Ex-DeKalb Commissioner Boyer’s aide pleads guilty

The one-time assistant to an imprisoned former DeKalb County commissioner has also pleaded guilty to spending taxpayers’ money on himself.

Bob Lundsten, who served as chief of staff for former Commissioner Elaine Boyer, was sentenced Tuesday to a year on probation for misspending $310 at Kroger and the UPS Store.

Like Boyer, Lundsten used his county charge card to pay for personal items. His purchases included cat litter and shipping gifts to family members.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, Lundsten pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor obstruction. He originally had been charged with six counts of theft by taking and three counts of making false statements.

Defense attorney Jay Strongwater questioned why Lundsten faced criminal charges while a recent investigation of corruption in DeKalb identified more than $500,000 in dubious spending by county commissioners.

“Other officials have more purchasing card charges and higher dollars in question,” Strongwater said. “It appears that there’s some disparity.”

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said Lundsten was charged because he used public money on himself, while commissioners’ questionable spending was connected to government business.

“There’s absolutely no disparity whatsoever,” James said. “There’s nothing that he was charged with that was done in the course of county business — not one thing.”

Lundsten repaid the county, and he was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.

Boyer resigned last year and pleaded guilty to charges that she used her government-issued Visa card to pay for airline tickets, a ski resort booking, a rental car, her personal cell phone and other expenses. Boyer also admitted to participating in an $85,000 kickback scheme. She is serving a 14-month sentence.

Boyer's husband, John Boyer, was sentenced in August to serve a year and a day for his role in arranging the kickbacks that funneled county money through an evangelist, Rooks Boynton, who has pleaded not guilty.