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Grand Jury Presentments

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2007

GRAND JURY-

PANEL A

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

JEAN ANN REBER,

FOREPERSON

MYRA AICHA BASCARO,

VICE FOREPERSON

WENDY CHERYL

DAVIDSON,

CLERK

DANA GARDNER,

DEPUTY CLERK

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2007

GWINNETT COUNTY

GRAND JURY

THE MARCH, 2007,

PANEL A session of

the Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

consisted of the

following members:

Jean Ann Reber,

Foreperson

Myra Aicha Bascaro,

Vice Foreperson

Wendy Cheryl

Davidson,

Clerk

Dana Gardner,

Deputy Clerk

1. Jean Ann Reber, Foreperson

2. Myra Aicha Bascaro, Vice-Foreperson

3. Wendy Cheryl Davidson, Clerk

4. Dana Gardner, Deputy Clerk

5. Ann Marie Appuzo

6. George C. Betzner

7. Angelia Leann Boucher

8. Donna Sue Brownlee

9. Larry Rush Burks

10. Walter Andrew Camp

11. Ruchell Alicia Castello

12. Charles E. Gibson

13. Marjorie E. Gonzalez

14. John Steward Hetrick

15. Nancy M. Hurst

16. Dorothy Ann Mack

17. Patricia L. Montana

18. Nayaba A. Oduware

19. Christopher J. Palframan

20. Jane Park

21. Rajeshkumar Sureja

22. Wendy Thounhurst

23. Cynthia C. White

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

Panel A of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury of March, 2007, received testimony in approximately 500 criminal cases. These cases were investigated by Gwinnett County law enforcement, various city police departments, and prepared for presentation to the Grand Jury by the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office. We have learned many things in our short time as grand jurors, both in the rule of law and the application of that law to individual cases. We have appreciated the time and energy spent by the District Attorney's Office in guiding us to understand our role. In doing such they have allowed us to make true and just decisions regarding indictments.

The Grand Jurors wish for Gwinnett County citizens and all others addressed through publication to know our specific recommendations.

LAW ENFORCEMENT PAY

The Grand Jury was made aware of an apparent disparity between the starting pay of Gwinnett County police officers and that of Gwinnett County deputy sheriffs. We also understand that this gap is closing and when interviewing Gwinnett County Sheriff, R.L. "Butch" Conway, we were pleased to hear that, in the Sheriff's opinion, the issue was being addressed. With that said, we must state that we still believe that these men and women deserve the best law enforcement pay in the State of Georgia. In order to attract the best qualified law enforcement officers the Grand Jury recommends that the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners increase starting pay for all law enforcement officers in Gwinnett County. The high level of professionalism, dedication and understanding of their role in society was clearly demonstrated as we reviewed case after case.

DETENTION CENTER

Several issues arose regarding the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

The Grand Jury toured the Gwinnett County Detention Center and in general the Grand Jury would like to comment on the very efficient and safe design of the Detention Facility. This should serve as a model for all new construction and design of future detention centers and jails in Gwinnett County. The design allows for better order and control of the inmates in the detention area and for a safer environment for the deputies.

During our visit we were surprised to learn that the new wing of the facility, capable of housing approximately 1,470 inmates, was built and ready for housing, yet remained partially empty due to staffing shortages. This appears to be an inefficient use of tax dollars. Inmates were being housed three persons in a two person cell, in some areas when adequate housing was available but not utilized. The Grand Jury believes that the relatively low pay referred to above is the primary cause of this staffing shortfall. The Sheriff's Department is simply not able to attract a sufficient number of qualified new employees given the relatively low pay of entry level positions. This subject should be addressed and rectified.

The Grand Jury was surprised by the cases of illegal drug use by some inmates in the detention center. We suggest that those responsible for monitoring entry into the facility review their current methods to determine how to stop the entry of illegal drugs into the facility. We recommend:

1. In the inmate visitor area, the holes in the plexiglas between the visitor and the prisoner should be plugged and a phone system be installed in its place. The holes allow visitors to push items, such as drugs, through the holes and to the prisoners.

2. Drug detecting dogs should randomly inspect outside vendors as they arrive at the facility for a delivery and employees as they arrive at the facility for work.

3. Eliminate inmate kitchen workers access to outside vendors.

4. Perform random drug tests or searches, including the use of drug detecting dogs, on inmates who are allowed to leave the pod for work assignments inside or outside the facility.

5. Have drug detecting dogs stationed at the visitor pass-through area and have large signs at the entrance of the facility to notify all that the dogs are trained to detect drugs that may be smuggled into the jail.

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION

The Grand Jury was tasked with filling several vacant seats on the board. We were presented this task with little knowledge of how to proceed, what the role entailed and without a clear understanding of the potential results of our actions. We recommend that future grand juries be given a clearer understanding of what is involved in that job and the appointment process.

SCHOOL SYSTEM

FINANCIAL PROCEDURES

The Grand Jury was presented evidence, and reviewed records of the school system regarding some questionable financial transactions with the Gwinnett County School System. The Grand Jury appointed a committee of its members to review this evidence and provide recommendations. While we did not find direct evidence of knowledgeable wrongdoing on the part of any individuals, there seemed to be numerous instances of potential violations of both the letter and intent of the fiduciary responsibilities placed in the hands of some individuals working in the school system.

Allegations presented:

•Misuse of funding

•Violations of bidding procedures

•Conflict of interest between Gwinnett County School System and Target Market Trends

•Solicitation of school funds by Mountain Park Elementary School from all 105 schools for a retirement gift for a school improvement team member

•Shiloh High School's misuse of school money for conferences

•Dacula Middle School's misuse of school money for a conference

•Numerous schools failed to notify the Accounting Department of travel expenditures according to State law

•North Gwinnett High School entered into an agreement to pay installments for a loan obtained by the Booster Club

We are concerned that some members of the school system may not fully understand their obligations when it comes to the handling and disbursement of school funds.

We believe that the school system should do everything in it's power to communicate to all those who handle and are responsible for the oversight of school funds, the proper method of accounting for those funds.

We believe there should be clear set of guidelines for:

•the solicitation of funds from other schools

•the payment or reimbursement for school sponsored travel and related lodging costs

•understanding the state law regarding the reporting of travel expenditures

•determining if school funds may be used to pay for the cost of travel and/or lodging for a spouse on a school funded trip

•determining what constitutes a conflict of interest when it comes to the use of school funds

•the proper method of funding school improvements, specifically those requested by school booster organizations

•solicitation and collection of school funds for retirement gifts for employees of the school system should be discontinued

In general, we recommend that all school employees who deal with school funds remember that those funds are the funds of the citizens of Gwinnett County. This is an issue of public trust, and once broken, is very difficult to regain.

METAL RECYCLING

BUSINESSES

During the term, the Grand Jury heard many cases of theft of materials, especially copper. Those materials end up in paid recycling facilities. We believe this industry is not sufficiently regulated by state law. A detailed, enforced system of identification, fingerprinting and photographing, similar or identical to the system used in the pawn shop industry, should be implemented for the automotive scrap and metal scrap businesses. These new procedures would help deter theft and reduce the trade in stolen automobiles and metals.

GRAND JURY

PARKING AREA

The Grand Jury believes it is a simple matter to provide adequate parking for members of the Grand Jury. Twenty-three spaces marked only for members of the grand jury should be set aside for the days the Grand Jury meets between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. This should allow sufficient time for members of the Grand Jury to arrive and enter the justice center in a timely fashion.

FAMILY VIOLENCE

The Grand Jury would like to recommend that more efforts be made to communicate the law, consequences and available resources to reach out for help and support to the community at large in regards to family violence and abuse. This communication should be a bilingual document so as to also educate new residents that are unfamiliar with their rights and the law of the land.

APPRECIATION

The Grand Jury wishes to express our appreciation to the following individuals and organizations:

- Robert Hettesheimer who served as Grand Jury Bailiff during our term.

- District Attorney Danny Porter, Chief Assistant District Attorney Phil Wiley, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dawn Taylor, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dan Mayfield, and the rest of the staff of the District Attorney's Office for the knowledgeable and professional assistance they provided to this Grand Jury

- Sheriff R. L. "Butch" Conway and his staff for the job they do at the Gwinnett County Detention Center and the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center. The Sheriff runs a secure and efficient institution.

- Finally, the Grand Jury wishes to extend our thanks and appreciation to each and every Gwinnett County police officer, Gwinnett County deputy sheriff and city police officer for the job they do. The Grand Jury believes that the law enforcement professionals of Gwinnett County are the finest in the state and we commend them for the job they do every day.

In addition to the publication of presentments, we recommend that copies of these presentments be delivered to:

Mr. Charles Bannister, Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Lorraine Greene, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Bert Nasuti, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Kevin Kenerly, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Daniel J. Porter, Gwinnett County District Attorney

Honorable Dawson Jackson, Chief Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Michael C. Clark, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable William M. Ray, II, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Richard T. Winegarden, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Ronnie K. Batchelor, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Melodie Snell Conner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Debra K. Turner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable R. Timothy Hamil, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Tom Davis, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Chief C. M. Walters, Gwinnett County Police Department

Chief Randy Belcher, Duluth Police Department

R. L. "Butch" Conway, Gwinnett County Sheriff

Chief Roy Whitehead, Snellville Police Department

Chief Randy Johnson, Lawrenceville Police Department

Chief Dallas Stidd, Norcross Police Department

Chief Mike Jones, Suwanee Police Department

Chief John Davidson, Lilburn Department of Public Safety

Governor Sonny Perdue

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle

Senator Dan Weber

Senator Curt Thompson

Senator Steve Henson

Senator Renee Unterman

Senator David Shafer

Senator Gloria Butler

Representative Tom Rice

Representative Robert Mumford

Representative Pedro Marin

Representative Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.

Representative Bobby Reese

Representative Hugh Floyd

Representative Brian Thomas

Representative Michael Coan

Representative Clay Cox

Representative David Casas

Representative John Heard

Representative Donna Sheldon

Representative Len Walker

Done this 5th day of September, 2007.

By the Grand Jury

-s- JEAN REBER,

JEAN ANN REBER,

FOREPERSON

ATTEST:

-S- WENDY C DAVIDSON

WENDY CHERYL DAVIDSON,

CLERK

ORDER

The within and foregoing General Presentments of the Grand Jury, having been presented, it is ordered that the same be filed with the Clerk of this Court and spread upon the minutes thereof.

It is ordered that the General Presentments be published in the Official County news media, The Gwinnett Daily Post, as a legal notice, at least one time with costs to be paid from the general funds of Gwinnett County.

-s- HONORABLE TOM DAVIS, JUDGE

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

SEPTEMBER 5, 2007

912-06585089,9/13@

07-AA-0033

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2007

GRAND JURY-

PANEL B

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

ROBERT CAIN EDMONDS, JR.,

FOREPERSON

PETER H. SEE,

VICE FOREPERSON

JOYCE Y. LYTTON,

CLERK

PAUL LEADINGHAM,

DEPUTY CLERK

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2007

GWINNETT COUNTY

GRAND JURY

THE MARCH, 2007,

session of the

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

consisted of the

following members:

Robert Cain Edmonds, Jr.,

Foreperson

Peter H. See,

Vice Foreperson

Joyce Y. Lytton,

Clerk

Paul Leadingham

Deputy Clerk

1. Robert Cain Edmonds, Jr., Foreperson

2. Peter H. See, Vice-Foreperson

3. Joyce Y. Lytton, Clerk

4. Paul Leadingham, Deputy Clerk

5. Lonnie E. Allen

6. Helena T. Brown

7. Edward Francis Case, Jr.

8. Bruce Edwin Davis

9. Perry T. Eidson

10. Diane Carol Gump

11. Elaine N. Louviere

12. Nancy Jane Martin

13. Guadalupe Ojeda

14. Madonna Adella Owens

15. Michael John Paul

16. Rosemarie Pawenski

17. Richard Gregg Rishak

18. J. S. (Steve) Shelton

19. Benj William Smith

20. Lucille Watson Smith

21. Brenda A. Tartaglione

22. Edie R. Vantrease

23. Christopher Walrod

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

Panel B of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury of March, 2007 through September, 2007, received testimony in approximately 500 criminal cases. These cases were investigated by Gwinnett County and city police departments, and prepared for presentation to the Grand Jury by the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office. We have learned many things in our short time as grand jurors, both in the rule of law and the application of the law to individual cases. We have appreciated the time and energy spent by the District Attorney's Office in guiding us to understand our role. In doing such, they have allowed us to make true and just decisions regarding indictments.

The Grand Jurors wish for Gwinnett County citizens and all others addressed through publication to know our specific recommendations.

SCHOOL SYSTEM

FINANCIAL PROCEDURES

The Grand Jury was presented evidence, and reviewed records of the school system regarding some questionable financial transactions with the Gwinnett County School System. The Grand Jury appointed a committee of its members to review this evidence and provide recommendations. While we did not find direct evidence of knowledgeable wrongdoing on the part of any individuals, there seemed to be numerous instances of potential violations of both the letter and intent of the fiduciary responsibilities placed in the hands of some individuals working in the school system.

Allegations presented:

•Misuse of funding

•Violations of bidding procedures

•Conflict of interest between Gwinnett County School System and Target Market Trends

•Solicitation of school funds by Mountain Park Elementary School from all 105 schools for a retirement gift for a school improvement team member

•Shiloh High School's misuse of school money for conferences

•Dacula Middle School's misuse of school money for a conference

•Numerous schools failed to notify the Accounting Department of travel expenditures according to State law

•North Gwinnett High School entered into an agreement to pay installments for a loan obtained by the Booster Club

We are concerned that some members of the school system may not fully understand their obligations when it comes to the handling and disbursement of school funds.

We believe that the school system should do everything in it's power to communicate to all those who handle and are responsible for the oversight of school funds, the proper method of accounting for those funds.

We believe there should be a clear set of guidelines for:

•the solicitation of funds from other schools

•the payment or reimbursement for school sponsored travel and related lodging costs

•understanding the state law regarding the reporting of travel expenditures

•determining if school funds may be used to pay for the cost of travel and/or lodging for a spouse on a school funded trip

•determining what constitutes a conflict of interest when it comes to the use of school funds

•the proper method of funding school improvements, specifically those requested by school booster organizations

•solicitation and collection of school funds for retirement gifts for employees of the school system should be discontinued

In general, we recommend that all school employees who deal with school funds remember that those funds are the funds of the citizens of Gwinnett County. This is an issue of public trust, and once broken, is very difficult to regain.

METAL RECYCLING

BUSINESSES

During the term, the Grand Jury heard many cases of theft of materials, especially copper. Those materials end up in paid recycling facilities. We believe this industry is not sufficiently regulated by State law. In order to prevent the likelihood of stolen goods from being recycled, we recommend that the staff at metal recycling businesses do the following:

1) It needs to be determined where goods brought in by customers originated and where that customer obtained the goods from

2) Verification should come in written form such as original title, purchase invoice, sales receipt, etc.

3) When the original title of said property is not available, then surety bonds need to be furnished by customers prior to the business agreeing to buy the property.

4) If the value of property brought in by a seller is less than $100.00 dollars, then written verification mentioned above should not be necessary.

5) If an item or a combination of items from an individual customer recycled at such business during a period of thirty days and the value of such property is in excess of $500.00 such transaction(s) should be required to be reported to police within 10 working days.

6) Customers need to be identified by providing at least two types of identification with one of them being a picture I.D. Customers street address, not a post office box, needs to be provided including two daytime telephone numbers.

7) We recommend that any property sold to a metal recycling business be held for a minimum of 10 days before being disposed of by a purchasing business.

8) We recommend that a detailed system of fingerprinting and photographing, similar to that used in the pawn shop industry, be required for metal recycling businesses.

CULTURAL EDUCATION OF

THE NON-ENGLISH

SPEAKING PUBLIC

The Grand Jury has noticed a disproportionate number of non-English speaking persons, predominately Hispanic, committing crimes in Gwinnett County. It is important to look at other counties and cities in this country that have had the same problem and have dealt with it successfully. Programs should be developed that would bring toddlers, teens, and adult non-English speakers together so they would feel welcome and a part of our community.

Some suggested programs are:

1) before and after school programs

2) free English lessons for those who don't speak English

3) more Hispanic and bilingual police officers

4) more county personnel involved in these neighborhoods

5) urging churches to become involved in providing such programs

If the county does not act now, we will suffer in the near future with increased crime and decreasing population brought about by citizens moving from Gwinnett County.

GWINNETT COUNTY DRUG

TASK FORCE AND

GANG TASK FORCE

The Grand Jury heard presentations from both the Gwinnett County Drug Task Force and the Gwinnett County Gang Task Force. We commend the Drug Task Force for doing an excellent job of finding and shutting down marijuana grow houses. We believe more of these type houses could be identified if the public was alerted through the press as to what to look for in their neighborhoods.

We also commend the Gwinnett County Gang Task Force for the work they do in enforcing laws against gang activity and the efforts they make toward making Gwinnett County gang free. We suggest publishing a list of signs of gang affiliation for parents and those who supervise children in an effort to identify and eliminate gang involvement.

FAMILY VIOLENCE

The Grand Jury would like to recommend that more efforts be made to communicate the law, consequences and available resources to reach out for help and support to the community at large in regards to family violence and abuse. This communication should be a bilingual document so as to also educate new residents that are unfamiliar with their rights and the law of the land.

GWINNETT SCHOOL

RESOURCE OFFICERS

Because each School Resource Officer in Gwinnett County is responsible for policing all schools in the cluster each is assigned to, we recommend that Gwinnett County create more positions for school resource officers so that more than one resource officer is assigned to each cluster.

APPRECIATION

The Grand Jury wishes to express our appreciation to the following individuals and organizations:

- James Kilgore, who served as Grand Jury Bailiff during our term.

- District Attorney Danny Porter, Chief Assistant District Attorney Phil Wiley, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dawn H. Taylor, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney David Fife, and the rest of the staff of the District Attorney's Office for the knowledgeable and professional assistance they provided to this Grand Jury

- Sheriff R. L. "Butch" Conway and his staff for the job they do at the Gwinnett County Detention Center. The sheriff runs a secure and efficient institution.

- Finally, the Grand Jury wishes to extend our thanks and appreciation to all the law enforcement officers and personnel dedicated to protecting and serving the people of Gwinnett County. The Grand Jury believes that the law enforcement professionals of Gwinnett County are the finest in the state and we commend them for the job they do every day.

In addition to the publication of presentments, we recommend that a copy of these presentments be delivered to:

Mr. Charles Bannister, Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Lorraine Greene, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Bert Nasuti, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Kevin Kenerly, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Daniel J. Porter, Gwinnett County District Attorney

Honorable Dawson Jackson, Chief Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Michael C. Clark, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable William M. Ray, II, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Richard T. Winegarden, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Ronnie K. Batchelor, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Melodie Snell Conner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Debra K. Turner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable R. Timothy Hamil, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Tom Davis, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Chief C. M. Walters, Gwinnett County Police Department

Chief Randy Belcher, Duluth Police Department

R. L. "Butch" Conway, Gwinnett County Sheriff

Chief Roy Whitehead, Snellville Police Department

Chief Randy Johnson, Lawrenceville Police Department

Chief Dallas Stidd, Norcross Police Department

Chief Mike Jones, Suwanee Police Department

Chief John Davidson, Lilburn Department of Public Safety

Governor Sonny Perdue

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle

Senator Dan Weber

Senator Curt Thompson

Senator Steve Henson

Senator Renee Unterman

Senator David Shafer

Senator Gloria Butler

Representative Tom Rice

Representative Robert Mumford

Representative Pedro Marin

Representative Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.

Representative Bobby Reese

Representative Hugh Floyd

Representative Brian Thomas

Representative Michael Coan

Representative Clay Cox

Representative David Casas

Representative John Heard

Representative Donna Sheldon

Representative Len Walker

Done this 6th day of September, 2007.

By the Grand Jury

-s- ROBERT CAIN EDMONDS, JR.,

FOREPERSON

ATTEST:

JOYCE Y. LYTTON,

CLERK

ORDER

The within and foregoing General Presentments of the Grand Jury, having been presented, it is ordered that the same be filed with the Clerk of this Court and spread upon the minutes thereof.

It is ordered that the General Presentments be published in the Official County news media, The Gwinnett Daily Post, as a legal notice, at least one time with costs to be paid from the general funds of Gwinnett County.

-s- HONORABLE TOM DAVIS, JUDGE

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

SEPTEMBER 6, 2007

912-06585090,9/13@