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Grand Jury Presentments

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

SEPTEMBER, 2010

GRAND JURY-

PANEL A

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

ENISKA M. SCOTT,

FOREPERSON

ANGELINA TAVARES

MCDOUGLE,

VICE FOREPERSON

TRISHA HOLLAND,

CLERK

EUGENE MALLETT, JR.,

DEPUTY CLERK

General Presentments of

the September, 2010

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

Panel A

The September, 2010 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury, Panel A consisted of the following members:

Eniska M. Scott,

Foreperson

Angelina Tavares

McDougle,

Vice Foreperson

Trisha Holland,

Clerk

Eugene Mallet, Jr.,

Deputy Clerk

LaLarry Anderson

Julius Bagley

Robie Bonner

Arrash Bozory

Joe Chesser

Lois A. Cobb

Charles Cook

Brent Jacobs

Patricia Leonard

Mark Koepke

Michelle Kvasny

Laura Lord

Casey Morgenroth

Cindy Nguyen

Hyratt Palimore

Roberto Rodriguez

Brad Rose

Kevin Rudder

Zack Smith

The Gwinnett Grand Jury, Panel A of September, 2010 through March, 2011, heard testimony and returned indictments or No Bills in approximately five hundred cases. The Grand Jury took this duty seriously and is confident that the decisions were sound. This was a valuable learning experience for each Juror. The Grand Jurors were surprised by the degree of violent crime and, in particular, the number and severity of child sexual offenses committed in our community.

The law enforcement officers that investigated these cases and testified before the Grand Jury were dedicated hard working professionals that make a difference in the quality of life and the safety of the citizens of Gwinnett County. They are to be commended for their fine efforts.

The Office of the District Attorney has reviewed the cases and was well prepared to assist the Grand Jury in the task of evaluating hundreds of cases. They competently served as the legal advisor to the Grand Jury. We appreciate the efforts of Danny Porter and his assistants that help make the job of the Grand Jury easier.

DRUG TASK FORCE

We heard a presentation by the Gwinnett Drug Task Force and were impressed by the efforts of the Drug Task Force officers who testified before the Grand Jury. We were surprised by the extent to which high level drug trafficking organizations have entrenched themselves in Gwinnett County.

County officials need to continue to support the Drug Task Force with sufficient resources to combat this dangerous criminal activity in Gwinnett County.

GANGS

The Grand Jury would like to thank Investigator Jose Diaz for informing the Grand Jurors about the extent of criminal gang activity in Gwinnett County. The gang problem is real and must be continually addressed by the Gang Task Force as well as every law enforcement officer working in Gwinnett County. Keeping pressure on the gangs and holding them accountable for criminal activity is an essential element in the law enforcement strategy to keep Gwinnett citizens safe.

GWINNETT COUNTY

DETENTION CENTER

The Grand Jury was given an excellent tour of the Gwinnett County Detention Center by the Sheriff’s Office. The Center is clean and as safe as such a facility can be. In Particular, we commend the Sheriff for the Operation Second Chance program that brings shelter dogs into the jail where they are trained and cared for by inmates. We find this program a win-win for the animals, the inmates and the Sheriff’s Office as well.

Furthermore, we were impressed with the law enforcement trained K-9’s and the officers that handle them for the Sheriff’s Office. The dogs are a valuable asset to law enforcement. The Grand Jury recommends that resources be allocated for the medical care and upkeep of the retired K9s. They spend their productive lives helping to keep us safe and should not face an uncertain future after their retirement from active service.

The Detention Center is over crowded with inmates in a limited space. However, there is room in the new extension of the Center that is not being used because of a lack of staffing. The Grand Jury encourages Gwinnett officials to allot sufficient resources to permit the Sheriff to open the unused portion of the Center. This would relieve crowding and make the Center safer for the Deputies assigned to work inside the Center.

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:

Shirley Lasseter, Vice Chair, Acting Chair Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Lynnette Howard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

John Heard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

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

Done this 2nd day of March, 2011.

By the Grand Jury

-s-Eniska M. Scott

ENISKA M. SCOTT,

FOREPERSON

-s-TRISHA HOLLAND

TRISHA HOLLAND,

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 2 day of March, 2011.

-s- Ronnie K. Batchelor

HONORABLE RONNIE K. BATCHELOR

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-06618299,3/17@

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

SEPTEMBER, 2010

GRAND JURY-

PANEL B

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT

COUNTY, GEORGIA

MICHAEL CASEY,

FOREPERSON

GARY POPE,

VICE FOREPERSON

ROXANNA CLEMETSON,

CLERK

RUTH MARY SPOHN,

DEPUTY CLERK

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

Panel B

The September, 2010 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury, Panel B consisted of the following members:

Michael Casey,

Foreperson

Gary Pope,

Vice Foreperson

Roxanna Clemetson,

Clerk

Ruth Mary Spohn,

Deputy Clerk

David John Allden

Sonya Camp

Robert D. Davis

Sarah R. English

Nathan Geringswald

Blanca Gonzalez

Cynthia Grissom

Roger Locke

Harold Lucas

Laurie McCune

Celeste Garcia Parsons

Barbara Schaller

Keith Franklin Stone

Richard C. Stone

Shannan Tracy

Ly Yang

Gale Whitworth

General Presentment

of the September, 2010

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

The Gwinnett County Grand Jury, Panel B of September, 2010 through March, 2011, heard and reviewed testimony in approximately 500 cases, having heard evidence presented by the District Attorney’s office, led by Mr. Danny Porter, and testimony by officers of the Gwinnett County Police department, State and Federal agencies, and officers of local city police departments throughout Gwinnett County. This Grand Jury panel has made true, just and unbiased decisions on indictments based on the evidence presented in these cases.

The Grand Jury wishes to make recommendations based on evidence and presentations from several experts regarding the following:

GANGS

The Grand Jury expresses its appreciation to Investigator Jose Diaz for his presentation on gangs in Gwinnett County. His insight on inter-gang workings has made us aware of gang activities throughout Gwinnett County. The Grand Jury recommends that the Gwinnett County Police Department continue to combat illegal gang activity and to promote a more cooperative effort between the citizens of Gwinnett County and the department.

Having been recommended by the former Grand Jury, we also recommend that when ever possible, inmates at the Gwinnett County Detention Center who are known gang members be confined separately from other gang members and from inmates who are members of known drug distribution organizations

Gwinnett County

Detention Center

The Grand Jury was given a tour of the Gwinnett County Detention Center, being met by Sheriff R. L. “Butch” Conway, Lt. Donald Pinkard, and several members of the detention center staff. We were given an orientation on the jail and its operations. The sheriff and his staff are to be commended for running an efficient and well-managed facility. The Grand Jury recommends that the detention center be provided with more trained staff to help inmates with obvious psychological issues and to expand and open existing units within the detention center complex.

The Officers and Dogs of the K-9 Unit were very impressive. We appreciate their service to the County.

Drug Task Force

We were impressed with Major J. T. Strickland and his drug task force. The presentation he gave on the presence of drugs in Gwinnett County was astounding. Upon hearing that Atlanta is a nationwide hub for drugs coming in to the country, we suggest that Gwinnett County make sure that this department be kept well staffed in order to keep the level of drugs used, sold, and distributed to a minimum in Gwinnett County.

Inspections

District Attorneys Office

Danny Porter impressed us with his down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to handling his office and the implementation of the vertical staffing approach to his department. The amount of cases the District Attorney’s Office processes in a year’s time is staggering, and yet they do it with less staffing than the national standard recommends for the same amount of caseloads and judges. The Grand Jury would like to see one or two more assistant district attorneys with staffing and two more judges to keep the cases moving through the courts in a reasonable amount of time. We are very appreciative of the hard work and effort Mr. Porter’s entire office brings to the table to get the cases processed as expeditiously as possible.

Probate Court

The Grand Jury met with Judge Walter Clarke of the probate court and after reviewing the facility found all to be in order. A single judge in the probate court seemed a bit inadequate for the amount of cases being processed concerning estate affairs and conservatorships. Even though Judge Clarke has an assistant, there seems to be a lack of time to thoroughly process all of the cases before them. The Grand Jury would recommend some additional staffing to distribute the caseload and to move the firearm permits to another area separate from the probate court.

Department of Finance

Director Aaron Bovos gave us an informative view of the financial status of Gwinnett County government. We learned how Mr. Bovos and his department are trying to maintain county services while finding ways to compensate for decreased revenues in the current year’s economy. The short-term view of the budget will be a challenge, but they are working on creative ways to increase revenues in this flat economy. We found the department to be forthcoming with all information on how the county’s tax dollars are handled, the incoming revenue and its distribution, as well as any internal audits. The staff was very professional and transparent with all the county data.

Clerk of Court’s Office

The Grand Jury found the Clerk’s office to be in order. The amount of data, court records, Court finances, deeds, plats, and other county records are staggering. The Grand Jury believes the office needs one additional person to help assist the financial officer. The clerk’s office does an outstanding job having files ready and available for the courts and the citizens of Gwinnett County.

911/Emergency

Management Unit,

Angela Connelly

The Grand Jury was given a tour by Angela Connelly of the Gwinnett County 911/Emergency Management Unit and were very impressed with this new state of art facility. Ms. Connelly’s years of service to the 911/EMU has contributed to the efficient operation. Her contribution to the design in the physical layout and operations has created a great work space where the flow of incoming calls and outgoing responses are handled smoothly at the center. The Grand Jury was impressed with the training program and the quality of personnel. The contingency plan is impressive for its redundancy.

Summary

The Grand Jury in monitoring and investigating of the Gwinnett County departments along with the presentations given, would like to applaud all the county employees for their hard work and professionalism. We found that most county departments could use additional staff, but due to economic down turn of the last few years, this is not possible. The Grand Jury recommends that any available funds be used in the areas of law enforcement. Gangs, Drug task force and the District Attorneys office need to be reinforced to combat crimes.

Appreciation

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

• District Attorney Danny J. Porter,

• Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Lisa Jones and the entire staff of assistant district attorneys as their professionalism and dedication is outstanding.

• Special thanks to Mark Henderson (Bailiff) for his support and professionalism in the Grand Jury procedures.

• Sheriff R. L. “Butch” Conway and his staff.

• The Grand Jury wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to all law enforcement officers for the excellent work they do for the citizens of Gwinnett County, They are the finest professionals in law enforcement, Thank You for your service.

In addition to the publication of presentments, we recommend that a copy of these presentments be delivered to:

Ms. Shirley Lasseter, Vice Chairman, Acting Chairman Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Lynnette Howard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

John Heard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

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

Alvin Wilbanks,

Superintendent of Schools

Done this 3rd day of March, 2011.

By the Grand Jury

-s-Michael Casey

MICHAEL CASEY,

FOREPERSON

-s-RUTH MARY SPOHN

RUTH MARY SPOHN,

DEPUTY 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 3 day of March, 2011.

-s- Ronnie K. Batchelor

HONORABLE RONNIE K. BATCHELOR

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-06618300,3/17@