Assessors board to watch indictment of appraiser’s organization

Richmond County Chief Appraiser Alveno Ross, at right, speaks to Mayor Hardie Davis at an Augusta Commission meeting Tuesday. File/Staff

The Richmond County Board of Assessors will “keep an eye” on a criminal indictment filed against a Macon organization headed by Chief Appraiser Alveno Ross, and “if there’s more involvement, we’ll handle it when it happens,” board Chairman Bill Lee said Monday.

 

The indictment, filed against the Central Georgia Partnership for Individual and Community Development in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, does not name Ross, who has served as head of the organization for several years.

The indictment alleges the organization in late 2012 conspired to launder bribe money being paid to former Bibb County schools Superintendent Romain Dallemand. It was unsealed in August after Dallemand pleaded guilty in Florida District Court to tax evasion, for not reporting income from the bribe and agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Ross, a former Macon councilman, said Friday he took on the role of chairman at the request of Macon Mayor Robert Reichert after former chairman Jimmie Samuel died in 2013.

Lee said Monday he’d informed each board of assessors member individually by phone a few weeks ago about the charge, which involved a “development group that did work in lesser-advantaged communities” in Macon.

“Our chief has been on that board since it got started, but it turned out there were some unscrupulous guys that did some things with some money laundering,” Lee said.

“The federal courts have arrested these guys, or whatever they’re doing with them. And when it came out that our chief over here was involved with that organization, not in the unpleasant part, and since then he has taken over as the chairman for that group, trying to hold it together.

“Anyhow as we discussed on the phone we’re going to keep an eye on it, see what the court does and if there’s more involvement, we’ll handle it when it happens,” he said.

On a motion from member Juanita Burney, the board received Lee’s comments as information.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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