I want dems to run Craig Kidd: I presume that was a leftover from the Bradberry Horton race. For the time being we will have to ignore the raw partisan talk. It will be tough but long term it’s best. Craig Kidd: If we can bring the chamber in on three November talks (sp. posts) then Angelica will see how strong our intent is. Mike Bodker: Arts and chamber Mike Bodker: We need various Constituencies to align Craig Kidd: Already on that. The arts community is looking for a candidate. I told them more than one. Sadly they put all their energy into Horton so when she passed, they were left flat footed. Craig Kidd: I’m trying to get Baughman and Lynda Smith flaking. Somehow, they don’t know each other.
Evidently, the Arts community followed Craig Kidd’s advice. Both Altom and Thomas were in Post 4, opposing Chris Coughlin. Lynda Smith of the CVB favored candidate Kent Altom. Below is another text string with Wayne Baughman from the Johns Creek Art Symphony Orchestra.
Craig Kidd: Adam Thomas is awaiting your email. Wayne Baughman: 👍
This raises troubling questions:
- Why is a city employee trying to influence elections?
- Why is a Republican Party Leader scouting Democrats?
- Which party is his allegiance; Republican, Democrat or Corruptocrat?
- City council seats are non-partisan; why is he partisan-ing?
- Why is he doing GOP work during City employment with City property?
Craig Kidd used a City laptop and City cell phone for these transactions. In just 3 months he visited over 13,000 webpages, much of it for non-related to the City of Johns Creek. Opposition research, GOP work, watching Youtube, reading the Shining, ESPN, personal emails, etc. This is in addition to several dozen hours of text messages and phone calls using city phones. Using city property for personal or political purposes is against the city charter.
Craig Kidd is also the chief of staff, without staff. There is no one under his authority. Craig Kidd also panels a political podcast show with Hans Appen, of Appen News aka Johns Creek Herald. They are the City’s official legal organ for public notices. They have a paywall to view the notices. Not truly a public notice…🧐.
Although Craig Kidd’s position is at the discretion of the mayor that does not circumvent him from following charter laws which are very clear about using government property for personal use or political use.
From the Johns Creek City Charter
Sec. 3.22. – Powers and duties of the mayor.
(C) The mayor shall in his or her sole discretion appoint an executive aide to the mayor… The duties and responsibilities of the executive aide shall at all times be as set forth by the mayor provided that the duties and responsibilities relate to city business and at no time shall the executive aide conduct personal business for the mayor. The executive aide shall have the authority, upon the specific request of the mayor, to act on behalf of the mayor in the mayor’s ceremonial or administrative capacity. The executive aide shall have no authority to act on behalf of the mayor in a legislative or executive capacity.
Code of Ethics
Sec. 2-262. – Prohibitions.
(6) Use of public property. A member shall not use city property of any kind for other than officially approved activities, nor shall he or she direct city staff to use such property for these purposes… C. Purchase goods and services to be used for personal, business or political purposes;
City Money in Bodker’s Garage
In an astonishing breach of protocol, Craig Kidd regularly leaves City checks in the garage for Bodker to sign. This seems an unprofessional way of handling city checks of vendors, payments, and expenses. Bodker is typically unavailable, too busy and not home, thus Craig Kidd leaves the checks for Bodker to sign and then picks them up another day. This clearly shows a lack of care in handling taxpayer money. Particularly with the uptick of mail theft and check washing and check fraud in the Atlanta area. Here is an example…
Mike Bodker: Checks are signed and in garage
Per the City Charter, Bodker is supposed to have regularly scheduled time to meet with the City Manager to handle the city business. Signing checks then would be an appropriate time. What is most concerning, Bodker once announced during a City Council meeting that he left his front door unlocked while away, and the Johns Creek Police notified him during a vacation check. He was touting the professionalism of the Johns Creek Police, well where is the Mayor’s professionalism for the taxpayer’s money?
Secret Plans to Bring Cricket to Johns Creek
The clear attempts to control votes seem to circle around economic development. They also seem to focus on secret plans to bring Cricket to Johns Creek. Bodker and Kidd use ‘qt’ as a code word to keep things quiet. On another text string with Cricket leader & RPAC board member Shafiq Jadavji over planning a dinner for President USA Cricket who was visiting Johns Creek. He reminded him the deal is not public record and not to invite people who will talk.
Craig Kidd: Sadly his (Bodker) schedule is rough to make rsvps. Aggravating even. Craig Kidd: Shafiq, do you think you have 25 people on your side. Please remember that this deal is not public record so we dint want to invite people who will talk. Shafiq Jadavji: Let me call you shortly.
There were texts regarding Brian Weaver and Erin Elwood as two candidates who are willing to align. Erin E
lwood was recommended twice by the former opponent of Stephanie Endres in her last election, Chris Jackson. RPAC is Recreation Parks Advisory Committee and Chris Jackson is its Chairman. Naturally, he was probably appointed by Bodker.
Update: Chris Jackson has written to the JCP that he was recommending to Craig Kidd another Erin E for the RPAC.
Craig Kidd: I spoke to Major Weaver. He wants to be involved in any way. He is open to any posting. RPAC just happened to be open. He says he is open to PC. It could be BZA, Arts, anything. Craig Kidd: Talked to Chris Jackson. He does recc Erin E. And is still “in” the race. He said he recently talked to his family, etc and is lining up things. He will call you next week.
The South Asian American Democrats have been working to flip districts blue for 2020. They hosted a gathering on September 22nd for Brian Weaver and Erin Elwood.
Does history repeat itself?
Bodker was accused of this behavior of campaign meddling four years ago. The former City Council Candidate Nazeera Dawood’s husband (J Raja Wisepearl) made a video speaking out. In the video, he discussed how Nazeera Dawood was recruited from the Democratic Party and coached to run as a conservative candidate. He did not like her being manipulated like a puppet, and the voters being deceived. Coincidently, Craig Kidd was Nazeera’s Campaign manager.
What is it at Stake?
Lastly, the City Council has a lot of important things to vote on. Huge budget, lucrative contracts, zoning cases, and settlements. Above all, things certainly go easier when surrounded by YES-MEN.
Using city resources to manipulate an Election is unacceptable. The election should be about who is going to best represent the residents. Not about aligning votes or keeping control and power over certain initiatives.
There is much more to FOIA.
Do you feel this is Corruption?
Here is the definition…
Source: FOIA – City of Johns Creek