Cobb chair really did hire secret lawyer on Braves deal, says email from Cobb chair

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.


4 comments on “Cobb chair really did hire secret lawyer on Braves deal, says email from Cobb chair

  1. Lucky for Lee the state ethics commission is broken beyond repair. There is a zero percent chance that he will face consequences at the state level. At the county or federal level? I’m going to guess this doesn’t violate federal law or is too small fry for them to bother. As for the county, he is responsible for getting the Braves out of the evil hated city out into the superior God fearing suburbs. He’s a hero there to most. In the end, he could probably admit to being given a free luxury box for life and still face no consequences. Such is life in the United Stadiums of America.

  2. I noted these 2 snippets from Tim Lee’s biography posted at: http://www.cobbcounty.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=443&Itemid=1113

    1. Lee completed courses ranging from financial management and government ethics to effective policy making. He also graduated from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute in 2004.
    2. He has served on the board of MUST Ministries. Lee is active with the Atlanta Regional Commission serving several committees and is chairman of ARC’s Ethics Committee. He is past chairman and current board member of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra (formerly known as Cobb Symphony Orchestra).

    Both of these snippets mention ‘ethics – Tim Lee and ethics – now that is funny!

  3. “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.” Oh WA, WA, WA….Tim Lee is now crying like the big crooked baby that he is now that he’s been caught red handed. “Just Isn’t fair….” HA, that’s funny! WHAT ABOUT USING TAX PAYER DOLLARS TO BUILD THE TIM LEE STADIUM THAT COBB COUNTY DIDN’T NEED!!!! That’s not fair since we didn’t get to vote on it. TIM LEE – YOU ARE A FOOL AND WILL BE VOTED OUT. START REVISING YOUR RESUMES COBB COUNTY BOC – YOU’RE ALL LOOSING YOUR JOBS!!!!!!

  4. The people don’t know that they want a stadium, and that they should dedicate their taxpayer dollars to it. It must be very frustrating for this official.