Hey, remember when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Cobb County Commission Chair Tim Lee had secretly hired a lawyer to negotiate with the Atlanta Braves to move to his county, without even telling his fellow commissioners? Last week, Lee denied having hired attorney Dan McRae, a defense that would have worked out much better if not for the AJC then uncovering an email from Lee to McRae appointing him the county’s project and bond counsel on the stadium project. From a Cobb Chamber of Commerce email account, so it would be harder to trace. Oops.
“I am passing on to you the following provided by Chairman Tim Lee on behalf of Cobb County and its entities, ” the email says. “The county confirms the attorney-client relationship between it and Seyfarth Shaw as its project counsel/bond counsel for Project Intrepid.”…
The email from Mathis to McRae does not specify a limited role or how long the arrangement would continue. And in making the deal, Lee unilaterally waived a stated conflict of interest — Seyfarth was representing the Braves’ parent company on an unrelated legal issue in California.
(Project Intrepid, seriously? Because he could hear the screams of hundreds of minds dying, perhaps?)
Lee has now responded by saying he’s going to refuse all interview requests from the AJC, because a newspaper looking at the emails of an elected official just isn’t fair. Especially when he went out of his way, you know, to hide them.
Too soon to say whether this opens up the Braves stadium plan to any additional legal challenges, but it sure isn’t good news for Lee, who — you will be shocked to learn — is currently the subject of an ethics investigation.