DeKalb picks permanent purchasing director

Scott CallanThe leader brought in to fix DeKalb County’s troubled Purchasing Department has been given the job permanently.

Scott Callan is now DeKalb’s full-time director of purchasing and contracting after doing the job on an interim basis since April. He replaced Kelvin Walton, who was removed from the post after he admitted lying under oath.

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May on Oct. 27 appointed Callan, who previously served as Gwinnett County’s purchasing director.

Callan has already overhauled the county’s purchasing policy, helped implement changes to how county employees use charge cards and reorganized the department by laying off nine employees.

“DeKalb County has had some issues to overcome, and we have addressed these head-on,” Callan said in a statement. “With our new policies and procedures in place, we are poised to proceed with the highest level of transparency and accountability.”

A consultant’s study conducted for the county earlier this year found the Purchasing Department used outdated systems, lacked transparency and relied on paper instead of computer software. The study found that DeKalb took nearly a year — 348 days on average — to sign a contract once it calls for bids.

Walton, who had been suspended with pay since April, resigned Oct. 7. Walton admitted in court that he had lied when he told a special grand jury he said he didn’t solicit unpaid work from a landscaper who had a tree removal contract with the county at the same time.

Callan had been paid $72,960 for his six-month interim role. His permanent salary wasn’t readily available. Walton had been paid a $153,000 salary.