DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader
DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader

DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader is defending his publicly funded donations to nonprofit organizations, which were criticized as “questionable” in the recently released report on DeKalb government corruption, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The substance of what we spent money on, at least in my office, I would certainly defend all day long,” the Journal-Constitution quoted Rader as saying about his $44,000 in donations.

However, the Journal-Constitution also quotes the general counsel of Association County Commissioners of Georgia as saying such donations with taxpayers funds are likely prohibited by law. Investigators Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde, who issued the controversial report, said such donations appear to be barred by the state constitution.

Rader and Commissioner Kathie Gannon, who represent parts of the Brookhaven and Dunwoody areas in the county, are among many officials cited in the report for “questionable” and “suspicious” spending.

Bowers and Hyde issued a preview of their report in August, declaring DeKalb government to be “rotten to the core.” In response, Rader told the Reporter at the time that the state should conduct a formal investigation. He also said at that time that “every elected official in DeKalb should go the extra mile to ensure that the public is well-informed of their actions and transactions, and that the public has every opportunity to offer input into county decisions.”

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.