Two years ago, I reported that Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly owned a parcel of land near the new Gwinnett Stadium, yet he did not make this public nor did he recuse himself from votes relating to the project. Yesterday, Commissioner Kenerly was indicted for allegedly having much more than a minor conflict of interest in several County land purchases (the stadium plot was not part of this investigation).
A Gwinnett County grand jury on Wednesday indicted the county’s longest-serving commissioner, Kevin Kenerly, on charges of bribery and failure to disclose a financial interest in two properties the county rezoned.
If convicted of all counts, Kenerly faces up to 22 years in prison.
The indictment says that Kenerly “directly or indirectly” accepted or agreed to accept 20 payments of $50,000 — totaling $1 million — as bribes for arranging for the county commission to buy a piece of unnamed real estate. The deal benefited developer David Jenkins and settled a lawsuit, although specifics about the purchase were not mentioned in the indictment.
Kenerly also was indicted on two misdemeanor charges for failure to disclose a partnership with D.G. Jenkins Development Corporation, which successfully sought county rezoning on two properties.
“I am going to plead not guilty and I am confident when the jury hears the facts, I will be cleared,” Kenerly told the AJC in a statement after the hearing.
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Charles Bannister was also questioned by the grand jury. He was not charged, but he abruptly resigned following his testimony.