Parks & Rec director "outraged" by investigation

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Attorneys for Columbus Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams and Program Specialist Herman Porter say they're outraged at the way the investigation into the department has been handled.

"He's questioning whether or not the constitutional presumption of innocent until proven guilty is even anywhere in their vocabulary," said Shaevon Thomas, Tony Adams' Attorney.

According to Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren, his investigators found that the duo has been funneling several hundred thousand dollars into a secret CB&T bank account they opened five years ago.

"What they have done so far in this case stemming back to when the audit started was to vilify my client. I didn't see the Mayor talking about the thousands of boys that Mister Adams assisted in staying off the streets, that Mister Adams assisted in keeping in school, staying out of trouble and doing the right thing. I don't see a press conference on that," Thomas added.

Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington says he wants to get the city's Parks and Recreation Department back in good standing with the public in light of these arrests and the ongoing criminal investigation.

In the meantime, the daily operations of the department are being handled by Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin. Three hundred people are employed by Parks and Rec.

"They're both innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We're asking the community not to judge this case in the court of public opinion. We're asking the public to keep an open mind until they hear all of the facts," said Herman Porter's Attorney, Stacey Jackson.

WTVM is told a preliminary hearing for Adams and Porter will not happen since they've bonded out of jail.

Once their cases are bound over to Muscogee County Superior Court, the next step is for them to be presented to a Grand Jury.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.