Ex-commissioner’s husband pleads guilty

The husband of former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge that he helped defraud taxpayers of more than $80,000, with most of that money routed back to the couple’s personal bank account.

John Boyer, a 62-year-old chiropractor, admitted to the scheme in federal court six months after his wife confessed to similar crimes, ending her 22-year career representing North DeKalb.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, he could serve 12 to 18 months in prison. Elaine Boyer’s plea deal comes with a sentence range of 18 to 24 months. Both agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as they continue to investigate corruption in DeKalb’s government.

“The citizens of DeKalb County deserve better than a husband and wife team abusing political power to steal taxpayer funds,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Davis. “When politicians commit crimes, the populace and the people don’t have trust in their government. The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office is committed to prosecuting politicians for such crimes.”

John Boyer’s attorney didn’t comment after the plea.

The Boyers, who have been married for 37 years, raided government funds as they were facing financial difficulties in 2009, the U.S. attorney’s office wrote in court documents.

Elaine Boyer hired family friend Rooks Boynton as a political adviser, paid him 35 checks from the county government over more than two years, then John Boyer instructed Boynton to deposit about $60,000 of the money back into their account. The couple used that money to pay for personal living expenses.

An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year found that Boynton did no work for the county.

Boynton wasn’t named in court Tuesday and hasn’t been charged with a crime.

Elaine Boyer pleaded guilty in September to an another count that her husband wasn’t charged with. She also admitted using her county-issued charge card for more than $15,000 in personal expenses, including airfare to Phoenix, renting a car and making purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.

Elaine Boyer’s sentencing is scheduled for March 20, and John Boyer will be sentenced May 6. Both are free on bond.