Men at center of Parks and Rec probe to serve probation -, GA News Weather & Sports

Men at center of Parks and Rec probe to serve probation

By Web Staff – email

COLUMBUS, GA  (WXTX) - Men at the center of a Parks and Recreation probe pled in court Thursday.

Columbus Parks and Recreation employee, Herman Porter, 42, pled guilty to 3 misdemeanor charges of theft. Judge Allen recommended that he serve 3 years of probation and pay $20,000 in restitution.  Porter has recently resigned from his position with the city.

Fifty-nine-year-old William Fox, Director of the East Marietta Basketball, pled guilty to 5 counts of conspiracy to defraud. Judge Allen ordered that he serve 4 years probation, pay restitution of $25,000 and serve 100 hours of community service.

Meanwhile, the former director of Columbus Parks and Recreation, Tony Adams, 48, pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud. He was ordered to serve 4 years probation, pay $25,000 in restitution and serve 50 hours of community service.

The three men became the center of attention after a city audit revealed thousands in missing funds. The men allegedly funneled funds from the tournaments to a separate bank account. An indictment also stated they established contracts with Nike in order to get money and products.

Adams, the former director of the Parks and Recreation Department was terminated from his position with the city.

Detectives say they can trace money directly from the Director of the East Marietta Basketball League William Fox's bank account to the hidden account they say Adams and Porter opened.

In July 2010, the case turned criminal and Adams, Porter and Fox turned themselves in.


February  2011 -  Adams, Porter and Fox arraigned

October 15, 2010 -  Preliminary hearing

October 1, 2010 - Attorney Shevon Thomas, who represents fired Parks & Recreation Director Tony Adams, withdrew his motion for a gag order

September 28, 2010 - City fires Tony Adams. 

September 14, 2010 - William Fox, the director of Basketball Operations at East Marietta Basketball Inc. turned himself in. 

August 24, 2010 - Stacey Jackson tells News Leader 9 he no longer represents Tony Adams.

August 24, 2010 - Tony Adams and Herman Porter were arrested and face felony charges stemming from the police probe. They are suspended without pay.

July 30, 2010 - Herman Porter and Tony Adams had their coaching privileges revoked by the city manager's office.

July 15, 2010 - The investigation officially became "criminal" in nature.

July 14, 2010 - Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams and Program Specialist Herman Porter were placed on administrative leave with pay pending the results of the investigation. Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin took over the day-to-day operations of the department.

July 13, 2010 - Assistant city attorney Jaimie DeLoach said a city computer e-mail search for keywords "Nike" and "contract" produced an e-mail from August 16, 2006 from former Nike basketball marketing manager Don Crenshaw. Attorney Stacey Jackson, who represents both Adams and Porter, claims that there was never a contract between the parks and recreation department and Nike.

July 3, 2010 - A $500,000 pilot program to help at-risk youths was placed on hold by Mayor Jim Wetherington amid the Columbus Parks and Recreation audit and police investigation.

June 22, 2010 - News leader 9 reports that Tony Adams and Herman Porter have hired a second attorney, Don Jackson of The Sports Group in Montgomery, AL.

June 21, 2010 - Attorney Stacey Jackson is now representing a total of nine parks employees. All of them except Adams work in the Recreational Services Division, which manages the city's recreation centers and operates the Innovative Sports Program. Five of the nine full-time employees in Recreational Services — Margaret Brown, Shelley Stephens, Herman Porter, Gary Freeman and Tim Marshall — are being represented by Jackson.

June 8, 2010 - Tony Adams had until June 8th to respond to the findings in the audit during Columbus Council. Although Adams did not appear before council, with the support of City Manager Isaiah Hugley, Adams suggested breaking the team away from city funding and seeking private investment to continue the teams.

June 2, 2010 - Tony Adams hires defense attorney Stacey Jackson, who calls a news conference to say that "Mr. Adams never had a chance to respond to the audit."

May 28, 2010 - Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington called for a police investigation into the city's parks department after an audit questioned its spending.

May 25, 2010 - Out-of-town travel funded by the city was suspended and temporarily placed on hold by the Parks and Recreation Department.

May 17, 2010
A 27-page audit was completed by the city's internal auditor John Redmond. In question, was $150,000 to fund a traveling Innovative Sports Program, which fields about 470 athletes in boys and girls basketball, boxing and track and field. The Georgia Blazers under-17 elite basketball team operated under the program and was coached by Parks and Recreation director Tony Adams. In the breakdown of the Innovative Sports Program, the auditor recommended that the city stop funding the travel teams and they be funded or sponsored by a non-governmental source.

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