GBI looks at police handling of official

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said DeKalb County police may have erred when they let a DeKalb County commissioner go after an accident even though she had outstanding warrants.

DeKalb County officials responded to an accident Wednesday evening involving DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Officers found she was wanted on four warrants issued a year ago by the Gwinnett County sheriff for bad checks.

''DeKalb should have reached out to Gwinnett to request confirmation (of the wanted person),'' Terry Gibbons, deputy director of the GBI's Georgia Crime information Center, told the newspaper. ''If it came to our attention that this wasn't done, we would certainly want the agency to look at their procedures and process to see if there were extenuating circumstances or retraining was needed for the officer.''

DeKalb County police spokeswoman Officer Mekka Parish on Saturday referred questions to the county CEO's office. County spokeswoman Shelia Edwards did not immediately return messages Saturday from The Associated Press.

Edwards told the newspaper Friday that police officials couldn't speak to the paper and she wouldn't release a copy of the police department's written procedure for handling wanted persons.

It still isn't clear why DeKalb County police didn't notify authorities in Gwinnett County.

Sutton said she was aware of the warrants, which were issued in January 2008 for bad checks written to Costco. According to the Gwinnett County sheriff's department, the checks were for $300 to $400 each.

Sutton repaid the retailer Thursday afternoon and then had Costco call a judge, who recalled the warrants. Magistrate Judge Gene Cantrell said there was no special treatment, adding: ''I didn't know who this person was.''