The Clayton County Board of Commissioners is set to vote on a proposed six-month, $87,000 contract with a company owned by former Warner Robins city administrator David Corbin, who resigned in February after being suspended for signing a payroll company contract without council approval.
Corbin’s company, Terminus Municipal Advisors LLC, is offering “Finance Advisory Service” under PSA #22-174 and is Item 6 on tonight’s consent agenda. The Clayton Crescent was unable to find a copy of the document by press time.
Corbin served as the City of Atlanta’s Chief Financial Officer for 18 months from 1999 to 2002 under Mayor Bill Campbell. He worked for the city through his company, Terminus Financial Advisors, LLC, as a financial advisor to the City of Warner Robins for four years before being hired as city administrator.
As part of that deal, WMAZ reported, “In the council meeting on March 1, when councilmen voted to appoint Corbin as city administrator, council also agreed his compensation would be what he already gets through Terminus LLC, plus an additional $5,000 for negotiations if necessary. Mayor Toms says Warner Robins currently is paying Terminus about $120,000 a year. But though Corbin was just selected as city administrator, Mayor Toms says they’re having conversations about Warner Robins’ long-term relationship with both Terminus LLC and Corbin.
“‘I don’t think there will be a conflict at all,’ Corbin said.
“‘We’re going to be taking it piece by piece. Can we keep Terminus on contract? Can we keep David as an employee? Can they commingle or can they not? We’re looking into all those issues,'” Toms said.”
On February 1, WMAZ reported, the new mayor, LaRhonda Patrick, suspended Corbin for two weeks without pay for signing a $347,003.54 payroll services contract with governmentjobs.com—a job search site—without mayor or council approval:
Corbin resigned on February 22 without stating any reason in his letter to Human Resources.
In June 2017, according to the Houston Home Journal, Terminus was getting $1,000 a month from Warner Robins. By May 2019, that fee was $10,000 per month. However, the council did not vote to amend the original contract until August 2019—three months later.
Also in 2017, Terminus presented Douglas County with a proposal to serve as municipal advisor. That document notes Corbin’s title as managing director. The company president is listed as Matthew Arrington. The document listed as references the City of Newark, State of Georgia (GSFIC), Birmingham Water Works Board, Rockdale County, City of Union City, Macon Bibb County, Spelman College, City of Columbia, S.C., and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. For Douglas County, the company proposed a flat fee of $40,000 plus expenses “from other parties related to the transaction,” adding, “The municipal advisor fee would be payable from bond proceeds and only invoiced to the County upon successful completion of the transaction.”
Arrington, along with former Housing Authority of Clayton County Executive Director Wade Starr, represented HACC in the 2020 Flats at Mt. Zion deal to build 216 affordable-housing units in conjunction with the Board of Commissioners and the Clayton County School Board. Arrington is listed on HACC’s minutes as the board’s “financial advisor.”
Under the Campbell administration at Atlanta City Hall, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, “Corbin left behind some questionable accounting practices, according to city officials, as well as a murky, unresolved 2001 budget and a 2002 budget with a possible $90 million hole. In addition, the computer and television in his office appeared to be missing, sources at City Hall said.”
According to the Chronicle, “[Mayor Shirley] Franklin acknowledged in a press conference Jan. 9 that federal investigators had examined some computers at City Hall. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is conducting an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in city government.”
Specific issues included questions about the city pension fund, problems with the city payroll system, an unfunded 50-percent increase in the police pension fund, and “questions why city employees were apparently told to stop paying invoices on Dec. 1.” According to Anderson, “The concern is that some of this was not typical.”
But in a January 2002 op-ed in the Chronicle, Corbin said he had increased the city’s bond rating, improved accounting practices, and commissioned an outside audit of several departments that found $100 million in potential savings.
When he left Atlanta, according to The Bond Buyer, Corbin helped found a company called TrinityAdvisors. In 2003, he sold it to Raymond James and Associates: “Trinity advises major municipal issuers on their internal policies such as accounting procedures as well as their debt-management policies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but officials said the arrangement entailed Raymond James buying only the debt-management side of Trinity, with Trinity continuing its other management consulting work.”
The proposed contract between Terminus and the county comes nearly one month after Clayton County Chief Financial Officer Ramona Bivins’ contract was not renewed and her current contract was terminated effective immediately. Voting for the actions were Commissioners Alieka Anderson, Felicia Franklin, and Gail Hambrick. No reason has been given yet for Bivins’ firing.