Judge orders preliminary hearing in Columbus Parks and Rec criminal case

A Muscogee County Superior Court judge has ordered a preliminary hearing in the criminal case against former Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams and subordinate Herman Porter.

That hearing will be held Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. in front of Judge John Allen.

Attorneys representing Adams and Porter made the request Friday during a motion hearing in front of Allen.

The ongoing police investigation, which started in May, has produced three arrests. On Aug. 24, Adams and =Porter were arrested and charged with two felonies in connection of the misuse of more than $200,000 for a Nike-sponsored youth basketball team operated by the city. East Marietta Basketball Inc. Director of Basketball Operations William Fox was arrested in September and charged with one felony.

"I don't even necessarily know if there is a crime here," said Atlanta attorney Manny Arora, who is now one of two lawyers representing Porter.

None of the defendants have been indicted. The case could be taken to the grand jury before the end of the year, prosecutors said.

Attorney Shevon Sutcliffe Thomas said he wanted the hearing to get more information about the charges against his client Adams.

"The only thing my client knows is what he sees written in the paper," Thomas told the judge.

Before ruling on the request for a preliminary hearing, Thomas told the court that Adams had withdrawn his motion for a gag order in the case.

Thomas originally sought the gag order because “information has been leaking out left and right.”

Adams was fired from his $78,000 a year job for not being truthful to his supervisor, City Manager Isaiah Hugley.