By: Pat Fox, Reporter for Georgia Weekly Post
Six months after he was indicted, the former chief of staff to DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer has been cleared of felony charges.
Bob Lundsten was indicted last April on six counts of theft by taking and three counts of making false statements.
The charges came one month after his former boss was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison on one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Federal prosecutors charged that Boyer received more than $75,000 in illegal payouts through a kickback scheme with a vendor.
Boyer was also ordered to pay $87,000 in restitution.
Lundsten was never charged in association with the federal case against Boyer. He was accused of passing off about $240 in charges on his government-issued Visa card to retailers, such as UPS and Kroger, as office expenses.
“They were all dismissed, and he pled to misdemeanors for obstruction of a police officer,” said Lundsten’s attorney Jay Strongwater. “It had nothing to do with theft, nothing to do with the original charges,” he told Georgia Weekly Post.
Lundsten pleaded to three misdemeanors relating to mistakes on receipts. As part of the plea agreement Lundsten will serve 250 hours of community service and one year on probation. He was also ordered to pay $305.95 in restitution, which his attorney said has already been paid. Probation will terminate on completion of his community service.
▲ Bob Lundsten, Because of his close ties to Boyer, Lundsten’s name often surfaced amid the federal and county investigation into corruption in the DeKalb County Commission. But federal prosecutors never leveled charges against him.
Bob Lundsten has been involved in local and county politics for close to 30 years, as a resident zoning expert volunteer, president of the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association, DHA Zoning adviser, DeKalb County Planning Commissioner and Board of Appeals member.
Because of his close ties to Boyer, Lundsten’s name often surfaced amid the federal and county investigation into corruption in the DeKalb County Commission. But federal prosecutors never leveled charges against him.
Lundsten has said the County Attorney’s charges focused on three receipts out of the more than 800 receipts and documents he voluntarily submitted to investigators.
County Attorney Robert James, himself, was recently questioned about expenses he rang up on his expense account and agreed to pay $1,914 for cost overruns on his meal allowance. James has said there is no connection to his oversights – which he corrected – and his prosecution of Lundsten.