Ethics complaint filed by Gerald Sullivan against Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam 04/12/10

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Nydia Tisdale
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Ethics complaint filed by Gerald Sullivan against Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam 04/12/10

Post by Nydia Tisdale » January 31st, 2017, 9:55 am

From: Nydia Tisdale [mailto:nydiatisdale@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 7, 2012 4:15 PM
To: Echols, Kathleen T.; Clark, Charity D.; Butler, Logan
Cc: Jarrard, Ken
Subject: ORAR: Gerald Sullivan v. Commissioner Brian Tam 04.12.2010

September 7, 2012

Kathy Echols, Clerk
Charity Clark, former Clerk
Logan Butler, Counsel
Forsyth County Board of Ethics
110 East Main Street
Cumming, GA 30040


Dear Ms. Echols, Ms. Clark and Mr. Butler:

As Clerk and Counsel to the Forsyth County Board of Ethics, I submit to you an Open Records Act Request (ORAR) pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Law [O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 et seq.] for all public records related to the ethics complaint filed against Commissioner Brian Tam by citizen Gerald Sullivan on April 12, 2010.

This request includes, but is not limited to: the complaint, evidence, findings, decision, correspondence, emails, public notices, agendas, minutes, audio recordings, and visual recordings.

If this request is denied in whole or in part, you are required by O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(h) to cite in writing the specific statutory exemption upon which you have relied, as required by law. Please release all separate portions of otherwise exempt material. Please provide this information electronically, via email.

Please waive any costs associated with this request, or first inform me about such costs as required by Georgia law.

As you know, the Law requires a response by you within three business days of your receipt of this letter and provides sanctions for non-compliance.

Thank you in advance for your timely reply.


Regards,

Nydia Tisdale
nydiatisdale@hotmail.com
1240 Oakhaven Drive
Roswell, GA 30075
770-594-2300 phone
404-316-8888 cell
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cc: Ken Jarrard, Forsyth County Attorney

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Nydia Tisdale
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RE: ORAR: Gerald Sullivan v. Commissioner Brian Tam 04.12.10

Post by Nydia Tisdale » January 31st, 2017, 10:00 am

From: Echols, Kathleen T. <KTEchols@forsythco.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 4:47 PM
To: 'Nydia Tisdale'
Subject: RE: ORAR: Gerald Sullivan v. Commissioner Brian Tam 04.12.2010

Nydia – Attached is the information you requested. The time spent to respond to your request was less than 15 minutes so there is no charge. As you stated the law requires a response within 3 business days of your request. Your request was received Friday, 09/07/12 at 4:15 p.m. Today’s response (09/11/12 at 4:47 p.m.) falls within the 3 days. Please let me if you need anything further.

Kathy Echols
Personnel Services
770/781-3088

16 Attachments

2010-05-05 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Complaint

2010-05-06 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Ethics Complaint Notification

2010-05-07 Supplemental Information for Forsyth County Board of Ethics

2010-05-20 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Ethics Additional Complaint Info Notification.

2010-05-21 Gerald Sullivan Complaint Acknowledgement Letter

2010-06-04 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Affidavit

2010-06-04 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Complaint Response

2010-06-14 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Complaint Response

2010-06-21 Gerald Sullivan Additional Evidence Submission for Brian Tam Complaint

2010-06-22 Gerald-Sullivan Additional Evidence Submission for Brian Tam Complaint

2010-06-25 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Attorney Letter

2010-06-28 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Ethics Additional Complaint Info Notification

2010-07-13 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Notice of Called Meeting

2010-07-13 Gerald Sullivan Notice of Called Meeting

2010-07-19 Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam Attorney Response

2012-05-02 Letter to Joey Homans re Dismissal Forsyth Board of Ethics Sullivan

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Nydia Tisdale
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Tam’s BackStage Food & Spirits, Cumming Ga.

Post by Nydia Tisdale » January 31st, 2017, 5:55 pm

Image
Tam’s Backstage restaurant in Cumming, Georgia. PHOTO CREDIT: Nydia Tisdale.

Tam’s Backstage restaurant is located in the original Cumming School House building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cumming Playhouse is on the top floor and Tam’s Backstage is on the bottom floor.

The property is owned by the City of Cumming. Mayor H. Ford Gravitt is the landlord.

Former Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam and his wife Kelly own Schoolhouse Holdings, LLC which operates the restaurant and is the tenant.

The potential conflict of interest — or the appearance of a conflict of interest — created by the landlord/tenant relationship between the city mayor and the county commissioner is the basis of an ethics complaint filed by Gerald Sullivan in 2010.

Several citizens repeatedly requested Commissioner Brian Tam to recuse when voting on matters regarding the City of Cumming.

Tam refused to recuse when voting on the intergovernmental water agreement between the county and the city. Tam’s Backstage restaurant received water from the city at no charge.

Tam refused to recuse when voting on the SPLOST [Special Local Option Sales Tax] proceeds percentage split between the county and the city.

Tam refused to recuse when voting on the LOST [Local Option Sales Tax] proceeds percentage split between the county and the city.

After three terms over twelve years, Tam did not seek re-election.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle recently appointed Brian Tam to serve on the Judicial Qualifications Commission (the body that judges the judges) — subject to approval by the Georgia State Senate.

Concerned citizens have flooded Cagle’s office at the Capitol with phone calls and emails requesting he reconsider his appointment of Brian Tam to the #JQC.

Casey Cagle’s phone number is (404) 656-5030 and his email is casey.cagle@ltgov.ga.gov.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Breaking News, Brian Tam Pending Appointment

Post by Nydia Tisdale » January 31st, 2017, 8:15 pm

From: [redacted]
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:34 PM
To: nydiatisdale@hotmail.com
Subject: Breaking News, Brian Tam Pending Appointment

Good Day

Just when we thought we had heard the last from former Commissioner Brian “high density” Tam, he has managed to finagle an appointment to a statewide ethics commission from longtime friend Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

That’s right, Brian Tam, the subject of ethics complaints and fines from the State Ethics Commission, has been appointed to a judicial ethics commission. You can't make this stuff up.

As you know, Brian Tam has fought against our efforts for sensible growth in Forsyth County. This appointment will give Tam increased influence at the state to fight against us and our cause.

We need your help.

CALL TO ACTION: Please click on the link below to send an email to the Senators/LT Governor requesting their NO Vote. This will just take a minute of your time.

Please ... send an email opposing the appointment of Brian Tam to the Judicial Ethics Commission.

As a reminder, in his 12 years as a commissioner, Tam has shown total disregard of Forsyth Citizens:
  • • Voted for hundreds of apartments in Forsyth County.
    • County debt increased from under $100M million to approx $1 Billion
    • Proposed the largest tax increase in the history of Forsyth County
    • Removed from chairmanship for "bullying" and "heavy handed" tactics.
    • 65% of Forsyth Children in overcrowded schools
    • Voted to waste $24 million to widen Castleberry Road while others sit in gridlock
    • Complicit in the transfer of wealth out of Forsyth County via LOST/SPLOST and Water Contract votes


Below are the email addresses, followed by the text of the email so you can manually enter into your email client.

casey.cagle@ltgov.ga.gov, info@senatoralbers.com, lee.anderson@senate.ga.gov, tonya.anderson@senate.ga.gov, Brandon.Beach@senate.ga.gov, ellis.black@senate.ga.gov, matt.brass@senate.ga.gov, Dean.Burke@senate.ga.gov, gloria.butler@senate.ga.gov, bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov, gail.davenport@senate.ga.gov, Mike.Dugan@senate.ga.gov, vincent.fort@senate.ga.gov, frank.ginn@senate.ga.gov, steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov, marty.harbin@senate.ga.gov, ed.harbison@senate.ga.gov, Tyler.Harper@senate.ga.gov, billheath@billheath.net, stevehenson@mindspring.com, Hunter.Hill@senate.ga.gov, jack.hill@senate.ga.gov, judson.hill@senate.ga.gov, Chuck.Hufstetler@senate.ga.gov, lester.jackson@senate.ga.gov, donzella.james@senate.ga.gov, rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov, Burt.Jones@senate.ga.gov, emanuel.jones@senate.ga.gov, harold.jones@senate.ga.gov, john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov, greg.kirk@senate.ga.gov, william.ligon@senate.ga.gov, David.Lucas@senate.ga.gov, p.k.martin@senate.ga.gov, jrm2016@yahoo.com, Fran.Millar@senate.ga.gov, butch.miller@senate.ga.gov, jeff.mullis@senate.ga.gov, nan.orrock@senate.ga.gov, elena.parent@senate.ga.gov, chuck.payne@senate.ga.gov, michael.rhett@senate.ga.gov, valencia.seay@senate.ga.gov, david.shafer@senate.ga.gov, freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov, jesse.stone@senate.ga.gov, horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov, Bruce.Thompson@senate.ga.gov, curt@curtthompson.com, blake.tilery@senate.ga.gov, lindsey.tippins@senate.ga.gov, Renee.Unterman@senate.ga.gov, larry.walker@senate.ga.gov, ben.watson@senate.ga.gov, john.wilkinson@senate.ga.gov, michael.williams@senate.ga.gov

Honorable Senators & Lt Governor,

We are humbly requesting you to vote no on Mr. Brian Tam's nomination to the Judicial Qualification Committee. This committee is chartered to "conduct investigations and hearings with respect to complaints of ethical misconduct by Georgia judges and is also authorized to issue Advisory Opinions regarding appropriate judicial conduct."

The rule of law is the cornerstone of the American system, and the way of life that we enjoy in Georgia. We do not believe Mr. Tam meets the standards necessary to effectively serve in this important role.

As you may know, in his tenure as a member of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, then Commissioner Tam was subject to ethics fines and surrounded by numerous controversies. Those with ethics violations themselves should not be entrusted to judge the ethics of others. Additionally, Mr. Tam has been fined for late or nonexistent campaign finance disclosures. Shockingly, one of these fines remains unpaid to this day. This adds lack of transparency to the community's concerns over ethics and proves Mr. Tam has little regard for the rule of law.

Our State Senator, Michael Williams has also identified problems with Mr. Tam stating Tam was identified with "a laundry list of broken promises and double talk."

Senator Williams eloquently stated: "It is time that someone stood up to Brian Tam on behalf of the Citizens of Forsyth County. I will no longer remain quiet and watch as one individual bullies, intimidates, and destroys our community. He has proven time and time again that he will put his own interests above that of the community."

It is not only Senator Williams who has observed these characteristics. During his tenure on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Tam was a lightening rod of controversy known for his bullying and heavy handed methods. A patch.com article said the following after his fellow board members ousted Commissioner Tam from his position as Chairman, "For the past year, Forsyth County commissioners have complained, anonymously, about what they describe as Chairman Brian Tam's "bullying" and "heavy-handed" methods in getting his way. Thursday, they did something about it.”

If Mr. Tam, who has been recognized as a “bully" by his peers and a sitting State Senator, cannot be trusted to act responsibly in his own community, then how can he be trusted to do so at the state level?

As is happening nationally, there is a move afoot in Georgia, and especially in Forsyth County, to put the citizens in control of government versus special interests and the “Establishment.” Ethics is at the core of that movement, and we do not believe Mr. Tam fits. We believe Tam did not run again for Commissioner because polling showed his unfavorable to favorable rating was about 2-1 in his District with many concerned with his ethics complaints and reputation.

Accordingly, I call on you to vote NO on Mr. Tam's nomination to the Judicial Qualification Committee. Thank you in advance.

Signed:

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Nydia Tisdale
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City of Cumming and Tam’s Backstage Restaurant

Post by Nydia Tisdale » January 31st, 2017, 10:30 pm

Open Records Act Request Pertaining to City of Cumming and Tam's Backstage Restaurant Located at 215 Ingram Avenue, Cumming, Georgia

August 25, 2006 (Page 39)

The water meter at the Cumming Playhouse has not been operational since the Playhouse was purchased by the City in 2004. Although water passed through the meter, the dial has not recorded the usage since the City purchased the building.

The Distribution and Collection Division opted not to repair the meter since it was a City meter.

September 2006 (Page 36)

Water Meter at 101 School Street repaired September 2006.

City assumes cost.

There is one meter at the site.

Attached are consumption records from 9/2006 to date.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Forsyth Commissioner Brian Tam delivered $11M Cumming bill

Post by Nydia Tisdale » February 1st, 2017, 5:00 pm

$11.4M City of Cumming water bill hand-delivered by former Commissioner Brian Tam to Forsyth County in 2012.

Image

Forsyth County News reported today Tam has declined the nomination to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Image
Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam at an October 9, 2012 work session.

Nydeo still by Nydia Tisdale.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Former Forsyth Commissioner Brian Tam resignation letter JQC

Post by Nydia Tisdale » February 3rd, 2017, 3:45 pm

Brian Tam Resignation Letter from JQC Judicial Qualifications Commission


Brian R. Tam
January 30, 2017

Dear Chairman Tolley,

It was a privilege for me to attend the first meeting of the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Committee and to have the honor of meeting you and the other commission members.

Unfortunately, after further consideration of the meeting schedule presented and possible travel involved over the next 6 months, I feel it best that I not serve on this commission at this time.

When I decided not to seek a fourth term on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, I stated that I wanted to take some time this year to be with my family, focus on my existing businesses and be more involved with my newest restaurant that opened this past June. This facility opened for lunch earlier this month to a terrific response and will require more of my time than I had anticipated when I accepted this nomination.

Please let this letter serve as my formal resignation from the Judicial Qualifications Committee effective immediately.

Respectfully,

Brian R. Tam


[Please note: the addresses were redacted.]

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Casey Cagle’s First JQC Appointee Brian Tam Quits, Immediately Replaced

Post by Nydia Tisdale » October 22nd, 2017, 6:00 pm

Cagle’s First JQC Appointee Quits, Immediately Replaced

The lieutenant governor’s first appointee to the state Judicial Qualifications Commission has resigned after only one meeting in the face of a campaign by his former constituents to defeat his confirmation.

By R. Robin McDonald February 01, 2017 Originally published on Daily Report Online

Image
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (John Disney/Daily Report)

The lieutenant governor’s first appointee to the state Judicial Qualifications Commission has resigned after only one meeting in the face of a campaign by his former constituents to defeat his confirmation.

Former Forsyth County commissioner Brian Tam—appointed to the JQC effective Jan. 1 by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle—notified chairman Edward Tolley earlier this week that he was stepping down prior to his state Senate confirmation. Cagle spokesman Adam Sweat said J. Paul Holmes was appointed to replace Tam. Holmes, spouse of state Rep. Susan Holmes, R-Monticello, formerly chaired the state Technical College System board as an appointee of Gov. Sonny Perdue. Holmes is co-founder of Life of the South Insurance Co. and a former star football player for the University of Georgia.

In a Jan. 30 resignation letter to Tolley that Tam forwarded to the Daily Report, Tam said he based his decision on the JQC’s meeting schedule and possible travel associated with the volunteer job. Tam said his resignation, first reported Wednesday in the Forsyth County News, was effective immediately. Tam had completed his third term as a Forsyth County commissioner in December and did not seek reelection.

State Sen. Josh McKoon, who unsuccessfully fought the constitutional amendment to abolish the constitutionally independent agency and give the General Assembly sole authority to recreate it, said he has been inundated with hundreds of emails daily from Tam’s former constituents opposing his confirmation.

Forsyth community Facebook pages highlighted citizens groups urging people to contact their legislators and oppose Tam. McKoon called the email volume “without precedent.” “These were clearly people who really don’t like this guy who were sitting behind a computer typing up a unique message,” McKoon said. “The guy has got some significant opposition in his home county.”

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Is it true he has declined before the senate could vote?

Post by Nydia Tisdale » October 22nd, 2017, 6:12 pm



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Rob Fox Is it true he has declined before the senate could vote?
February 1, 2017 at 1:19pm






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