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Grand Jury Presentments

10-AA-0144

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2010

GRAND JURY-

PANEL A

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

ANGELA GENTRY,

FOREPERSON

R. GREGG MCIVER,

VICE FOREPERSON

ALINE J. BURCH “A.J.”,

CLERK

LAURA BERRY,

DEPUTY CLERK

General Presentments of

the March, 2010

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

The March, 2010 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury consisted of the following members:

Angela Gentry,

Foreperson

R. Gregg McIver,

Vice Foreperson

Aline J. Burch “A.J.”,

Clerk

Laura Berry,

Deputy Clerk

Casimiro Arce

Lisa Bevins

Josephine Childree

Sammy Cordero

Jeffrey Doyle

Floyd Farabaugh

John Hankins

Marla Jill Harris

Thomas “Tom” McDonough

Christine Diana Meeks

James C. Morris, Jr. “Jim”

Nancy Myers

David R. O’Bryan

Wilbert R. Spencer

Jennifer Taaffe

Faye Waters

Jo H. White

Leonard Williams

James Withrow

The Gwinnett Grand Jury of March, 2010 through September 2010, heard and reviewed testimony in approximately five hundred cases. These cases were investigated by the Gwinnett County Police Department, State and Federal agencies 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. Having had this community experience, every member of the Grand Jury has a much better appreciation for the process used to gather and evaluate evidence presented against defendants and a greater understanding of the workings of our county.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S

OFFICE

The Grand Jury recommends that a list of glossary terms be created by the District Attorney’s office and given to each person selected for Grand Jury before the first session. This will assist the Grand Jury in becoming familiar with the terms before hearing testimony and could be reviewed as necessary; terms such as, battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, child cruelty (first, second, and third degree), etc.

During the term of service, the Grand Jury heard evidence in many cases where more than one year had passed since the date of arrest. In fact one case was three years old. The Grand Jury understands that while there may be a valid reason for a delay in an individual case, in general criminal cases should be handled expeditiously.

We recommend that the District Attorney review the operation of his office and the policies of the office to ensure that cases are presented in a timely manner.

Special thanks to Dan Mayfield, whose knowledge and expertise of the law made our deliberation easier. Mr. Mayfield was always available to us and followed up on any request the Grand Jury had. Also, special thanks to Mr. Robert Hettesheimer, who was always professional and courteous.

USE OF COUNTY

VEHICLES

During our term of service, the Grand Jury heard many cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol and its disastrous consequences. The Grand Jury is concerned about drinking while driving in general but we are especially concerned about drinking while operating county vehicles.

This Grand Jury recommends additional parameters regarding the operation and use of county vehicles. For the protection of county citizens, county employees and county financial resources we recommend a “zero tolerance” policy for alcohol use while using a county vehicle. This shall include but is not limited to county employees, vendors, contractors and elected officials. Failure to comply could result in termination, fines and or loss of use of county vehicles.

GWINNETT COUNTY

TRASH PLAN

On July 1, 2010, the citizens of Gwinnett lost their right to choose a service provider. In addition, businesses lost their right to compete for business. On that day, the trash service provider dictated by Gwinnett County Commissioners was forced upon the citizens of the county.

To make matters worse, the contracts were awarded without bidding. When Citizens select a service provider, most people make a decision based on a variety of factors that are important to them (e.g., cost, quality of service, reputation, etc). This freedom to choose a service provider based on criteria that are important to the people that pay for the service has been denied by the commission.

Furthermore, companies that work hard to earn the business of the citizens no longer have incentive to improve since they are no longer able to compete for business. How does this benefit the citizens of Gwinnett?

Lastly, the people in unincorporated portions of the county are now forced to pay for a service that they may not want or need. Worded another way, the government is taking money out of the pocket of citizens with the citizens having no voice in the matter.

It appears to the Grand Jury that supporters of this plan which seem to consist primarily of elected officials from the county and city governments rather than the majority of the citizens of the county have cited illegal trash dumping as a motive behind the mandate that forces citizens to pay for this service whether they like it or not. Rather than take responsibility for enforcing the laws, the county commission has decided to punish all of the citizens of the county. Instead, it is the opinion of the Grand Jury that the Gwinnett County Commission is basically ignoring the will of the people, ignoring the responsibility to fix the problem of illegal dumping, and forcing citizens of the county to pay for a service from a provider that they may not want or worse, pay for a service that they may not want at all.

In the opinion of the Grand Jury, this behavior by the county commission while within their statutory authority, goes beyond what would be appropriate as representatives of the citizens of the county. With this one change, our county government has eliminated competition between businesses, eliminated the freedom of the citizens to select a service company based on their own criteria, and forced citizens in the unincorporated portions of the county to pay for a service whether they want it or not. This change is a clear example of government expanding its role well beyond its limits. Does this sound like the type of government control that our founding fathers envisioned?

We strongly recommend that the decision by the Gwinnett County Commission on mandated trash service be overturned. We elect officials to represent the people, not to ignore them and abuse their power.

ILLEGAL

IMMIGRATION

One of the recurring issues that this Grand Jury observed relates to the problem of illegal immigration. We have seen where people are charged with serious crimes and flee the county to avoid prosecution. We heard cases by drug enforcement officials where Gwinnett County was being used as a hub for illegal drug distribution in the Eastern United States. Our law enforcement officers were routinely testifying on cases where the defendants were here illegally. We even got a glimpse into the business of helping illegal immigrants get drivers licenses.

Aside from the resultant increases in crime, illegal immigration is costing our county a tremendous amount of money. We spend taxpayer dollars to fund law enforcement in their investigations, apprehension, and prosecution of these criminals. In addition, citizens pay money to house these criminals in our jails.

Our judicial system appears to be overwhelmed. We routinely heard cases that were quite old, some dating back over a year ago. The burden of illegal immigration in this county is contributing to this problem. We would be curious to see the number of cases that involve illegal immigrants as a percentage to the total number of cases the county prosecutor handles each year.

Our federal government should be enforcing the immigration laws, protecting our borders, and thus protecting our sovereignty. at this time, our county must work to address this problem at a local level. We strongly recommend that the county consider adopting laws similar to the recent changes in Arizona that allow enforcement of the same federal immigration laws that are being ignored today.

DRUG TASK FORCE/

GANGS

Being a part of the Grand Jury of March 2010- September 2010 has been an informative, as well as enlightening experience. The Grand Jury has a better understanding of the laws which exists in the State of Georgia and also a deeper appreciation for the men and women of law enforcement. It is amazing to see how they use one piece of the puzzle, add another piece, then another piece, and later solve the crime.

The Grand Jury would like to thank Major Strickland and Mr. Diaz, who gave an overview of the activities of gangs and drug rings in our community. The officers who deal with these two areas are especially to be commended and thanked for the commitment and dedication to keeping our communities safe. In many cases, they put our safety above their own. With the increase of illegal drug activities, the Grand Jury feels there is a shortage of personnel on the drug task force and would recommend additional monies and/or personnel be given/added to this very important task force. Every effort should be made to keep them safe in their effort to remove these dealers from our streets.

FUNDING

INVESTIGATIVE TOOLS

The Grand Jury first wants to communicate our appreciation for the diligence and perseverance shown by the public safety officers and law enforcement personnel. We were impressed by the dedication of the employees of the county and each Gwinnett city. The public employees show determination to defuse danger and solve crimes.

A. We offer two recommendations to support these services.

1. We believe comprehensive recording of officers conversations with witnesses and suspects can maximize law enforcement effectiveness. We recommend that the County Commission, working with the District Attorney’s office, obtain an independent assessment of the extent of the use of law enforcement video-taping and audio-taping. An objective analysis could include the comparison of costs and benefits of alternatives. We believe comprehensive recording can support effective decisions related to potential arrests, indictments, and trial outcomes.

2. We believe translation services are crucial to protecting the public from drug trafficking-related criminal activity. For example: Translation appears necessary for effective surveillance. We recommend that the County Commission, working with the District Attorney’s office, obtain an independent assessment of law enforcement officers’ (and investigators’) access to interpreters. An objective analysis could include the comparison of costs and benefits of alternatives. We believe efficient access to translation services can support effective decisions related to potential arrests, indictments, and trial outcomes.

PROTECTION OF

INSTITUTIONALIZED

CITIZENS

We learned that some citizens live in institutions. Some of these citizens may not be in a position to resist the actions of institution staff, management, and medical professionals.

We also learned that, if institution management learns of crimes committed against adult residents, institution management has no duty to report such crimes to law enforcement.

For example: Suppose a male medical professional commits violations against adult women residents who lack capacity to defend themselves.

Suppose these same adult women residents lack capacity to recognize and report the violations.

It appears that the institution management can allow the male medical professional to

(a) avoid law enforcement consequences, and

(b) continue gaining the same access to potential victims.

We recommend the County Commission, working with the District Attorney’s office,

(1) explore all options for holding the institution management responsible, and

(2) prepare for public review a written report of

(a) the options,

(b) the County’s decision on each option, and

(c) the basis for each of the County’s decisions

We would also like to inform all County citizens that we heard many allegations of child molestation. In each case, the child’s mother apparently trusted the person who harmed the child. Crimes against children were alleged against close family friends, neighbors, people connected with church youth group leadership, and even family members.

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

Appreciation

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

• 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 have provided this Grand Jury. Special commendations to Robert Hettesheimer for his professionalism and support as the bailiff to the Grand Jury.

• We wish 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 every day 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.

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. 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

President of the Chamber of Commerce Jim Maran

Georgia House of Representatives members:

Tom Rice

Billy Mitchell

Pedro Marin

Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.

Bobby Reese

Hugh Floyd

Brian Thomas

Clay Cox

David Casas

John Heard

Donna Sheldon

Melvin Everson

Len Walker

Georgia Senate members:

Curt Thompson

Don Balfour

Dan Weber

Steve Henson

Renee Unterman

David Shafer

Gloria Butler

Done this 9th day of September, 2010.

By the Grand Jury

-s- ANGELA D. GENTRY

ANGELA GENTRY,

FOREPERSON

-s- R. GREGG MCIVER

ACTING 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 9th day of September, 2010.

-s- HONORABLE WILLIAM M. RAY, II

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-06614374,9/23@

10-AA-0144

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH, 2010

GRAND JURY-

PANEL B

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

CHARLES ROBINSON,

FOREPERSON

JERRY R. GOODIN,

VICE FOREPERSON

CHERONNE

BUTLER-IRELAND,

CLERK

TANISHA BROWN,

DEPUTY CLERK

General Presentments of

the March, 2010

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

The March, 2010 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury consisted of the following members:

Charles Robinson,

Foreperson

Jerry R. Goodin,

Vice Foreperson

Cheronne Butler-Ireland,

Clerk

Tanisha Brown

Deputy Clerk

Adriana Armendariz

Bobbie Carmicle

Wen-Yu “Shirley” Chang

Chinchi Chiang

Patricia Esposito

Therese Gillespie Ford

David K. Fromme

James E. Haddad, Jr.

Stephen Gibson

Gwendolyn M. Gurley

Ashley Kamis

Jeanne Lynch

William R. Means

Dara Millholland

Christie Rowe

Steven Warnstrom

Sharon Wilkerson

Christine Woodard

The Gwinnett Grand Jury of March, 2010 through September 2010, heard and reviewed testimony in approximately five hundred cases. These cases were investigated by the Gwinnett County Police Department, State and Federal agencies 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. Having had this community experience, every member of the Grand Jury has a much better appreciation for the process used to gather and evaluate evidence presented against defendants and a greater understanding of the workings of our county.

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

Drug Task Force

We were impressed with the efficiency with which the department is being managed. They seem to have a thorough understanding of this segment of law enforcement and the department is aggressively pursuing actions to defeat the drug problem in the county. As the needs of the county have changed with regard to these crimes, the department has met the challenge. The Grand Jury believes that additional efforts need to be made to promote a more cooperative effort between the citizens of Gwinnett County and the department. Traditional educational means are not enough.

It is suggested that at least 5% of forfeited assets seized pursuant to drug forfeiture statutes be used to support drug rehabilitation programs and/or programs aimed at reducing demand for drugs. A volunteer community group could be established with members of the force to allocate these funds. The group would be representative of the community from all age ranges from all age groups and various walks of life. They should not be involved in any political capacities within the community. Such funds may be given in partnership or as sole grants to groups that already serve the community, etc., but great thought and consideration should be made to reinforce learning in the community. The Grand Jury believes keeping people busy may deter drug crime; and that education can change a person’s life. Scholarships to further learning, training, and overall knowledge for the individual is to be of utmost importance. It is recognized that all reviews and reports on a national and international level indicate that prevention and even rehabilitation are both cheaper and better alternatives to incarceration for users; and through prevention and rehabilitation the criminal activities surrounding illegal drugs, their use and their distribution can be constrained.

GANGS

The Grand Jury would like to express its appreciation to Investigator Jose Diaz for his presentation on gangs in Gwinnett County. His insight on inter-gang workings gave everyone on the Grand Jury a much better understanding of the level of gang activity in our community.

The Grand Jury recognizes the increasing cooperation between criminal street gangs and drug distribution organizations. Based on 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.

Please note these recommendations have been made by previous Grand Juries.

GWINNETT COUNTY

DETENTION CENTER

The Grand Jury was given an excellent tour of the Gwinnett County Detention Center and observed the K-9 Unit.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by several members of the Detention Center staff and were given an orientation on the jail and its operations. After the orientation we were provided a guided tour of the entire facility and had the opportunity to share lunch at the facility. The open pod design of the facility provided efficient use of county personnel in maintaining control over the inmate population.

The Sheriff and his staff are to be commended for running an efficient and well managed facility. The staff’s work is done despite significant challenges including a very large inmate population that represents diverse cultural and language backgrounds. The facility also houses a significant number of inmates with obvious psychological issues that present a significant challenge to the Sheriff’s Department. These are all handled extremely well considering the recent budgetary constraints and the department as a whole is to be commended. Our belief is that the center is under resourced and more trained people are needed to insure the continued safe and efficient operation of this facility. Policies need to be changed to find means other than incarceration for a large portion of the inmate population. This Grand Jury would recommend a more in-depth review of the way the county deals with inmates displaying psychological issues by the next Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury was especially impressed with Operation Second Chance, and the unit that houses the qualified inmates who train these dogs. This is a special program that does not have much publicity. The fact that the program rescues shelter dogs and the trained animals can be adopted by county citizens is very important. The program obviously provides an excellent rehabilitation program for the inmates as well as the animals, by providing the inmates’ purpose and encouraging them to continue to behave well to stay enrolled in the program. Operation Second Chance also allows the inmates to build skills they can use after they are released. The program is a pioneer program in Georgia.

Siren/Lights and

Technology Policy

within the Police

Department

The Grand Jury heard from Gwinnett County Chief of Police Charles Walters regarding the policy for officers using their lights and sirens. While there was an understanding that the policy does conform to research available for law enforcement officers, there is still concern over this issue in the grand jury. It is believed there is an accepted culture within the department that driving excessive speeds without lights and sirens is a tolerable practice of conduct. This should be addressed with additional education and reinforced by regular conduct reviews and reprimands as appropriate when infractions occur. Every effort should be made to ensure that this culture is not deemed appropriate for officers in vehicles.

In addition, the legislature has now regulated no texting while driving. Efforts to review how driving while reading computer screens affects an officer’s ability to safely control a motor vehicle should be undertaken. While there have not been a large number of accidents to date during the line of duty in this matter, it is believed that a proactive and not a reactive position on technology in vehicles should be established. The Grand Jury suggests implementing a conservative policy on this matter until such time that technological training catches up with available services. Namely, unless there is a way to accurately assess an individual’s ability to maneuver and control vehicles while using technology it should not be practiced. As persons who fly aircraft require special training to fly certain machines with training hours and under certain conditions, we suggest the practice be implemented for officers controlling moving vehicles. It was noted that Gwinnett has been on the cutting edge of policy making in law enforcement in the country. It is the view of the Grand Jury members that such a policy is a positive one to share and discuss in all state and national organizations in which the department participates.

Citizen Complaint

The Grand Jury received a complaint from Mr. Joseph Newton, concerning Gwinnett County Commissioner Mike Beaudreau and possible conflict of interests with the awarding of copier contracts for the county government and the Library system. It was determined that the referenced O.C.G.A. 36-1-14 was not applicable to the circumstances in this case.

Specifically, it was determined that:

1) The contract provider for the county is Milner Documents Products, Inc, which sells Ricoh and Lanier products but is not owned by either company.

2) Commissioner Mike Beaudreau is a sales manager for Ricoh Group, but he derives no direct or indirect compensation from Milner Document Products, Inc.

3) The copiers were sold/leased based upon a competitive, sealed bid process which ensures that the contract goes to the lowest qualifying bidder.

Gwinnett County

Public Library

(GCPL)

The Grand Jury reviewed the GCPL as part of its civic duties. We find that financially the library appears to be in order. Based on our initial interviews and research, we were concerned that the current system as structured does not represent the citizens of the county, and further found questions on check and balances between GCPL and the GCPL Board of Trustees. Article 2 in the Constitution for GCPL states the purpose, “The library shall offer a full program of library service to all citizens of the county to meet their informational, educational, and recreational needs; select, acquire and catalog materials; provide access to materials by circulation, in house and remote use; establish branches and other outreach services, and promote the use of the library resources.” In Investigating libraries throughout the country and Georgia, it was discovered that GCPL is functioning very differently than virtually every public library in the United States. We do not find fault with either the library staff or the Board of Trustees, but do note that as currently structured, the GCPL does not represent the citizens nor does it meet the purpose statement of the Constitution. It is therefore the opinion of this Grand Jury that swift and all encompassing changes are made to meet this purpose. We have identified the following issues:

1) The board of trustees currently has five members. The smallest library system in Georgia has nine. Some have as many as sixty. GCPL is in the largest populated county of the state, and at five members is underserved in representation. We suggest the Board of Trustees amend the Constitution to add a minimum of eight additional members. Under guidelines for public libraries in Georgia, all cities and county departments should be given notice they are entitled to positions on the board if they chose to contribute monetary funds. If they do not monetarily contribute, the Board of Trustees should consider adding members from the Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), at-large members of the community, higher education representatives, parks and recreation personnel, and safety and health/medical personnel. Requirements to serve should be more encompassing than simply living in the county only. Requirements should assure that all board members are library users and are functioning in capacities that they are directly connecting with citizens at work, educational facilities, and recreation throughout the county.

2) The current system of all libraries open and functioning equally does not exist anywhere else in Georgia, and only one other known county in the South, Plano, Texas. The Grand Jury finds this system no longer serves the purpose of providing services and information. GPLS should model all other systems in the United States by determining center libraries with branches that alternate hours of operation so that on any given day an individual can access the services of a public library. In addition, Gwinnett County is not the largest population in the state of Georgia. The legislature made an adjustment for Atlanta-Fulton County Library System to function more as a department of the county instead of an autonomous entity (http”//www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2003_04/versions/sb231_AP_9.htm.)

The Grand Jury recommends GCLS work with the legislature to investigate possible avenues for better functionality including amending the statute to include all counties with a population greater than 750,000 so that all counties in need of restructuring as AFCLS was, are able to change their library systems to function in the most effective manner.

3) In accordance with the purpose to establish branches and outreach services, the library should partner with all higher education library systems in the county as well as the school libraries. The PINE card library system should be considered as well to offer Gwinnett county citizens the ability to use a universal library card throughout the state of Georgia. Every effort should be made to reach every student within the county giving them the ability to possess a library card. Within one year, collaboration between the GCLS and GCPS should be undertaken to make this a best practice. All students currently have a school number that correlates to their vital information. With the permission of the parent, the number (it is a generic number and not a social security number) itself can be used electronically; or as the teachers confirm parents have read and signed county school forms, they can be presented a form that offers a card with a parent signature. The forms can be sent to the library for processing and then returned to the teachers for distribution to the students. Regardless of the method, 100% enrollment of all GCPS learners should be the goal, and 100% of all GCPS teachers a requirement.

4) The Grand Jury finds the methods of polling patrons laborious and ineffective. Any patron who has provided the GPLS with an email address should receive an email requesting permission to receive quarterly newsletters from the GPLS and surveys/polls when needed. The patron would have the opportunity to decline to participate, but all agreeing can be used to make decisions effecting GPLS services. Responses traditionally garner reply rates of 3% as noted by accredited marketing associations. This rate is therefore acceptable to use for decision making. Decisions should be made by majorities and with the concerns of all patrons considered and evaluated before considering changes affecting patron library use bill of rights (as listed for all United States citizens through the American Library Association).

5) In compliance with the purpose to meet educational and recreational needs, the GPLS will work with the GCPS and higher educational organizations to determine this need. Perhaps professors are willing to offer night classes on various topics, etc. GPLS should be aware of required reading summer lists. Shorter loan times may be needed on these items to meet the demand of the large number of students requiring the material. Requests for books could be orchestrated between school libraries as well. Recreational needs are to have top priority as it is the view of the grand jury that the library programs are not reaching wide ranging groups. Recreational programs should be offered at center library locations, not in one geographic location as the county is too large to expect patrons to access a program in one location. If a group within a center library requests programs and supports them with community members they should be free to do so themselves and do not need to provide said program to other locations. Current programs are targeted to interests of very specific patrons and represent a very small group of patrons. GPLS should use all resources at ALA and Georgia State Public Libraries to research alternatives offering a more varied selection of programs for all patrons.

Summary

The members of this Grand Jury wish to extend their thanks for the service of the current Board of Trustees as well as the entire library staff. Again, it is not the finding of this jury that there has been any wrong doing or incompetence in the GPLS. However, the dynamics of the county have drastically changed, and it is of the utmost concern of this Grand Jury that changes be made to continue to meet the needs of the changing diversity and serve the people in the county. The Board of Trustees and the library staff are not expected to possess all resources, knowledge, and/or expertise to undertake the changes as listed. It is recommended that GPLS enlist resources from ALA, GA Public Library Services, legislature, GCPS, higher education, Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, as well as any polling data from patrons, and outside consultants deemed necessary to enact change.

The Grand Jury members recognize that in these times of economic challenge, monetary resources are tight. GPLS is funded at $22.57 per capita. Atlanta-Fulton funds at $43.04. The system as it is currently structured is not going to be able to achieve the gains needed based on these dollars. The Grand Jury anticipates this necessitates the GPLS create statewide partnerships, as well as utilizing all available resources within the county. We understand the scope and tasks set before the GPLS. It will require a new paradigm with collaborations never experienced before to push the GPLS forward and meet the purpose of the Constitution of the GPLS as it serves all citizens in the county.

Succeeding

Grand Juries

The members of the Grand Jury understand these presentments are far reaching. It is our opinion that there is urgency in these ideas and findings. All presentments are suggested to be monitored and additional investigations continued in these matters by the succeeding grand juries. Key, though, is our belief that there is nothing more central to our system of freedoms and rights as those afforded citizens by free access to information. In our efforts to support and protect these, we investigated the GCPL. We also recognize the challenge in diversity within our community. The GCPL is ideally positioned to provide a neutral ground of shared community experiences. Also, in a culture of mass media where statistics and facts are freely dispersed to suit the desire of the author, we must support a citizen’s ability to access all information, and teach and encourage learners how to access and evaluate information for themselves. We suggest that the next four succeeding grand juries continue to monitor and follow the developments in these presentments utilizing the ability to seek a consultant at the same day rate as the Grand Jury if needed. We are of the opinion that with the neutral review and evaluation provided by citizens of the Grand Jury that all stakeholders will form collaborations, and successful changes will be made to meet the purpose of the GCPL.

Appreciation

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

• 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 have provided this Grand Jury. Special commendations to Mark Henderson for his professionalism and support as the bailiff to the Grand Jury.

• We wish 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 every day 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.

• Gwinnett County Public Library

• American Library Association

• Georgia Public Library Service

• University of Georgia

• Valdosta State University

• Public Libraries in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas

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. 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

Mayor of Auburn- Linda Blechinger

Mayor of Berkeley Lake- Lois Salter

Buford Commission Chairman- Phillip Beard

Mayor of Braselton- Bill Orr

Mayor of Dacula- Jimmy Wilbanks

Mayor of Duluth- Nancy Harris

Mayor of Grayson- Jim Hinkle

Mayor of Lawrenceville- Rex Millsaps

Mayor of Loganville- Ray Nunley

Mayor of Norcross- Bucky Johnson

Mayor of Snellville- Jerry Oberholtzer

Mayor of Sugar Hill- Gary Pirkle

Mayor of Suwanee- Dave Williams

Superintendent of Schools- Mr. Alvin Wilbanks

GA Board of Regents- Mr. Richard Tucker, Chairman

President of the Chamber of Commerce Jim Maran

Georgia House of Representatives members:

Tom Rice

Billy Mitchell

Pedro Marin

Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.

Bobby Reese

Hugh Floyd

Brian Thomas

Clay Cox

David Casas

John Heard

Donna Sheldon

Melvin Everson

Len Walker

Georgia Senate members:

Curt Thompson

Don Balfour

Dan Weber

Steve Henson

Renee Unterman

David Shafer

Gloria Butler

Done this 8th day of September, 2010.

By the Grand Jury

-s- CHARLES ROBINSON,

FOREPERSON

-s- CHERONNE BUTLER-IRELAND,

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 8th day of September, 2010.

-s- HONORABLE WILLIAM M. RAY, II

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-06614375,9/23@