Our reporting about the Development Authority of Fulton County

The Development Authority of Fulton County is located in the Fulton County Government Center.

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The Development Authority of Fulton County is located in the Fulton County Government Center.

A June 1 investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News found that some authority members collected $200 per diem checks simply for signing official documents or for each item listed on meeting agendas.

The authority has suspended per diem following the AJC’s reporting, and Fulton commissioners are weighing what action to take.

The AJC discovered board members were paid more than $1.1 million in per diems since 2011 — including more than $800,000 paid to former directors Bob Shaw, Samuel Jolley Jr. and Walter Metze Jr. Fulton commissioners have been unable to find evidence the body ever approved the $200 DAFC board fees, calling into question whether they were ever legal.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported June 16 that appointed board members of the Development Authority of Fulton County had collected nearly $800,000 in per diem since 2015.

The AJC also reported that Fulton commissioners did not believe the county had ever set per diem for the authority, as required by law, and some said authority members should give back the money.

Development authorities operate with broad autonomy and receive little scrutiny from the public, but the boards play an outsize role in corporate recruitment and real estate projects by granting property tax breaks, the AJC has reported. Board members are typically appointed by elected leaders and tend to be connected business or political figures.

DAFC is one of the state’s biggest providers of corporate incentives, and its board rarely votes against projects.

ExploreEx-chair of Fulton County agency was paid as both employee and board member, AJC finds

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» Jan. 6, 2022: Metro Atlanta lawmaker to file development authority reform bills

» Dec. 7, 2021: Fulton authority turns down incentives for Beltline project

» Nov. 30, 2021: Fulton board under scrutiny tightens spigot on incentives

» Aug. 24, 2021: Fulton development authority quashes incentive for Beltline project

» Aug. 14, 2021: Fulton authority gives tax breaks to projects in hot markets, AJC finds

» Aug. 4, 2021: Fulton commissioners OK development authority per diem amid scandal

» July 28, 2021: Fulton authority members clash over planned audit, board powers

» July 14, 2021: Fulton takes no action on troubled development agency, as tempers flare

» July 13, 2021: Fulton officials expected to press development leader over lavish per diems, fiscal controls

» July 12, 2021: Fulton development head to resign as executive director, remain chairman

» July 7, 2021: Scandal-plagued Fulton agency should be abolished or reined in, lawmakers say

» July 6, 2021: AJC finds more questionable per diem payments to Fulton authority members

» June 30, 2021: Fulton development agency paid ex-chair $1M, AJC investigation finds

» June 15, 2021: Controversial fees paid to Fulton board members may not have been legal, officials say

» June 1, 2021: Questionable payments made to Fulton Development Authority board members

» June 17, 2021: Fulton authority halts controversial payouts as tensions with county mount

» June 7, 2021: Fulton official steps down after AJC/Ch. 2 probe on per diem spending

» June 2, 2021: Fulton commissioners shelve development authority nominee

» June 1, 2021: Questionable payments made to Fulton Development Authority board members