Fry's lawyer steps down

An attorney asked to represent a retired lawyer rumored to be involved in a bid to solicit commissioners' votes for the proposed trade, exhibit and event center is out of the case.

Attorney Robert Mullins said Monday that he thought it was best to step aside from any potential litigation involving David Fry.

Mr. Mullins said he was hired late last week to litigate a possible civil action for defamation of Mr. Fry's character.

"I felt like I was not the right person to protect his interests," Mr. Mullins said.

Mr. Fry, who has represented and belonged to citizen action groups in Augusta, is a TEE center supporter.

Commissioners confirmed to The Augusta Chronicle on Friday that they had been interviewed by the FBI about a possible bribe offer to two commissioners, Corey Johnson and Alvin Mason, both of whom voted against the TEE center in the past.

Commissioners told The Chronicle that Mr. Mason and Mr. Johnson were allegedly offered management positions involving the parking deck that would be built for TEE center's visitors.

As The Chronicle has previously reported, commissioners voted in 2007 to build the TEE center and fund projects to improve inner-city neighborhoods through the city's $1-a-night hotel tax.

Augusta residents voted in 2005 to use $20 million of the special purpose local option sales tax to build a TEE center, but the cost of the center alone is estimated at $38 million, according to prior reports.