The Jarrard & Davis investigation report shows several payments to property owners over the years from less than $10,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the city to acquire easements or outright ownership.
The investigation report showed the city’s deal with Southern Pines included buying property and access rights to land the construction company owned at 44 and 50 Maple Street. It also included granting the city access to land at 20 and 38 Maple Street that Southern Pines intended to buy from Reed.
City Council approved the original $300,000 transaction with Southern Pines in July 2018. Roswell paid Reddick the following September with the understanding that the company would grant the city access upon buying the land, the report said. But he never actually bought the land.
“Southern Pines did not refund any of the purchase price to the city to account for this breach of contract,” the Jarrard & Davis report reads. “It would appear the city’s damages are in excess of $299,000 for which Southern Pines should be responsible.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has attempted to reach Reddick and left phone messages.
The investigation report shows Roswell’s deal with Reddick included giving the developer property the city owned at an additional address, 64 Maple Street. The investigation found that Southern Pines sold the property to another party for $265,000 in 2019.
Councilwoman Christine Hall who was not serving on City Council in 2018 when the deal was made with Reddick said Roswell must implement new processes.
“The mayor and council gave up so much in exchange for so little and a now it’s just a nightmare,” she said. “Processes and procedures and transparencies are clearly broken, and have been for a number of years.”
Councilman Marcelo Zapata was serving on the Council in 2018 and cast the sole vote in opposition to making a land transaction with Southern Pines.
“I don’t recall the details,” Zapata said. “I knew that something was not clear ... I didn’t feel I had all the right information.”
A link to the investigation report can be found on the city of Roswell website.