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ADICA done 'cleaning up the mess'

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- With one unanimous vote Wednesday, three members of the ADICA board cleaned up what Chairperson Jane Willson called the last of former CEO Don Buie's "mess," by forgiving an $8,000 facade grant -- the last in the controversial program Buie headed.

In

a deal outlined Wednesday by interim Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority CEO James Taylor, Buie reportedly obligated ADICA to pay $2,679 as part of a one-third split as part of a facade grant for Sweet Pea Boutiques at 111 S. Jackson St.

The business owner and the landlord of the space were then each expected to pay an equal share -- $2,679.

But, according to Taylor, the business owner says she was never involved in the agreement and that ADICA paid two-thirds of the deal, totaling $5,358, towards her facade grant.

A contract signed by Buie and the landlord but not the business owner was found, Taylor said.

"I can't be certain that she ever even knew about this," Taylor said.

So Wednesday, Taylor asked the board to allow the business owner to keep the $5,358 that he said appeared to have been spent legitimately on signage and part of the front of the space and close the book on the facade grant program operated under Buie.

"This is part of cleaning up the mess we were left with by our former director," Willson said. "... (H)opefully this is the end of our problems."

Following discussion, the board voted unanimously to not require the business owner to repay the money and, in the interest of downtown development, to move on.

Buie remains jailed without bond following an indictment that alleges he knowingly misspent funds ADICA funds as CEO and downtown manager.