Investigator says DeKalb CEO May ‘lying’ about loan

The investigators produced notes Thursday from a May 7 interview with May in which he said he took loans from Morris Williams, the former chief of staff for the county commission.

“I hate to call anybody a liar,” said former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers, one of the investigators, on Thursday. “Those are strong words. But he’s lying.”

The investigators’ report on corruption in DeKalb released Wednesday said May had violated DeKalb’s charter by accepting the loan. The DeKalb Organizational Act prohibits the county’s CEO and commissioners from receiving loans if it could influence their decision-making about the lender.

“I may have, you know, said hey, can I borrow a couple hundred dollars?” May told the investigators, according to their notes. “It hadn’t never been more than a few hundred dollars.”

That stands in stark contrast with May’s statement during a press conference Wednesday, in which he denied taking a loan from Williams.

“I have no idea where Mr. Bowers was getting any conversation about a loan,” May said Wednesday. “We never even discussed a loan in our conversations … I have no idea what he’s talking about where this is concerned.”

County spokesman Burke Brennan said Thursday that May stands by his statements.

The investigators’ report didn’t say when May got the loan, how much it was for or whether it was connected to a $4,000 check from a vendor.

The vendor, who had arranged for $6,500 in repairs to May’s home after a sewage line backup, claims he gave $4,000 to Williams with the understanding that he would pass it along to May to help with his personal financial problems. The vendor won a $300,000 county contract later that year, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News found.

May said he never saw a dollar of the $4,000 and never took part in kickbacks or pay-to-play schemes.

Details of the loan allegation were forwarded to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, according to the report.