0

Grand Jury Presentments

09-AA-0044

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2009

GRAND JURY-

PANEL B

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

JACQUELYN R. WEST,

FOREPERSON

JUDY SIMONS,

VICE FOREPERSON

ALLISON WALLACE,

CLERK

CHRISTOPHER ROBERT FRAZIER,

DEPUTY CLERK

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2009

GWINNETT COUNTY

GRAND JURY

PANEL B

THE MARCH, 2009 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury consisted of the following members:

Jacquelyn R. West,

Foreperson

Judy Simons,

Vice Foreperson

Allison Wallace,

Clerk

Christopher Robert Frazier,

Deputy Clerk

1. Jacquelyn R. West, Foreperson

2. Judy Simons, Vice-Foreperson

3. Allison Wallace, Clerk

4. Christopher Robert Frazier, Deputy Clerk

5. Clyde Black

6. James Edward Butler, Jr.

7. Cheryl B. Clark

8. Li Xin Cronin

9. Johnnie Fowler

10. Dewey Winston Hay

11. Kim Isley

12. Victoria Iurilli

13. Helen Jones

14. Jason Joseph

15. Dane Kelly

16. Kathryn Langston

17. Steven R. Maehr

18. Susan Oldfield

19. Robert Pettett

20. Senada Prljaca

21. Jeffrey Collins Snyder

22. Denzer Taylor

23. Loan N. Ton

The Gwinnett Grand Jury of March, 2009 through September, 2009, heard and reviewed testimony in approximately 500 cases. These cases were investigated by the Gwinnett County Police Department and local city police departments within the county. They were prepared for presentation to the Grand Jury by the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office led by Mr. Danny Porter. This Grand Jury Panel made true, just and unbiased decisions on indictments based on the cases we heard.

This Grand Jury- Panel B wishes to make our findings and recommendations known based on the evidence that was presented to us over the last several months. We had the opportunity to listen to presentations from several experts regarding the following:

GANGS

This Grand Jury expresses its appreciation to Investigator Jose Diaz for his presentation on gangs in Gwinnett County. We appreciate his insight on inter-gang workings and making us aware of gang activity in our community. The Grand Jury recommends that the Gwinnett Police Department continue to combat illegal gang activity and to educate Gwinnett citizens about this activity.

The Grand Jury was made aware of the increasing cooperation between criminal street gangs and drug distribution organizations. Based upon this information, the Grand Jury recommends that the Gwinnett County Commission provide the necessary funding to assign additional officers to anti-gang enforcement activities by the Gwinnett County Police Department. The Grand Jury also recommends that whenever possible, inmates at the Gwinnett County Detention Center who are known gang members be confined separately from inmates who are members of known drug distribution organizations. It is the opinion of the Grand Jury that this arrangement would help prevent contact and cooperation from developing.

DRUG TASK FORCE

The Grand Jury would like to thank Major Jim Wilson from the Gwinnett County Drug Task Force for his presentation on drug enforcement. We were impressed to hear how Gwinnett County is trying to keep drugs out of our community and like to commend the officers for their hard work. There does appear to be a shortage of officers on the Drug Task Force and we would like to recommend additional officers be assigned to the Drug Task Force.

The Grand Jury is concerned that, based on the cases which were presented, a significant portion of the drugs sold in Gwinnett County are being imported by organized drug rings. This concern is the basis of the recommendation for more officers.

GWINNETT COUNTY

DETENTION CENTER

During the course of the Grand Jury's service, several cases involved inmates being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center. The Grand Jury requested a tour of the facility. The Sheriff R. L. "Butch" Conway, greeted us. He gave us some valuable information on the inmates at the jail as well as the jail itself. After a guided tour that covered every section, we found the facility to be immaculate. The inmates were well mannered; the open pod design provided efficient use of personnel in maintaining authority and control over the populations.

IMMIGRATION

ENFORCEMENT

The Grand Jury is aware of a cooperative immigration enforcement plan between the Gwinnett County Sheriff and federal authorities known as 287(g). The Grand Jury commends the Sheriff and encourages continued participation in this program to remove illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Gwinnett County.

The Grand Jury heard several cases involving crimes alleged to have been committed by illegal immigrants. The Grand Jury believes the jails are overcrowded as a result. We would encourage Gwinnett County to explore any and all options for more expedited deportation. Also would recommend more ICE agents statewide.

RONALD REAGAN

EXTENSION PROJECT

The Grand Jury looked into the contract for the study to extend Ronald Reagan Parkway and conclude the 1.4 million is an excessive amount for this type of study and further conclude the extension is unnecessary. Several jurors live and drive in this area and feel there is no need for this extension and no need for a toll road in this area.

The Grand Jury investigated whether or not there is a conflict of interest between the law office of Gwinnett County Commissioner Bert Nasuti and Skanska, USA, the company awarded the contract to do the Ronald Reagan extension study.

Based on written testimony of both Bert Nasuti and Brian Allen, Gwinnett County Director of Transportation, no conflict of interest was found.

ANIMAL CRUELTY

The Grand Jury, after hearing cases during our duty, feel the penalty for animal cruelty cases is not severe enough. We feel that offenders should serve time in custody rather than probationary sentences. We feel animal cruelty left unpunished leads to further cruelty including spousal abuse and child abuse.

APPRECIATION

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

~ Mr. Mark Henderson who served as Grand Jury Bailiff during our term- he is the ultimate professional.

~ District Attorney Danny Porter, Chief Assistant District Attorney Phil Wiley, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Lisa Jones, and the entire staff of the District Attorney's office for the professional and capable assistance they provided to this Grand Jury

~ Sheriff R. L. "Butch" Conway and his staff for their work at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

~ Finally, the Grand Jury wishes to extend sincere appreciation and thanks to each and every Gwinnett County police officer, Deputy Sheriff and local city police officer for the jobs they do everyday in protecting, serving and enforcing laws in our county. The Grand Jury believes that the law enforcement professionals of Gwinnett County are the finest in the state and we commend them for their dedication and commitment. The Grand Jury appreciates those officers who are prepared to present testimony in their cases. Proper preparation assists the Grand Jury in making the difficult decisions required of us. The Grand Jury would encourage every officer to adequately prepare their testimony prior to their appearance.

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. Shirley Lasseter, 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

Senator Don Balfour

State Representative Bobby Reese

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 Karen E. Beyers, 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

Honorable Warren 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

Done this 3rd day of September, 2009.

By the Grand Jury

-s- JACQUELYN R. WEST

JACQUELYN R. WEST,

FOREPERSON

-s- CHRISTOPHER ROBERT FRAZIER,

DEPUTY 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.

This 3rd day of September, 2009.

-s- HONORABLE, KAREN E. BEYERS

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-07603279,9/17@

09-AA-0044

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH 2009

GRAND JURY-

PANEL A

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, SR.,

FOREPERSON

CARYN MCGARITY,

VICE FOREPERSON

KIMBERLY WOOD,

CLERK

YVONNE PEARSON,

DEPUTY CLERK

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2009

GWINNETT COUNTY

GRAND JURY

THE MARCH, 2009

Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury

consisted of the

following members:

William Schneider,Sr.,

Foreperson

Caryn McGarity,

Vice Foreperson

Kimberly Wood,

Clerk

Yvonne Pearson,

Deputy Clerk

1. William Schneider, Sr., Foreperson

2. Caryn McGarity, Vice-Foreperson

3. Kimberly Wood, Clerk

4. Yvonne Pearson, Deputy Clerk

5. S.R. Archer, Jr.

6. Bonnie M. Aycock

7. Duane Stewart Barker

8. Timothy Michael Davis

9. Stirling R. Docterman

10. Judy Fulkerson

11. Janna Michelle Geaman

12. Alan D. Hansen

13. Lyudmila Horbulewicz

14. Hugh B. Matterness

15. Theresa J. Mohlenhoff

16. Mark Kwang Rhee

17. Wanda Tallent Smith

18. Robert Thielemann

19. Mary Lou Trammell

20. Betty Warnock

21. Tom Wescoat

22. Martin J. Wildes

23. Jane Willingham

The Gwinnett County Grand Jury of March, 2009 through September, 2009, heard and reviewed testimony in approximately 500 cases. These cases were investigated by the Gwinnett County Police Department and local city police departments within the county. They were prepared for presentation to the Grand Jury by the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office led by Mr. Danny Porter. Without question, we have gained a new perspective and increased knowledge of the law and the court system as it exists in the state of Georgia and in Gwinnett County. Having experienced these opportunities, we have a greater understanding of the processes used to gather and evaluate evidence presented against a defendant, allowing us to make true, just and unbiased decisions regarding indictments.

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

GWINNETT COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX AND POLICE ACADEMY

Several Grand Jury members were taken on excellent tours of the Gwinnett County Pre-Trial Detention Center, the Gwinnett County Correctional Complex and the Gwinnett County Police Training Center. These tours were done in one afternoon and we would like to thank the officers and staff for their hospitality and for sharing their collective knowledge and experienced.

1.

Grand Jury members found the Pre-Trial Detention Center or jail to be efficiently managed despite over-crowded conditions. We found the facility to be clean and well-maintained. The Grand Jury commends Sheriff Conway and his staff for rising to the challenge of controlling a large diverse inmate population. The diversity of the population causes problems with cultural and language differences which make the management of the facility difficult. The Sheriff and his staff seem to be handling these problems well.

2.

The Gwinnett County Correctional Complex is a facility which holds sentenced inmates and work release inmates. We found the facility to be clean and well-run. This facility and its staff face many of the same language and cultural problems which occur at the jail. We commend Warden D.W. Peek and his staff for their management of the Correctional Complex and their efforts at prisoner rehabilitation and preparation of the prisoner for assimilation back into the community.

3.

The members of the Grand Jury also toured the Gwinnett County Police Training Center. This facility is designed to provide police officers in Gwinnett County with all of the skills necessary for them to do their jobs. From academics to physical fitness and from firearms training to driving skills, the Training Center and its staff do an excellent job training new recruits and experienced officers. We commend all of the Training Center staff for their work keeping up the standards of excellence we expect from our law enforcement professionals.

The opportunity to tour the Police Training Center, the Jail, the Correctional Complex, the Information Technology Department of the County, the Treasury, the Clerk of Superior Court and the Probate Court, as well as hearing the testimony of numerous police officers has allowed the members of the Grand Jury to experience the continuum of the criminal justice system and of different departments of Gwinnett County Government. From training to investigation to arrest to detention to incarceration, each agency plays a vital part in keeping Gwinnett County citizens safe. The Grand Jury recognizes the contributions made at each step of the process and urges citizens to become more familiar with the system as a whole.

GANGS

The Grand Jury expresses its appreciation to Investigator Jose Diaz for his informative presentation on gangs in Gwinnett County. Investigator Jose Diaz is clearly knowledgeable and cited examples from his extensive experience to provide insight on gang activity in our community. The Grand Jury wishes to commend the members of the Gwinnett County Police Department Gang Unit and concludes that each successful case that the unit delivers has a direct impact in maintaining and improving the quality of life for our citizens and our community. The Grand Jury strongly recommends that the Gwinnett Police Department continue to combat illegal gang activity and to educate Gwinnett County citizens about this activity.

The Grand Jury was made aware of the increasing cooperation between criminal street gangs and drug distribution organizations. Based on this information, the Grand Jury recommends that the Gwinnett County Commission consider the negative impact on citizens before reducing funding. We strongly recommend that the Commissioners provide the necessary funding to assign additional officers to anti-gang enforcement activities by the Gwinnett County Police Department.

DRUG TASK FORCE

The Grand Jury would like to thank Major Bart Hulsey and Major Jim Wilson from the Gwinnett County Drug Task Force for their presentation on drug enforcement. From examples that Majors Wilson and Hulsey provide during their presentation we learned of a dedicated, professional, and expert drug task force working in Gwinnett County for the safe of our citizens.

The Grand Jury recommends that this vital aspect of our county government continue at current levels of funding. It is apparent from the number of drug cases presented and the activity related to organized drug rings that additional officers are required. It is further recommended that sufficient funding be provided to purchase appropriate equipment needed to ensure the officers' safety.

HOMELAND SECURITY

The Grand Jury would like to thank Alan Doss for his presentation on Homeland Security. Mr. Doss described the expert plans that could quickly became an implementation plan for mobilizing safety efforts in the event of a disaster. Another key component of this department is the close cooperation with agencies of the federal government to supplement and complement county resources and efforts. This Grand Jury recommends continued funding for this department as an investment in our future safety.

Members of the Grand Jury believe that citizen involvement is an important component to homeland security. However, oftentimes citizens are not aware who to call to report suspicious activity or an emergency. The Grand Jury recommends that a list of contact numbers be printed on Gwinnett County water bills since most citizens receive a water bill This would provide citizens with a convenient way to have contact numbers to report an emergency to the appropriate authorities.

REQUEST FOR

INVESTIGATION INTO

STADIUM LAND

ACQUISITION AND

CONSTRUCTION

The Grand Jury received a request from George Anderson to investigate multiple alleged issues of impropriety around the land acquisition and construction of the minor league baseball stadium in Gwinnett. While many people in the county may have differing opinions on the wisdom of spending money on the stadium and inducing the Braves AAA affiliate to relocate to Gwinnett, none of the activities alleged in the request mandated an investigation..

EFFICIENCY

The Grand Jury recommends that witnesses who testify before the Grand Jury be prepared to deliver their testimony succinctly and concisely. This would allow the Grand Jury to receive the pertinent information in the most efficient manner allowing the Grand Jury to reach a decision fairly and expeditiously.

To this end, the Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney develops and provide training in a "testimony checklist" which would allow witnesses to make sure all pertinent information is provided to the Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury also recommends that individual grand jurors be provided access to pertinent statutes and, if necessary, case citation upon request. This would allow grand jurors to review the law for themselves prior to rendering a decision in a case.

TIMELESS

The Grand Jury heard a number of cases in which there appeared to be a delay between the commission of the crime and its presentment to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury recommends that each police agency and the District Attorney's office review their policies and monitor cases to ensure that cases, especially with accused persons in jail, are presented in a timely manner and without unnecessary delay.

APPRECIATION

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

~ Mr. Robert Hettesheimer who served as Grand Jury Bailiff during our term- he is the ultimate professional.

~ District Attorney Danny Porter, Chief Assistant District Attorney Phil Wiley, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dan Mayfield, and the entire staff of the District Attorney's office for the professional and capable assistance they provided to this Grand Jury

~ Finally, the Grand Jury wishes to extend sincere appreciation and thanks to each and every Gwinnett County police officer, deputy Sheriff and local city police officer for the jobs they do everyday in protecting, serving and enforcing laws in our county. The Grand Jury believes that the law enforcement professional of Gwinnett County are the finest in the state and we commend them for their dedication and commitment.

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. Shirley Lasseter, 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 Karen E. Byers, 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

Honorable Warren 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

Warden D.W. Peek, Gwinnett Correctional Complex

Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County Schools

Done this 9th day of September, 2009.

By the Grand Jury

-s- Caryn Mcgarity,

CARYN MCGARITY, VICE FOREPERSON

-s- KIMBERLY WOOD,

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, KAREN E. BEYERS

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-07603278,9/17@