By The Outsider
We were sent the following photo from an inside source at The Marble Palace showing commissioner Alvin Mason dining with Wilbert "Butch" Gallop of Gallop and Associates and Jorge Jiminez of ZEL Engineers(435 Telfair, St Augusta) at Longhorn Steak House following a regular commission meeting on December 5th, 2012. (article continues below photo)
We did a series of articles over a year ago that questioned Gallop's track record as a consultant on city projects. Gallop also is on the payroll of ESG, the firm that runs the city's waste water treatment plant, pulling in around $2,500 a month for that gig. We have yet been unable to ascertain exactly what service of value Gallop provides as a "community liason". Gallop is a fixture at The Marble Palace. He is at nearly every commission and committee meeting and many people actually think he is a city employee (well to a certain degree he is with all of these consulting gigs he has lined up with the city and its contractors).
Alvin Mason, and other commissioners, have been under fire recently for taking perks from Heery, such as Atlanta Falcons skybox tickets and paying for monthly community constituent breakfasts. Heery, Gallop and commissioners did not report these gifts and perks, citing that state ethics law (notoriously weak in Georgia) does not require them to do so. Heery and Gallop also made sizable campaign contributions to Mason and other commissioners, even in non election years. Now this could be nothing more than a photo showing 3 good friends having dinner. But based on all that has come out regarding Heery, Gallop, and "pay for play" allegations against commissioners, we have to ask, just what is Mason's relationship with Gallop? How does Jorge Jiminez and ZEL Engineers fit into the picture? And how many other steakhouse dinners occurred following commission meetings, and who paid for them? Inquiring minds want to know.***