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Subpoenas for Kenerly pulled

Kevin Kenerly

Kevin Kenerly

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Gwinnett commissioner won't go before a grand jury investigating county land deals.

District Attorney Danny Porter withdrew subpoenas requesting documents and testimony from District 4's Kevin Kenerly, after Kenerly's attorney requested the motion be quashed.

The attorney, Walt Britt, said Kenerly was willing to cooperate with the investigation, but he felt the subpoena to be broad and overreaching.

While the documents had been prepared, Britt said he engaged in the motion to see if a judge would make the search more specific.

"If they are willing to talk, we are willing to talk," he said, explaining that he was concerned that in grand jury investigations, broad subpoenas can result in frivolous charges of false swearing and not producing documents. "It's kind of inexplicable," he said of the subpoenas.

But Porter said Britt's move contending Kenerly would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination was unusual. He said he was unwilling to grant Kenerly immunity to get the document.

"I did not want to be put in a position of granting Kenerly immunity, and I expect to be able to get the information in other ways," he said.

While Porter declined to discuss whether other commissioners have cooperated with the investigation, he said the only other motion to quash was from an appraiser, and attorneys negotiated to get the information.

The special grand jury was impaneled to investigate several questionable land deals for county roads and parks. Porter said the group decided to look into one transaction at a time, first investigating a deal to buy land to expand Rabbit Hill Park in Dacula, which is the transaction for which Kenerly's testimony was sought.

Porter declined to say if he would seek information from Kenerly when other transactions are discussed.

Kenerly, who has said he will not seek re-election for a fifth term this fall, did not return phone calls seeking comment.