State investigating community service performed on private lot - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

State investigating community service performed on private lot

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ATLANTA -

The state confirms it is investigating a prominent Atlanta business group over its use of state community service workers to clean a private property in Midtown.

The action follows a FOX 5 report and pictures of court-ordered community service workers cleaning and clearing a lot at 17th Street.

Midtown Alliance's Wayne Mock confirmed that he approved the use of the community service state labor. He cited the fact that the city's code enforcement office cited the vacant office building.

"The city comes in and posts the property as unoccupied and dangerous and any person entering the property…and anybody that comes in can be arrested. It gives us the right to use community service workers on private property, which the city deemed a severe public safety issue," Mock told FOX 5 on Tuesday.

However, Sandra Thomas, a probation supervisor at the Georgia Department of Corrections, said that state probationers should not be used for private property. She questioned how the Midtown Alliance would have gotten approval to go outside normal protocol.

"They have to provide the information, and if that information has not been modified, and that judge has not signed off on that, then there would be a fine, and we would suspend them from the community program," Thomas said.

An official at Atlanta City Hall told FOX 5's Morse Diggs that they have no idea of the so-called extraordinary circumstances on 17th Street cited by Mock.  They said if there was something extraordinary there, they'd use the Public Works Department from the city and not state labor.

The Midtown Alliance did not return FOX 5's request for comment on Wednesday.

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