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Warrants issued for DeKalb Commissioner

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A DeKalb County Commissioner who made history with her 2008 election to the board is wanted in Gwinnett for deposit account fraud, according to arrest warrants.

Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, who oversees a constituency of 150,000 in DeKalb's District 4, is accused of writing bad checks totaling $1,370 to wholesaler Costco.

Sutton allegedly wrote checks between $208 and $382 to a store on Venture Drive in Duluth over consecutive days in January 2007. The checks later bounced at Wachovia Bank, the company claims.

Despite a notification letter dated Feb. 26 2007, Sutton has made no attempt to render payment to the company, according to warrants issued in January 2008. Sutton is charged with four counts of deposit account fraud.

A message left at Sutton's Decatur office was not returned Thursday.

Gwinnett Magistrate Court representatives said Costco had contacted the court and planned to recall the warrants for Sutton's arrest.

A spokesperson at the Duluth Costco location said loss prevention officials weren't aware of any warrants being recalled, but the company's policy is to keep information pertaining to legal matters confidential.

Records show Sutton was arrested in 1999 on similar charges in Gwinnett after a Stone Mountain business, West Building Supply, claimed she'd written bad checks. Sutton later pleaded no contest, court records show.

Sutton won a landslide election in 2008 to become DeKalb's first black woman to serve as a commissioner, according to the county's Web site. A seasoned educational advocate, she teaches with the DeKalb County School System in business and career technology instruction.

Sutton was slated to host a forum in Stone Mountain last week for local Haitians and others wanting to help the earthquake-ravaged nation.