Winder officials have asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to launch a criminal investigation into an alleged cover-up of billing mistakes by the city’s former utility billing director. Dawn Reidling, the former billing director, was fired April 26 while an internal audit by the city’s Finance Department was under way. She appealed her termination, but did not appear at her termination hearing Tuesday night. So the Winder City Council voted unanimously to dismiss her appeal. However, that is not the end of her troubles.
Based on the outcome of the city’s internal audit, city administrator Don Toms last week asked Winder Police Chief Dennis Dorsey to open a criminal investigation of Reidling’s actions. Dorsey said he instead asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct the investigation because of potential conflicts of interest involving long-standing relationships inside or outside the city government.
Among the allegations against Reidling are that she had attempted to cover up her billing lapses by directing city employees to “get rid of” functional water meters and to replace them with new meters so that “the readings would start at 0.” In addition to a multitude of other errors, oversights and alleged malfeasance, the report alleges that Reidling personally adjusted the utility account of her brother in order to reverse three late charges and a $50 disconnect fee. In another case of apparent special favors, Reidling allegedly adjusted the account of a “close friend” to give the friend more time to pay more than $800 in overdue charges.
Former mayor Chip Thompson gave Reidling a 4.6-percent raise without the city council’s knowledge just before he left office at the end of 2011. That raise, combined with the 3-percent raise the council gave all city employees in December, made Reidling the fifth-highest paid employee working for the city government when Thompson left office. Her salary was $71,707.
For the full story, see the June 6 issue of the Barrow Journal.
Wednesday, June 6. 2012
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Maybe she did not get railroaded as many people thought. Those of you who suspected there was more to this all along, seems as if you were right!
I've always wonder what percent of the people that read/post on this blog are government employees. This weeks poll indicates that # at 55%.
Cant stand it that people dont always agree with you? I am not a Government employee but know that aside from a few people, the government workers need more money. I dont agree with the VERY high salaries for some but most of them deserve more. I wouldnt be a cop, or a fireman for what they are paid.
Of course she adjusted bills. That was her position, she entered data as she was instructed. I've called up to the city and was forwarded to a Mike if I needed to extend my bill due date a couple of days due to hard times. Never was I directed to Dawn. Yes, "hmmmmmm" there is more to this story and it's the people that are the true guilty ones in this matter. Dawn has the least if anything at all to do with this mess the city has created. She pissed the City off with her appeal so now they are trying to "get her back". It's small town BS and a waste of the GBI's time. The truth will come out, there are some dirty, dirty people working for this city. Again, disgusting.
Erin...... You're right about one thing......there are multiple people involved. However, do you really think the GBI is investigating a town's attempt to "get her back" for filing an appeal???? How long ago did she file her appeal? Do you have any idea how far back this investigation goes? Just wondering.... Do you have a "dog in this fight?"
It's the GBI's responsibility to research every case presented to them. So the answer to your question is yes, I do think they will investigate a bunch of CRAP. They have to...and it's none of your business.
Well, that 'none of your business' comment suggests that you do have a dog in this fight. Perhaps you are one of the 'close friends' that she was helping out when you needed help 'due to hard times' (your words). As I acknowledged earlier, there are multiple people involved. However, with her being the fifth highest paid government employee in the city, I can't think of many people there who would have the authority or the interest to order her to adjust her own brother's account or her close friends' account(s). Are there a lot of crooked people in this town? Absolutely. Is she the only one under fire? Nope. This whole story has more layers than a Vidalia onion. That much, I DO know.
This all goes back to Ouzts, Thompson, Beck, Lee, etc., et. al
Winder is a dirty little town with a whole lot of dirty little lies in every corner.And this poor woman is gonna get the blunt of it.They really need to go get the big dogs.I'm glad i left this rotten town with old money and fat cat's.
Even if the GBI investigates, our DA won't do a thing. Remember the GBI investigation of the shenanigans at Pendergrass launched three years ago early in our DA's first term? Nobody has heard a peep about it since. Lots of corruption being overlooked. Why hasn't there been a criminal probe of the drug court fiasco?
Corruption in Barrow / Winder Government, Surprised, Really? Didn't Winder settle a harassment suit for a manager that wanted to play wife swap? Now the money doesn't add up? Home of the GOB(Not GOP) party. Really? Surprised?
Sounds like the Peter Principle caught up with Dawn years ago and now the GBI is catching up to her. Don't expect justice. Crooks don't get punished, they just charge gender discrimination or race bias and a frightened populace backs off. There are a few good people still trying to do the right thing like making government employees accountable but they can't battle the overwhelming majority of encrusted layers of incompetence of which Dawn is a good example. Winder is a microcosm of our sick nation.
No one really knows what happened. I'm not convinced that Dawn did as she is accused. But at this point, that is all, she is accused. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Unless you are directly involved, you don't know the whole story and you don't know if she took the fall for someone else. I don't know the truth either, but there is no sense in bashing someone that you don't know especially when you don't know all the facts.
If everything is a lie Dawn would have shown up to defend herself. If she was a pawn, she would have given up others. Face it she either knowingly or due to incompetence messed up, and some of her friends received some benefits. If she was good, than she will find another job paying her what she was making.