DOT manager indicted on bribery charges

[private]A former supervisor for the Georgia Department of Transportation was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and accepting bribes in exchange for allowing the dumping of “unsuitable dirt” in several DOT locations.

George H. Bell, 49, of Lithonia was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman after his indictment last week.

Bell allegedly began accepting cash payments in 2014 from persons who wanted to dispose of “unsuitable dirt” at DOT sites – this is dirt removed during construction or landscaping projects that cannot be used for other projects because it contains organic material that would decompose and create problems for structures built on top of it.

Prosecutors charged that Bell allowed the unauthorized dumping to occur at least four different GDOT sites.

“This defendant is charged with using his position with the Georgia Department of Transportation to benefit himself at the expense of the environment,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said. “His alleged conduct resulted in enormous clean-up costs to the Georgia Department of Transportation as well as environmental damage.”

“We will exercise all legal actions to recover the costs associated with cleaning up these sites and ensure that every effort is made to correct the damage to the impacted sites once the investigation is closed,” DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: bribery charges , DOT , U.S. Attorney