After publishing an article on the illegal foreclosure of Andrew Wordes’ — The Roswell Chicken Man’s — home, nextooze.com discussed the chain of events leading to the sale and foreclosure with Dora Hardeman, the mortgage holder. As verification, Jessica Szilagyi, a well-known Atlanta-area blogger, contacted Hardeman and confirmed the following information:
- Hardeman knew that Wordes was being harassed by the City of Roswell, and she was willing to take a loss on her property on Alpine Drive. Wordes had helped her on many occasions, and they had become friends. She helped pay the taxes on the property and waived mortgage payments while Wordes took the city to court and later sought legal counsel in his ongoing battle. Hardeman kept a ledger of the balances for when Wordes could, once again, begin payments.
- Hardeman sold her property to Arnold Wall, an individual from whom she received a note in lieu of payment. Hardeman told nextooze.com that the note was for $40,000 and contains the following stipulation: No payments would be made until either Wordes quit the premises or a year passed, whichever came first.
- Hardeman sold the property to Wall in Feb. 2011, and as of Feb. 2012 she had not received any money.
- In the Fulton County bill of sale for the property, in section B – Buyers Information, no Arnold Wall is mentioned; only Equity Trust Company. Additionally, the address given for said company is to a UPS store in Tucker, GA. Section C – Tax Computation displays all zeros in each category: Actual Value, Fair Market Value, Amount of Liens, Net Taxable Value, and Tax Due.
- In the correspondence published with this article, and through Hardeman’s own words, Vicki Barclay, a Code Enforcement employee, and Mayor Jere Wood contacted her regarding Wordes. The document in dated Dec. 13, 2010 — two months before Hardeman sold the property to Wall. Ultimately, Wall convinced Hardeman to sell him the property.
- Hardeman, an octogenarian, was widowed in 2007. By her own admission to nextooze.com, pressure from the city had become difficult to bear. Hardeman simply wanted to end an increasingly unpleasant situation.
“I would have never evicted Andrew,” Hardeman told nextooze.com and Szilagyi.
A recording of Szilagyi’s conversation with Hardeman will be uploaded next week.
The City of Roswell conducted its own investigation of Wordes’ alleged offenses and code violations. According to two other North Fulton cities, the investigation departed from proper protocol. Szilagyi said of those conversations: “I put a call into the City of Alpharetta and Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard called me back almost immediately. When questioned about their investigative protocols, he stated ‘If there is the potential for laws to be broken or is criminal in nature, it is outsourced, and an outside agency is asked to come in.’ He even went as far to say that when there is a question as to the handling of a situation, it is best to remove any question as soon as possible by outsourcing so as to not appear inappropriate. Specifically, he said ‘The City of Alpharetta is an open book.’ I also spoke with a clerk from the City of Milton who said that while they do call for internal investigations within the police department, something on a larger scale would be outsourced to the GBI.”
The City of Roswell, however, conducted its own investigation as indicated by the following e-mail exchange between Wordes and City Administrator Kay Love:
From: Kay Love
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 8:31 AM
Cc: Mayor Wood; Betty Price; David Davidson
Subject: RE: Meeting on Tuesday November 30
Good Morning Mr. Wordes:
My apologies, I misunderstood your question. I am “leading” the administrative investigation regarding the Code Enforcement issue. This is a personnel matter and that is why it is not appropriate for anyone else to attend the meeting with you other than legal counsel.
I have offered you several options regarding your statement. The last option that I offered you was to write your statement and get your attorney’s approval to submit to us. You can email the statement to me. This will eliminate any concerns that you have about meeting with City staff on this issue.
As I have stated in previous emails. I need to conclude the investigation this week and report out to the Mayor and Council. I will complete my report by end of business on Monday, December 6th and sincerely hope that you will provide a statement either in writing or by way of an in person meeting by that time. If not, I will complete my report using your public statement made on this issue at the Council meeting on November 29, 2010.
Regards, Kay Love
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 11:46 AM
To: Kay Love
Cc: Mayor Wood; Betty Price; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; RICHARD.HUBERT@CHAMBERLAINLAW
Subject: Re: Meeting on Tuesday November 30
I also received the email you referred to on Nov 17 and you just stated who would be at the meeting but didn’t mention or specify who is leading the investigation.
Since I am free to say anything to anyone I want in a free country and there won’t be any discussion of other information you have received why are you saying I can’t have a witness attend the meeting with me when I give my statement?
I am also requesting for the second time that you provide me with the Official City of Roswell Documents that dictate under what circumstances a Code Enforcement Employee is directed to call or contact a mortgage holder.
Respectfully, Andrew S. Wordes
In an upcoming report, nextooze.com will detail Wordes last weekend including the fatal explosion that took his life on Mar. 26.