Investigative Reports - Summaries

Atlanta's Planning Department Opts for Cover-Up


Click here for the full report: City of Atlanta Planning Department Opts for Cover-up

The Tree Next Door has now received additional information that leads us to believe that instead of investigating the fraud, the Department of Planning is attempting to cover it up. Records missing from the database record upon our last examination have now been entered in “after the fact”, with one employee going so far as to note - in writing - that he closed out some of Domengeaux’ records “for [the] Open Records request” and “at the request of the Commissioner”.

In June 20, 2010 City Field Arborist Stan Domengeaux issued a permit to remove an oak tree at 40 Montgomery Street because it “bowed over house on right of property,” according to Domengeaux' own inspection notes.

But there's just one problem.  There is no house on “right of property", and hasn't been for at least a couple of years.  40 Montgomery Street is a vacant lot situated between two other vacant lots.

This and other glaring instances of fraudulent inspection reports filed by Stan Domengeaux have been cited on this website since September 20.  Furthermore, Domengeaux has a documented history of falsifying inspection records in both his field book and database records (see City Arborist -- Falsification of Documents, Ethics Office Investigative Report, Case Number CO-06-024).

On October 6, both Planning Commissioner James Shelby and City COO Peter Aman promised to investigate our claims of fraud.  But with the latest information received via an Open Records request with the City, we question just how seriously they are investigating anything.

   

Unanticipated, Unexplained and Incongruous Data Emerges


Click here for the full report: Unanticipated, Unexplained and Incongruous Data Emerges; An Addendum to the Field Arborist Productivity Report

Stan Domengeaux, one of the City's two remaining field arborists -- after others resigned or were let go earlier this summer due to budget shortfalls -- appears to have not amended his ways since he was disciplined with a suspension without pay in 2006 for "padding" his field book and daily reports with false inspection records.  A September 20, 2010 addendum to the Arborist Productivity Report notes that five months (January - May 2010) of Domengeaux' field notes have inexplicably vanished.  (A comprehensive field book is required to be maintained by each field arborist according to the Standards of Practice and is considered to be a legal document that is the property of the City of Atlanta.)

The Tree Next Door has received a copy of Domengeuax' field notes from June 4 -30, 2010 which reveal that :

  • 75% of the work Domengeaux claims in his daily field book entries is not documented in the database record.
  • Domengeaux entered a DDH tree removal permit at 2830 Alston Dr. SE into the database on June 9, but according to his field book he inspected he tree on June 30.
  • Site visits to 26 of the properties Domengeaux claims to have inspected but are not in the database record show that over half of these properties are either vacant or non-existent.

Another Open Records request has been made to examine the Requests for Service that prompted the 101 inspections Domengeux' field notes claim he made in June 2010 but do not appear in the database record.

For more detail, please see the full report submitted as an addendum to the Arborist Productivity Report.

   

City of Atlanta Field Arborist Productivity Report


Click here for the full report:  COA Field Arborist Productivity, January – June 2010: A Report to The Tree Next Door

The COA Arborist Productivity Report, published in September 2010, was commissioned by The Tree Next Door as part of our independent analysis of the Arborist Division's performanceIn response to the report, The Tree Next Door called for an independent audit of the functioning of the Arborist Division in a letter sent to Mayor Kasim Reed on September 17, 2010.

On September 20, an addendum to this report was published, documenting the performace issues of field arborist Stan Domengeaux.

   

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