Wednesday, October 19, Eyewitness News at 6

6:59 PM, Oct 17, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... WE HAVE NEW INFORMATION TONIGHT ON THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT OF WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCIL MEMBER JOHN WILLIAMS...AND HOW IT CAME ABOUT.
WILLIAMS WAS CHARGED YESTERDAY IN FEDERAL COURT WITH THREE CRIMINAL COUNTS ... INCLUDING EXTORTION... LYING TO AN F-B-I AGENT... AND WITNESS TAMPERING.
FEDERAL PROSECUTORS ACCUSE WILLIAMS OF TRYING TO TAKE A 17 HUNDRED DOLLAR COMMISSION ON A TRUCK SALE TO THE CITY.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN EXPLAINED TODAY... THAT THE CASE BEGAN WITH A POLICE DEPARTMENT REQUEST FOR AN UNDERCOVER PICK-UP TRUCK.
SHAHEEN SAYS PURCHASING AGENT MARK BAKER ASKED FOR BIDS ... WITHOUT PUBLICLY ADVERTISING IT... BECAUSE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S INTENT TO USE THE TRUCK FOR UNDER COVER OPERATIONS.
SHAHEEN SAYS THE ONLY BID WAS FROM A DEALER IN UNADILLA..... BUT HE DIDN'T ACCEPT IT.
SHAHEEN SAYS HE ASKED BAKER TO SEND THE BIDS OUT AGAIN... BECAUSE HE'D RATHER BUY THE CAR FROM A WARNER ROBINS DEALER.
THE SECOND TIME... SHAHEEN SAYS A BID CAME BACK FROM SIGNATURE AUTO... AND THE COUNCIL APPROVED THE PURCHASE FOR 21-THOUSAND DOLLARS ON SEPTEMBER 6TH.
SHAHEEN SAYS THE CITY NEVER WROTE A CHECK FOR THE TRUCK... BECAUSE HE CALLED OFF THE PURCHASE... WHEN HE FOUND OUT THERE WAS JUST ONE BID.
CITY POLICY REQUIRES THREE.
Chuck Shaheen: (2:3) "The normal procedure according to our policy is three bids. It didn't have three bids. That's where I had a problem."
SHAHEEN SAID AT THAT POINT.. HE DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WILLIAM'S ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN THE SALE.
HE SAID HE REPRIMANDED BAKER AND SENT HIM HOME FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE CITY'S THREE BID POLICY.
ACCORDING TO CITY CLERK ALTON MATTOX... THERE'S NO RECORD OF A FORMAL SUSPENSION.
THE MAYOR SAYS HE NEVER SAW THE TRUCK... ALTHOUGH HE HEARD IT WAS BEING TEST DRIVEN BY POLICE FOR SEVERAL WEEKS.
HE SAID IT'S BEEN RETURNED TO SIGNATURE AUTO.
SHAHEEN SAYS HE DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT THE ISSUE AGAIN UNTIL THIS WEEK... WHEN JOHN WILLIAMS CALLED HIM.
Chuck Shaheen: (1:33) "He called me two or three days ago and said the feds have been at my house. I said what about it John. He said, I didn't call the feds, even after he called me. I didn't find out what was going on. I thought they were just asking him questions. Little did I know the next day they were arresting him."
THIS IS VIDEO OF WILLIAMS LEAVING THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN MACON YESTERDAY.
SHAHEEN SAID HE WAS THERE WITH WILLIAMS' WIFE.. BUT DID NOT STAY FOR THE HEARING.
BEFORE WILLIAM'S INDICTMENT.. SHAHEEN SAID HE STARTED REVIEWING THE CITY'S PURCHASING POLICY'S AND IS WORKING WITH THE FINANCE OFFICER TO UPDATE PROCEDURES... FOR MORE ACCOUNTABILITY.
AS FOR WILLIAMS POSITION ON THE COUNCIL... SHAHEEN SAYS THAT'S UP TO WILLIAMS.
Chuck Shaheen: (6:30) "He sent me an email and asked me should he resign. I asked him, I said I'll support whatever decision you make, because the people need to know city councilman are hired by the people, not by me. They work for the people. John had a commitment four years ago. A four year commitment, it's up in January if he doesn't get reelected. That's his decision. He has to answer to his constituents. I have to answer to my constituents for things I do."
JOHN WILLIAMS WOULDN'T TALK ABOUT THE CASE... BUT HIS ATTORNEY CHARLES COX SAID YESTERDAY... WILLIAMS IS NOT GUILTY.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND... JOHN WILLIAMS HAS BEEN IN THE BUSINESS OF BUYING USED CARS OFF LOTS... AND RESELLING THEM TO USED CAR DEALERS.
HE'S ALSO VERY OUTSPOKEN AT COUNCIL MEETINGS ABOUT THE CITY PURCHASING CARS LOCALLY.
WE TRIED TO SPEAK WITH THE POINT PERSON ON THE DEAL FOR SIGNATURE AUTO NAHIM FABER... WHO GOES BY "CAMEL."
HE DIDN'T WANT TO COMMENT.
JOHN WILLIAMS IS OUT OF JAIL ON A 10-THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND.
A TRIAL DATE HAS NOT BEEN SET.

MONROE COUNTY'S TAX OFFICE MAILED INCORRECT TAX BILLS TO FORSYTH PROPERTY OWNERS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO FORSYTH MAYOR TYE HOWARD.
HE SAYS THE COUNTY TAX OFFICE INCORRECTLY INPUT THE CITY'S MILLAGE RATE AS FIVE-POINT-EIGHT INSTEAD OF FIVE-POINT-SIX.
HOWARD SAYS THE INCORRECT BILLS WERE MAILED ON MONDAY... AND THAT THE TAX OFFICE IS WORKING TO SEND OUT NEW BILLS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
HE SAYS PEOPLE LIVING IN THE CITY SHOULD DISREGARD THE TAX BILL THEY'VE RECEIVED... AND WAIT FOR A CORRECTED BILL TO ARRIVE IN THE MAIL.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS... YOU CAN CONTACT THE MONROE COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONERS OFFICE AT 478-994-7020.
AGAIN... 994-7020.

A MILLEDGEVILLE BUSINESS MAN WANTS YOUR VOTE... FOR PRESIDENT.
HE'S ALREADY REGISTERED AS A CANDIDATE WITH THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION... BUT HE CALLS HIMSELF A-POLITICAL... AND BELONGS TO NO PARTY.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... THIS CANDIDATE SAYS HE'S GOT A DIFFERENT AGENDA... THAN SOME OF HIS OPPONENTS...EVEN IF IT LASTS FOR JUST 100 DAYS.
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Nats, turning page

JEFF BLOCK SAYS WHEN VOTERS CHECK HIS NAME FOR PRESIDENT...

Nats, typing

THEY'LL BE VOTING FOR A REVOLUTION.

Jeff Block, Milledgeville: "One of the things I would do would be to close down the House of Representatives, we don't need a bicameral government, we don't need two chambers."

Nats, sorting through stuff

THE 56-YEAR-OLD FAMILY MAN STARTED A PAPER ROSE BUSINESS 12 YEARS AGO... AND SAYS SOMEONE WITH NEW IDEAS... SHOULD BE IN OFFICE.

Nats, printing

AFTER GETTING RID OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES... HE PLANS TO ADD A PANEL OF 151 EVERYDAY PEOPLE TO VOTE ALONGSIDE THE SENATE... SOMETHING HE COMPARES TO JURY DUTY.

Jeff Block: "I don't think it's a people problem, I think it's a system problem. You can put good people in a bad system and you still get bad results."

HE SAYS HIS CANDIDACY IS NOT A RESPONSE TO OCCUPY WALL STREET...IN FACT... HE DESCRIBES THE RECENT PROTESTS AS SHOUTING FOR A CHANGE.... THAT ISN'T REALISTIC.

Jeff Block: "It's like asking a patient to take out a scalpal and perform surgery on themselves, it's not going to happen."

BUT HE SAYS IN A 100 DAY PRESIDENCY... HE COULD GIVE THE GROUP A VOICE.

Jeff Block: "The idea is I'm a torch passer, I'm not there to pass policy, I'm not there to give speeches, I'm there to create a new system of government, and when that new system of government is in place, I resign."

BLOCK SAYS DURING THOSE 100 DAYS... HE'D WORK ALONGSIDE PRESIDENT OBAMA... AND SAYS HE ENVISIONS THE COUNTRY BEING RUN BY THREE PRESIDENTS AT A TIME.

AFTER THAT... HE'LL GET BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL...

Nats, making rose

AMY AUBERT 13 WMAZ EYETWITNESS NEWS.
>> BLOCK IS ONE OF MORE 200 PEOPLE WHO'VE REGISTERED WITH THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION FOR THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL RACE.
HE ADMITS THAT WINNING THE 2012 ELECTION COULD BE A STRETCH... BUT SAYS HE PLANS TO RUN FOR YEARS TO COME.

CONSOLIDATION OF MACON AND BIBB COUNTY GOVERNMENTS COMES UP BEFORE THE BIBB COUNTY STATE LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION NEARLY EVERY YEAR.
KEY ISSUES SUCH AS THE SIZE OF A CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT AND WHETHER THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL SHOULD BE APPOINTED OR ELECTED... SLOW THE PROCESS.
DURING THIS YEAR'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION... TWO CONSOLIDATION BILLS SURFACED... ONE IN THE SENATE AND ONE IN THE HOUSE.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO INCLUDED THE SIZE OF COUNCIL.
THE SENATE BILL CALLED FOR ELEVEN MEMBERS... THE HOUSE BILL CALLED FOR NINE.
ON THE LAST DAY OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION IN APRIL... STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE SAID THE ISSUE MAY BE BOGGED DOWN... BUT IT'S NOTDEAD YET. Allen Peake, State Representative: It's still in play. We can still move forward on a consolidation plan next session, because we had agreed that we weren't going to do a referendum vote until November of 2012. REPRESENTATIVE PEAKE AND REPRESENTATIVE JAMES BEVERLY NOW JOIN RANDALL SAVAGE TO GIVE US AN UPDATE ON CONSOLIDATION.. AND THE CHANCES OF A BILL GETTING THROUGH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEXT YEAR.
RANDALL TALKS WITH DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE JAMES BEVERLY AND REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE

VOLUNTEERS FROM UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL GEORGIA FIRED UP THE GRILL TODAY ON MULBERRY STREET IN MACON... AS PART OF THEIR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN.
THEY SOLD BARBEQUE AND PULLED PORK SANDWICHES TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR THE ORGANIZATION.
SHANTA GILMORE WITH UNITED WAY SAYS THE GROUP HOPED TO RAISE 15-HUNDRED DOLLARS FROM TODAY'S COOKOUT.
SHE SAYS ALL THE MONEY THEY RAISED... WILL GO TOWARDS HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED.IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
Shanta Gilmore United Way Event Coordinator "We have a great need in our community to help the homeless the shelters the food banks and all these founds go in to help.
UNITED WAY WILL ALSO HOLD A BOOK FAIR NEXT THURSDAY AND FRIDAY FROM 9 A-M UNTIL 4 P-M AT THE BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OFFICE.

SOME COLLEGE STUDENTS TRIED THEIR HAND AS SCIENCE TEACHERS AT VINEVILLE ACADEMY TODAY.
THEY SPARKED OFF A DEMONSTRATION... AS PART OF NATIONAL CHEMISTRY WEEK.
GEORGIA COLLEGE CHEMISTRY CLUB MEMBERS PAID A VISIT TO THE SCHOOL... TO SHOW STUDENTS THAT SCIENCE ISN'T SO SCARY.
THE KIDS LEARNED HOW TO PUT A SHARP STICK THROUGH A BALLOON WITHOUT POPPING IT... AND WATCHED LIQUIDS CHANGE COLOR.
TORY IVEY SAYS SHE ENJOYED SHOWING THE KIDS THE FUN SIDE OF HER FAVORITE SUBJECT.
THE CLUB ALSO VISITED UNION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL... NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL AND ALEXANDER TWO MAGNET SCHOOL THIS WEEK.


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