The bank account has been open since 2005 under the name of the Department's Director Tony Adams and Program Specialist Herman Porter, according to Chief Ricky Boren.
"Investigators located the account and did an audit on the account. We're saying today that the funds going into that account that was fraudulently bypassed by the city some $200,000 plus," Boren said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Adams, 48, and Porter, 41, turned themselves in at the Columbus Police Department Tuesday morning. They are facing two felony charges- False Writings and Fraudulent Documents and Conspiracy to Defraud the city- as well as a misdemeanor state Tax Evasion charge .
"The Tax Evasion is a misdemeanor. The Conspiracy to Defraud the City is punishable by 1-5 years. False Statements and Writings is punishable by 1-5 years. Both of those could include a fine as well," District Attorney Julia Slater explained in Tuesday's press conference.
Chief Boren also exposed a secret contract he says Tony Adams made with Nike valued at more than $100,000- an agreement Adams' legal team said never existed.
"Contents of that deals with monies that was sent to Tony Adams as well as properties or materials that was sent from Nike to Mister Adams," Boren added.
The Chief says detectives are still looking into how the money was used and if there were any attempts at a cover up.
"This is not anything that we enjoy doing- investigating individuals that work within the city government but they're no different than anyone else. If they break the law, then we will investigate the incident and bring that conclusion forward," he said.
Chief Boren says his department's investigation is ongoing. He believes there are other people that knew about this alleged fraud and may have participated in it.
Meanwhile, Tony Adams and Herman Porter have bonded out of the Muscogee County Jail.
City Manager Isaiah Hugley says they've been suspended without pay.
Also, News Leader 9 discovered attorney Stacey Jackson will no longer represent Tony Adams. Instead, he will be represented by Shaevon Thomas, a Columbus attorney. Meanwhile, Jackson tell us he will continue to represent Herman Porter.
Adams was hired by the city in March of 1990. He was promoted to the position of parks director in 2002 and earns about $80,000 a year. Porter joined the city in June of 1991.
The parks department employs 300 people and has a budget of $10 million. In 1998, the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department became the first of its kind in the state to become nationally accredited.
Internet Producer Fadell Pitts contributed to this report.
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