A former DeKalb County zoning official and a former bar owner were sentenced to federal prison Jan. 20 for their bribery scheme to keep a Tucker pool hall open.
Jeremy “Jerry” Clark, 43, was a member of the DeKalb Zoning Board of Appeals in 2012 when he accepted bribes from LuLu Billiards owner Ismail Sirdah, 53, of Duluth, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Both men pleaded guilty last year. This week, Clark was sentenced to nine months in prison and a $3,500 fine, and Sirdah to six months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“This is another unfortunate incident of corruption in DeKalb County,” said U.S Attorney John Horn in a press release. “Again, I reiterate that the citizens of DeKalb County expect public officials to act with honestly and integrity. Public officials who may be tempted by money and graft remember: we remain committed to investigating and prosecuting acts of corruption regardless of who commits them or where they are.”
In 2012, LuLu Billiards was facing possible closure due to a zoning ordinance change and needed a zoning variance to continue operating as a nightclub. Clark sold his vote to Sirdah in exchange for about $2,000 in cash and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit, according to the Department of Justice.
Sirdah is also the former owner of the Taboo 2 Bistro and Bar in Sandy Springs, where his former role in the business became a contentious issue during a liquor license application before City Council last year.