It’s a not guilty plea for the former Director of Chatham Area Transit.
Chadwick Reese made an appearance in Federal court Wednesday to make that plea.
Reese and Joel Morris, the former CAT Director of Maintenance, were named in a nine count indictment accusing them of rigging cat contracts in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.
Both were fired from their positions with the bus service days after the indictment came out
Morris is making a plea deal with prosecutors, Reese still facing mail fraud and extortion charges.
SAVANNAH, GA- Within 24 hours when a federal grand jury brought down charges of a mail fraud scheme allegedly surrounding two directors at Chatham Area Transit, they have been suspended by the board of directors.
A grand jury says that over a period of more than a year and a half, CAT Executive Director Chadwick Reese and Maintenance Director Joel Morris used their positions to make money in exchange for awarding contracts.
“He has been suspended and no longer having any working contact or anything with the Chatham area transit authority,” says CAT board chairman Pete Liakakis referring to Reese.
The board announced after our interview with Liakakis that Morris would also be suspended indefinitely and Curtis Koleber would be selected as interim Executive Director.
News 3 combed through federal court documents surrounding the case. Reese and Morris face a total of nine counts that include alleged extortion and mail fraud practices dating back to April of 2014.
The jury also found specific checks requested to be received via mail by Reese and Morris in July, September and October that amounted to nearly $45,000 in kickbacks.
The trial and the charges, however, will not in turn affect the transit service according to chairman Liakakis.
“We are going to deliver the service that we have always done and it is just something that has occurred that we have been made aware of.”
Bond for both men is set at $50,000. if convicted they could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine each.
Federal prosecutors tell News 3 they are awaiting the judge to schedule an official date for sentencing.