LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has completed its examination of the arrest of Gwinnett County Chairman Charles Bannister, and it now sits on the desk of District Attorney Danny Porter for a decision.
Porter said Thursday that he expects to decide by early next week if criminal charges will be levied against the sheriff's deputies that arrested Bannister June 28 on now-debunked DUI charges.
"I've glanced through it, I've been briefed on it, but I haven't read it in detail," Porter said.
Porter said he will be in court all day Monday, but hopes to have a decision on the "two inches thick" report by Tuesday or Wednesday, at which time the report will become public.
After receiving the GBI's findings several days ago, Sheriff Butch Conway said he has read the report. In connection with Porter's decision, Conway will be deciding whether or not any in-house discipline will be necessary.
"I don't know at this point what I'm going to do, if anything," Conway said Thursday. "I'm sure something will be done. Certainly I don't see any criminal intent by our deputies. Maybe poor judgment, so I'll have to deal with that."
Receiving a call from a customer at Cafe Hot Wing in Lilburn on the night of June 28, Deputy Michael G. Cummings observed Bannister for an hour before pulling him over and arresting him for driving under the influence, despite Gwinnett's top elected official blowing zero on a breathalyzer test.
Bannister later declared that he would be "completely exonerated," and he was. An expedited blood test showed no alcohol in his system at the time of his arrest.
After publicly apologizing to Bannister, Conway asked the GBI to investigate his deputies' actions.
Several weeks later, Conway and Porter will have to make a decision on their findings.
"I didn't see anything that surprised me," Conway said.