Augusta Commission bribery case to go to trial

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One word was noticeably absent Thursday when Pete Theodocion argued why his client should receive a probated sentence: “bribe.”

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Investigators say David Fry met with the two Augusta commissioners and gave them a handwritten letter that laid out the plan, which would give the commissioners a cut of profits and management positions in the company that would manage the TEE Center parking deck.   Sara Caldwell/Staff
Sara Caldwell/Staff
Investigators say David Fry met with the two Augusta commissioners and gave them a handwritten letter that laid out the plan, which would give the commissioners a cut of profits and management positions in the company that would manage the TEE Center parking deck.


“Proposal,” “concept” and “discussion” were used instead to describe David Fry’s interaction with two Augusta Commission members Aug. 21, 2009.

Fry’s offer to give Commissioners Alvin Mason and Corey Johnson a 3 percent cut on profits from a management company if they approved a parking deck for the downtown Trade, Event and Exhibition Center was only an idea, Theodocion said.

Assistant District Attorney Adam King didn’t argue that that Fry didn’t have control over that contract, nor that money never exchanged hands. That was part of the reason the state agreed to go ahead Thursday with the Alford plea, which would acknowledge the prosecution has enough evidence for trial without admitting guilt.

King said it was more than an idea, however. If something was offered in exchange for the commissioners’ votes, “he is guilty when he makes that agreement, regardless of whether he has a dollar in his pocket,” King said.

After listening to both sides, Superior Court Judge Carl Brown said there was obviously a difference of opinion about what constituted bribery.

Officials say Fry met with the commissioners and gave them a handwritten letter that laid out the plan, which would give the commissioners a cut of profits and management positions in the company.

Johnson said Thursday he had no problem with Fry’s case going to trial. He said he remains surprised at an offer of profits from managing the parking deck connected to the TEE Center, something that he believes to be an “unethical” offer.

Staff Writer Susan McCord contributed to this article.

Comments (37) Add comment
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Dixieman
12479
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Dixieman 11/03/11 - 02:26 pm
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Oh, this is going to be more

Oh, this is going to be more fun to watch than any movie released in the last five years! Let the circus begin!!

broad street narrow mind
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broad street narrow mind 11/03/11 - 02:37 pm
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i thought the alleged bribe
Unpublished

i thought the alleged bribe had to do with the parking deck rather than the tee center itself. am i mistaken or is the article slightly off?

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 11/03/11 - 03:13 pm
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An Alford plea IS a guilty

An Alford plea IS a guilty plea. It's just a meaningless attachment that says "I didn't do it, but they can prove I did". The second paragraph is incorrect about what Alford is.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 11/03/11 - 03:28 pm
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Pete Theodocian is one of the

Pete Theodocian is one of the best attorneys there is in our town.

Fry needs to tell all.

Brad

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 11/03/11 - 03:30 pm
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Brad, Were Fry to tell all,

Brad,

Were Fry to tell all, might Billy and Paul get fried?

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 11/03/11 - 03:49 pm
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what a mess.
Unpublished

what a mess.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 04:06 pm
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Fry handled business for many

Fry handled business for many of the cabal. Anyone who thinks he did this on his own is out to lunch. His only defense is to say he really couldn't have delivered the payoff, but I have no doubt the cabal would have complied with the payoff.

This man is an attorney who handled business for high rollers who were involved with and stood to gain by the TEE construction. We are now to believe he was attempting bribes like a crazy man standing in the street hollering at traffic? Hardly.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 04:18 pm
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This is a classic case of the

This is a classic case of the defendant having information he won't reveal. If this were a federal case, they would put enough pressure on him that he would talk. The prosecutors here should force him to name the others involved.....but they won't. Fry should face the maximum penalty because he won't tell the truth.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/03/11 - 04:57 pm
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Theodocian has a point. It

Theodocian has a point. It would be like Fry offering Johnson and Mason the Brooklyn Bridge if they voted yes.

Kyle Martin reported:

Assistant District Attorney Adam King said that in August 2009, Fry, a local lawyer, offered city commissioners Alvin Mason and Corey Johnson a share of profits connected to a trade and exhibition center.

Mason & Johnson will be dead of old age before the TEE generates its first profit.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 05:07 pm
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LL, funny, but it was the

LL, funny, but it was the parking concession he offered and as we know, someone is going to make a lot on that with city residents using the garage.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 05:08 pm
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How much legal work did Fry

How much legal work did Fry do for the Chronicle?

rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 11/03/11 - 05:32 pm
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What I would like to know is

What I would like to know is this:"What idiot in his right mind would offer someone a cut of profits over which they had no control. Was this man in his right mind, or is he just a big sucker?

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 05:39 pm
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RMwardsr, read my posts

RMwardsr, read my posts above. This guy is a smart attorney who worked for the big names involved with the TEE and parking garage. He is no dummy. Alvin Mason and Calvin Johson just outsmarted THEM.

harley_52
21854
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harley_52 11/03/11 - 05:51 pm
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Riverman1 said "He is no

Riverman1 said "He is no dummy."

My personal experience would lead me to an alternate conclusion.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 11/03/11 - 05:54 pm
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Yeah...this whole plot was

Yeah...this whole plot was BRILLIANT...BRILLIANT, I tell you.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 06:05 pm
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Harley, that reminds me of

Harley, that reminds me of that guy the other day saying Allen was bad because he had a bad closing with him. You have to realize Fry handled legal business for all the cabal guys. They have enough to pay anyone. We are supposed to believe he suddenly went stupid for this bribe attempt?

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 05:56 pm
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Austin, did Fry handle legal

Austin, did Fry handle legal work for the Chronicle parent company?

Jilly Bean
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Jilly Bean 11/03/11 - 06:20 pm
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I hope Fry gets what he

I hope Fry gets what he deserves and he "rats" out the others. The sooner we clean up these types of issues the faster Augusta can move foward.

harley_52
21854
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harley_52 11/03/11 - 06:21 pm
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Riverman, I guess I can see

Riverman, I guess I can see why. In both cases, I provided a first hand opinion about the individual in question. I'm sure you know a lot more about him than I do, but I'm also sure I know a lot more about my dealings with him than you do.

Here's another thought, Riverman. People that "have enough to pay anyone" are often not shopping just for talent, or knowledge. Sometimes they're looking for a certain slant on an ethical issue, silence, or who knows what else. My transaction with Mr. Fry wasn't all that complicated or surriptitious, so perhaps the skill set I saw on parade wasn't the same as the skills the "cabal" required.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 06:25 pm
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Harley, exactly. I talked to

Harley, exactly. I talked to a guy once who actually was a private detective. He wore flashy jewelry and so on and I asked him about it. He said people who hired him didn't want authority types. They wanted someone who went on both sides of the tracks. He was that.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 11/03/11 - 06:47 pm
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Austin Rhodes, I don't know

Austin Rhodes, I don't know about you, but this entire parking deck deal was pretty well laid out by those who will profit.

You want everyone to dismiss that fact because you say "Fred just forgot to file some paperwork" and that Fry was acting alone?

It isn't very hard to see what has happened here unless you want to be blind.

This isn't "rocket science" it is a corrupt deal gone bad and there are too many real questions left unasked much less unanswered.

You pro-media journalist types should be on this like a duck on a junebug, yet you all have been in "toe the line" mode or asleep at the wheel. Which one is it?

I love the obtuse act everyone is putting one here.

Here is the simple solution; take the land, pay the ultra low tax value they have it listed for now, put the parking deck contract out for bid, and lets take the best deal.

Brad

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 07:35 pm
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It's going to be fun seeing

It's going to be fun seeing Alvin Mason and Calvin Johnson telling what they were told. Come on, Alvin and Calvin, let us hear the names he told you. This could be SOMETHING. They can hardly say you are lying since it was YOU who went to the authorities.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 07:38 pm
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Brad, it's been us, the

Brad, it's been us, the online community, with this TEE center since the beginning as with the stadium. The traditional media has lagged behind like a 5 year old trotter in the Kentucky Derby.

Clemintime
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Clemintime 11/03/11 - 08:13 pm
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No harm no foul. Johnson and

No harm no foul. Johnson and Mason were only offered the profit realized from the grond floor of the parking deck.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 08:19 pm
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Clemintime, you are a wise

Clemintime, you are a wise poster. That says much.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 11/03/11 - 08:25 pm
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"That was part of the reason

"That was part of the reason the state agreed to go ahead Thursday with the Alford plea, which would acknowledge the prosecution has enough evidence for trial without admitting guilt."
No.
An Alford plea acknowledges that the prosecution could present enough evidence to have him found guilty (not just to stand trial) so the defendant agrees that the court may find him guilty and sentence him, though the defendant does not admit his guild.

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 08:33 pm
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Dixieman, sounds simple to

Dixieman, sounds simple to me...ha. Are you concerned about the names that will come out?

Riverman1
78427
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Riverman1 11/03/11 - 08:40 pm
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We need the prosecutor to ask

We need the prosecutor to ask Alvin Mason, "Who did Fry say would take care of you if you played ball?" Think it will happen? Nope.

But Alvin likes to talk and may be able to shout it out before they shut him up. Wonder if the Chronicle would report that?

sand gnat
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sand gnat 11/04/11 - 01:00 am
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Sounds like this is one of

Sounds like this is one of those situations where claiming imminent domain would actually solve the ownership problem of the parking deck for the city.

Brad Owens
4097
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Brad Owens 11/04/11 - 07:21 am
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sand gnat, That will not

sand gnat,

That will not solve the case of who was backing Fry however, and anyone who thinks he acted alone is just like the German citizens during WWII who claim they thought the cattle cars of Jews were being "relocated" in the 'East'; extremely naïve, obtuse (I love that word), or just plain in denial.

As far as the DA goes, why would the DA put a person in charge of this prosecution who wants to provide excuses in public of why the man should not be tried? Obviously has bias against trying this man for what he did, why?

Seems like Asst. DA King would want to look at the facts and the law and leave his personal opinions out of it. Also, the attempted bribery of several sitting public officials over a multi-gazillion dollar deal is not small potatoes, like everyone seems to say it is.

I guess in King’s world ‘conspiracy to commit a crime’ is a bad law? In King’s mind I wonder if a "terrorist" was caught plotting an attack, but did not have any weapons or means on hand to commit an act of terrorism, if he should not go to jail for plotting an attack? Is that the way we handle things like this?

Is it the act of bribery that was attempted or the ability to bribe that is being looked at here?

Seems like certain folks want this to go away, I wonder why everyone seems so willing to allow this to just go away and pretend it was not serious?

Hmmmmm...

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