Long-serving DeKalb commissioner Boyer resigns

8/25/2014, 5:52 p.m.
Elaine Boyer, DeKalb’s longest serving Commissioner, announced Aug. 25 that she has resigned from office.

Elaine Boyer, DeKalb’s longest serving commissioner, announced Aug. 25 that she has resigned from office.

Boyer, who is the target of a federal investigation into how DeKalb commissioners spend taxpayer money, told Channel 2 Action News on Monday that she was stepping down immediately.

“It’s a very hard decision, and I’m heartbroken and saddened, but I need to resign,” said Boyer, who represented District 1 and served for 20 years. Boyer was the board’s sole Republican member.

“I’ve betrayed the people and I’ve abused my position of power,” she continued, “and so I feel like I need to do this and publicly acknowledge that I’m ending my position today as of 5 o’clock.”

Boyer did not detail what she had done but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said federal prosecutors in June had subpoenaed purchasing card records, including invoices and receipts, from all DeKalb County commissioners as well as nearly 300 county employees.

The federal investigation followed Atlanta Journal-Constitution stories in March exposing how Boyer had rung up more than $12,000 in personal expenses with her county purchasing card. Her purchases included airline tickets, a ski resort booking, rental cars and personal cell phone bills.

The AJC investigation identified other questionable spending totaling more than $90,000.

Boyer’s resignation caught DeKalb county officials off guard Monday afternoon.

“Normally a board member doesn’t resign in this fashion,” said spokesman Burke Brennan, referring to Boyer’s announcement on live TV.

In a statement issued at 5:40 p.m. Monday, Interim CEO Lee May thanked Boyer for her long service but gave no details about how her seat will be filled.

“Recent news stories notwithstanding, Elaine Boyer has faithfully served the constituents of District 1 and DeKalb County for over 20 years. It is my sincere hope that her resignation will allow the healing process to begin and open the door for a new voice on the Board of Commissioners. I wish her the best,” said May.

Boyer had two years left, with her term due to expire in 2016.

In addition to the federal investigation, the county launched its own spending audit on July 7 looking into 10 years of purchase-card expenditures.

Please check back for updates.