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Shirley Lasseter -- Rise and fall of a down-home dignitary

DULUTH -- Raised in the once small-town furniture mecca of High Point, N.C., former educator Shirley Lasseter, regarded as an approachable every-woman not above tipping a cocktail with constituents, would helm one of metro Atlanta's more progressive cities through seismic change, en route to one of the more powerful government positions in Georgia's second most populous county. But with a 10-sentence e-mail on Thursday, the upward trajectory of Lasseter's political career came to a grinding halt.

Lasseter resigned her $31,670 a year Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners post and admitted swapping her objectivity in real estate development votes for a series of bribes totalling $36,500, cognizant that a proposed pawn shop would be funded, in part, by supposed drug proceeds. Before a U.S. District judge, with her co-defendant eldest son beside her, Lasseter admitted to -- and apologized for -- underhanded behavior that serves as the latest example of what Gwinnett's top prosecutor calls a culture of corruption.

But rewind to Lasseter's adopted hometown, Duluth, and you'll find longtime colleagues who still call her a philanthropic darling, despite crimes that could cost her up to a decade in federal prison and $250,000 in fines. In their eyes, Lasseter was the victim of foreclosure, ill heath and, above all, desperation. Her successor, Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris, said this week the city collectively "loves" Lasseter and was crestfallen by news of her decisions.

Thom Mash, an adjutant with Duluth's American Legion Post 251, where Lasseter had become a fixture with her late, former Marine husband, characterized her Friday as "a very loving and caring person." Known for her patriotism, Lasseter spearheaded efforts, in conjunction with the American Legion, for a burgeoning Memorial Day ceremony that began on the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Mash said.

Before politics, Lasseter earned a degree from Brenau Women's College in Gainesville, then moved on to a master's degree in education from Georgia State University. Her role as an educator would be a constant.

Prior to her 14-year tenure as "Mayor Shirley," Lasseter worked as Duluth's marketing director, where she once said her gender and radical ideas for changing the face of downtown rubbed the old guard wrong.

In 1993, Lasseter, a Republican, ousted a mayor she respected, but who she thought was too mired in the status quo. She prided herself, she said, on the levity and an open-ear policy she brought to the position.

"You have to keep a sense of humor and a love for people," Lasseter told the Daily Post in 2007.

Lasseter retained her Main Street ethos as her once-sleepy city swelled. When she'd taken office, the 8.3-square-miles of Duluth included two parks and 9,000 residents and operated under a city budget of $4 million. In 2008, she left a city with slightly expanded borders and 27,000 people, six parks and a budget of $44 million. She championed the transformation of an old parking lot into the Town Green and the bulding of Duluth's $13 million City Hall.

The revived complex, she enthused in 2008, had become "a destination."

As major projects wrapped, Lasseter caved in to what she called years of prodding and successfully campaigned for the District 1 Commissioners seat. Her reasoning, as she told the Daily Post, was that she felt compelled to widen her scope and bring her acumen for creating parks and revitalizing neighborhoods to places like Sugar Hill and Suwanee. "I've accomplished most everything I wanted to do in the last 14 years," she said then, "so I'll go to the county and see what I can do there."

Favors, heartache and scandal

A year into her term, Lasseter appointed the younger of her two sons, Justin Fanning, to a non-paid slot on the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District. She called her son -- then a 28-year-old manager at the defunct Loafing Leprechaun restaurant near Gwinnett Arena -- her closest confidant, predicting he would keep her in touch with a district she badly wanted to see revitalized. Joe Allen, Gwinnett Place CID director, said Fanning served until he was replaced by commissioners in April.

Lasseter's favors to her sons did not end there.

In February 2011, she appointed her eventual co-defendant, son John Fanning, 34, a Dacula landscape business owner, to a one-year term on the county's zoning appeals board. Within months, according to federal authorities, corruption began when Lasseter and John Fanning teamed with Carl "Skip" Cain, 65, to leverage their positions for payoffs. Cain, a Flowery Branch business associate of Lasseter's, was paid $10,000 by an undercover agent posing as a businessman for brokering the involvement of Lasseter and her son.

Fanning's payment was to be a 50 percent ownership stake in a pawn shop business proposed for Boggs Road near Duluth. Time and again, as the bribes topped $36,000, Lasseter told the undercover agent she would give her official approval and vote for the project in exchange for the cash.

Fanning and Cain also pleaded guilty to drug trafficking for transporting four kilograms of "sham cocaine" from New York City to Atlanta as part of a related undercover sting. They face a minimum of five years in federal prison, where there is no parole.

Lasseter's longtime friend Jerry Robb, president of the Duluth Civitan Club, a service organization, said Lasseter, 64 and a mother of four, was devoted to her son John to a fault. The boys' father had long been out of the picture, Robb said.

"She's a good parent ... but Johnny has a temper," Robb said. "He needed harsh discipline."

The financial strain for Lasseter began almost immediately with the death of her husband of 18 years, Joe Lasseter. Called her "biggest cheerleader" by Lasseter, Joe, 72, who handled finances at a Nissan dealership, succumbed to a stroke a year into her tenure as Commissioner.

"I am so saddened to even tell you this -- I am just beside myself," Lasseter wrote in an e-mail to friends at the time.

That same year, Lasseter lost her job as public safety education director for Georgia's Department of Insurance and Fire Safety when Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine launched a failed bid for governor and later joined a private law firm.

Months after her husband's death, Lasseter's home in the Howell Wood Subdivision -- where she'd lived since buying the $224,000 property with her first husband in 1974 -- was foreclosed and sold at auction outside the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, deed records show.

Robb said she was forced to move into a two-bedroom apartment, sharing it with her youngest son and his dog, a friendly Boxer. Given her age and two hip replacements, Robb said Lasseter had been unable to find a job outside of her commissioners duties, and soon became destitute. She called Robb for help on a recent Sunday morning when her small, gray SUV ran out of gas.

"Her gas gauge was broken," Robb said. "Every 250 miles, she'd just fill it up, but something happened that time."

The day Lasseter pleaded guilty to bribery, she sent a brief e-mail to county administrator Glen Stephens tendering her resignation. County spokesman Joe Sorenson said Lasseter had no blemishes on record during her four years with the board. She had not attended an official meeting since late February, citing health issues.

"I deeply regret the harm I have caused to those I have served, and the trust I have betrayed," Lasseter wrote in the email to Stephens. "Please know that I am ashamed of my actions ... I wish I could have discussed this matter with you sooner, but I was not able to do so due to the sensitive nature of the case."

As a show of support, Robb said he opened a "Shirley's Fund" account Friday at Gwinnett Community Bank in Duluth. He's seeking check donations.

"I'm not exactly sure how (Lasseter) got caught up on this mess," Robb said. "She couldn't share with her friends that she was broke. I wish she had."

Others in Lasseter's district feel her actions are inexcusable, no matter the circumstances.

Suwanee resident Hank Freedman said its paramount that justice be brought for Lasseter, Fanning and Cain, and that light be shed on their misdoings.

"It's important that this news, this information, is brought to the attention of the public," Freedman said. "I feel very sincerely that this lady and the other members that are equally guilty of what they did should have to pay the price."

Comments

Reason 2 years, 3 months ago

Good work, Feds. Maybe it shall continue, with solid results elsewhere. Mrs. Lasseter and crew can now assist investigators to reduce her encarceration and weed out more improper doings and rotten eggs in the county, public and private. Do corprate interest bribers do time in such cases? I do not recall hearing if they have lately. Looks like Mrs. Lasseter still has some genuine friends. She will need them. As a private citizen, bad decisions usually directly effect the person and their immedate family. If an elected, public official makes bad decisions, they effect the community, or even worse the entire country. Seems these days, some of the elected do not care how their votes and enacted laws affect rest of us. Mostly, after they recieve box seats, expensive dinners, trips and "donations". A common warning sign (maybe not here), is if they will not, schedule a meeting or even answer e-mails, from citizens requesting information on an issue, or the basis of their stance on it. Some might run for office to grind an ax against someone, they felt did them wrong. Both voters and those that govern must be active and alert to such behaivor and call it out, or more of this foolishness will continue and drag us all down further. If you are a elected offical and personal life gets out of control, and it surely can. Seek proper help. PLEASE do the right thing and leave office, before it affects the community.

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Karl 2 years, 3 months ago

Not a chance. Beaudreau is one of the good guys. Just because some of the commissioners have proven themselves crooks doesn't mean all are.

Your way of thinking rationalizes you not having to think and do the research to find this out. Just your knee-jerk reaction and shout about throwing them all out.

No need to throw out the proverbial baby with the bath-water.

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roaads1 2 years, 3 months ago

Karl- Mike is a great guy with stellar integrity. It's sad the these internet tough guys can accuse him of things anonymously. Instead of simply disagreeing with him they make accusations that are totally false.

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nicholson 2 years, 3 months ago

Beaudreau needs to go simply due the fact that he has governed like a democrat. He masterminded the government take over of the trash program, he is for a higher sales tax (erroneously labeling it a fair tax) and he is for the airport expansion with taxpayers being responsible. How much further from being a conservative could he get? He never does anything to make the government leaner or cut spending.

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conservative56 2 years, 3 months ago

You do not know what you are talking about regarding the airport. Bringing in a billion dollars a year to Gwinnett with no significant environmental impact sounds like a Ronald Regan conservative to me.

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nicholson 2 years, 3 months ago

A billion, eh? Just like the 20,000 jobs. No credibility to that claim. I think you have your presidents confused, conservative56. Mr Obama, not Ronald Reagan, would be more pleased with the use of tax dollars to fund loser projects; Solyndra comes to mind, as does this airport expansion.

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

A "Shirley's Fund"? LOL, let us all know how that comes out Rob!

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks. The fund is doing very well so far.

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Sara56 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not understanding the car repair part of the story. She had a $31K job so she was not exactly broke. And what else has she done over the past 14 years? We know she used her city cell phone to make personal calls. Maybe the deal with the prosecutor is to put a cap on further investigations. The article also implies she brought all these new residents and businesses into Gwinnett singlehandedly. It does not state what exactly she did to bring that about. Do other criminals get the same puff piece candy coating treatment? She violated public trust. Throw her sorry dumb money grubbing butt in prison, along with her favorite son. Isn't it amazing how you ruin the child you favor? That alone makes me dislike her. You have 4 children and pick out a favorite. Really.

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timkenyon 2 years, 3 months ago

Nothing that she did is acceptable in any way, shape or form and she does need to be held accountable for sure. But it sounds like she caved into desperation after her husbands death. On top of her salary, who knows if there was a pension fromher husband or something? But it does sound like her older son sucked her right into this whole mess. If I remember correctly, the Loafing Leprauchan was shut down also due to poor management decisions, and that is where her older son worked. It's sad. Regards to the car repair thing, it said she ran out of gas and needed help. So many people are currently in that situation right now, either having lost their main source of income, or in her case, loss of a husband and potentially any other income he may have pulling in as well. My best wishes go out to her youngest son as he faces now the loss of his mother and brother to the prison system.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

Am I supposed to feel sorry for someone who Steals, Lies, and takes CASH BRIBES? I'm sorry, but no one put a gun to her head and forced her to take the money.. This county, this state, this country is full of people who are destitute, and are having a hard time making ends meet..Just look around, they do not TAKE BRIBES or LIE, STEAL...

Well her worries are over, if she goes to jail for 10 years, she will have a roof over her head, three meals a day, free health care, no car repairs.... No living expenses, the county will be paying them..she still has her Social Security, and pensions coming in. Her life will be better in prison than her present living (destitute) lifestyle... and her drug, dealing son won't be there to bother her....

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Shirley's Fund is doing well so far. Thanks to all who plan to participate. Gwinnett Community Bank, acct # 0040946

People who know Shirley well are forgiving because of her unblemished record to this point and her generous heart that has helped so many people in the past, especially veterans.

Thanks for the flags Shirley

Thanks for the flags Shirley by theendthebook

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

Unblemished record? Go ahead and let her think that no mater what she does, it is okay. Her record is one of a criminal.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

Yea, we are to accept a blemished record as the norm... What a dumb comment from theendthe book.... Idiot....

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jbird 2 years, 3 months ago

Good work, end, by hiding behind the pseudonym (Iook it up) I know exactly who you are and I have had the misfortune of knowing Ol' Shirl at least as long as you. But, unlike you, I was usually a little more sober than you. She is a user and enabler and you know it. You and others like you were so taken in by the false laugh and Southern accent, sugah. Like others have pointed out, if you knew of her financial situation and the fact that she was being tossed out of her house, why is she not in your house. You have the room. Why is she in the condition that she is in? Afterall, a Masters in Education should be enough to keep you off the streets. The fact is is that she was too arrogant to stay any length of time in a position that required accountability and coming to work more than two days a week. Sober up and admit the truth, Jerr old boy

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

"What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." Jesus, Matthew 18:12-14

Any good parent will try to help the kid with the most problems.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

Instead, she leads her child into corruption and evil. Do not glorify this criminal.

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R 2 years, 3 months ago

With COCAINE??? Please find that in scripture

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

You forgot "spare the rod and spoil the child," and "teach your children the path that they should take, and they will return to it." She did not help her child--she enabled him to become a criminal, and she became a criminal herself. She taught him to do anything, legal or not, to get money. She committed a Federal offense. Of course, she did it for the money. It certainly did not improve her looks or her reputation to do it. I know you like her and support her, but it is asking a lot for taxpayers to continue to give her money. I have not met a person since 2008 who has not had some type of financial problem or setback. She needs to take her punishment like any other person who commits a Federal crime. Like anyone else, she can use a public defender if she cannot afford an attorney. Our tax money will go to pay that, too. They will let her have visitors in prison, so you can see her. Be assured that some gracious attorney will come out of the woodwork to defend her pro bono, so don't worry about that. I grew up in high school with the Civitans. What happened to Service above All Else? What happened to respect, values and the Community Service they promote? I am in a state of disbelief that the Civitans could actually support and condone something like this. That's not what belonging to the Civitans is about. I am shocked that this or any other organization would support this type of behavior. If this is truly the lifestyle that the Civitans want to instill in high school students in Gwinnett County, I firmly believe that the Civitans should no longer be allowed in any high school in Gwinnett County. I will do you a special favor. I am filing a complaint with the Federal Currency and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the U.S. Treasury Department to ask them to conduct a complete and total audit of Gwinnett Community Bank to find out why that bank or any bank in this country would knowingly have a trust fund at their bank to support drug dealers. An investigation should be made of anyone who contributes to this fund. It is just sickens me, and it should give every citizen in Gwinnett County a serious wake up call. Any bank and any person who knowingly and willingly supports dealing drugs,defending drug dealers, or acting as a channel for drug deals is a dangerous bank an a dangerous individual as far as I am concerned. If you decide to change banks, I will continue writing letters about those banks as well. Shirley Lasseter was a much a part of the drug dealing scheme as she was accepting a bribe. She went astray all right--she went completely off the charts. She is probably swimming in reality by now.

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conservative56 2 years, 3 months ago

You should consider getting a job or volunteering or looking into a hobbie. That is a lot of letter writing but at least some federal bureaucrats will get a good chuckle from your letters.

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

I doubt the Feds are laughing at any of this. You may be surprised what is in store next.

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

I will match my charity work you or with Jerry Robb any day. Shirley was to be chairperson for one charity, and she never showed for any of the planning sessions She always had "something else to do" or "someone she had to meet." Home Depot took over the charity work, and made a program listing her as chairman. One person on the committee, and it was not me, said that they wanted her name takien off the event. So, Home Depot had to scrap the programs that they made. She and Jerry Robb did this a lot. Just ask them. They will tell you if they tell the truth about it. Where were you at the charity events in this County?

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Kristykaymc 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh, don't throw scripture in there to justify what has happened.

I do not feel sorry for her. This was probably not the first I just hope it's the last. Gwinnett County needs to get rid of everybody and start over.

Beaudreau is in there too.

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

She didn't lead anyone anywhere. Coulda been the other way around, unless you know more about it than I do, which is doubtful. Justis.... what an oxymoron. Think I will put you in my next book, and it won't be pretty! just sayin'

No one I know is "glorifying" Shirley or her actions. We just know her. Friends don't throw friends under the bus. Maybe you would though. I am so glad I don't have to face some of the commenters on judgement day. Have never seen so many flawless people. And to the person who would give anything to get out of Gwinnett county, can I help you in anyway? I love Gwinnett. Last time I looked we have plenty of moving vans.

None

by theendthebook

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

You are the worst kind of friend. One who won't face up to what Shirley has done. She needs to face up to her actions. She does not need anyone telling her that her actions were acceptable and she is a good person. Gwinnett has had too many corrupt officials; Shirley is one of the worst. If you publish a book, don't worry, I won't bother to read it.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

By the way Shirley. Your friend is saying that your son did this to you. See what you have caused. Is your friend correct?

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ngwinnett 2 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of throwing someone under the bus. When this criminal agreed to take a bribe fulling knowing that the transaction would result in a business that would launder money for drug dealers, she through every police officer in this county under the bus. Lets not forget the citizens who expect to live in a drug free community. I only hope she spends so much time in prison that there are not enough funds raised to keep her supplied with cigarettes and candy from the prison store.

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll take all the funds that you can give me to help me move!! I know where the moving companies are!! You want to buy my house, or contribute to my move?!! I would love it!!! I will gladly take your money. At least it is for an honest cause. But you would rather donate your funds to support corruption. I am saving to move from this God-forsaken county. It just sickens me. The last corrupt politician can turn out the lights when they leave.

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roaads1 2 years, 3 months ago

She was caught trying to bring drugs and money launderers to Gwinnett. That's major crime that will cost lives. Just for money.

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

I was just kidding about putting you in my next book Mr. Justis. It's a Christian book.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

But you weren't kidding about the moving vans? I hope you put that in your book. You need to face facts the same as Shirley. She needs to understand that what she did was wrong.

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Apparently you didn't read Shirley's resignation letter either. I think she "accepted" her responsibility. If you really want to see corruption at work, check out the White House. You definitely got up on the wrong side of the bed jl. Be nice. It's easy.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

Be nice? It's easy? Just like telling someone there are lots of moving vans in the area? I read her letter telling that she was caught and was sorry. Would she have been sorry if it wasn't Federal authorities and she really did help to transport drugs into Gwinnett county? Think about that.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely correct....JlJustis. Keep it up... I totally agree with, you,.... she is sorry she got caught...

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R 2 years, 3 months ago

At the end of a FEDERAL tape session ... STOP producing FICTION NIXON IS NOT A CROOK either ...

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

We do have a lot of moving vans, for those who wish to move elsewhere. And I imagine if they looked hard enough, they could probably find a ghost or two in anyone's closet, except maybe yours.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope your book is not on christian values. I didn't say I was perfect. But, I do not hide behind religion.

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

the end of the book - I thin we need to move you - and it could be done you know.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't stoop and make threats. Let the posters reveal their true character.

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

Theendofthe book advocates corruption by public officials - He thinks larceny is a virtue and defends it.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

I think it's Charles Bannister or maybe Kennerly.....

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

The only people who excuse criminal behavior are thos who've done it - and most likely gotten away with it.

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

The end ofthe book - advocates using Brisco Field for importing drungs into Gwinnett.

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, just don't move me anywhere near you two. Not sure how well i would do living near all this perfection.

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

Why aren't you just the self-righteous one! Shirley did the crime. Shirley should do the time. And I don't expect her to receive any better or worse treatment than anyone else for doing the same. And while I empathize with the issues she has faced in life, it still doesn't excuse her actions. The responsibility rests solely on her. Actions have consequences, and she should pay for those like anybody else regardless of her personal tragedy. Now, you say that you knew her, so if she is a friend of yours and you knew her, then you knew she was engaging in these activities, and you condone them. On the other hand, if you were unaware of these actions, you really didn't know her at all now did you? Friends don't throw friends under the bus, but friends will hold one another doubly accountable, and especially those you so quote scripture to one another. And last, there is a huge difference between helping your child and enabling your child. Please never try to help mine!

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't worry, I am sure you have perfect kids. and again, no one i know is "condoning" anything. We are all heart broken, just like she is. And if you knew her the way so many of us do, you wouldnt have such a mean spirit.

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

You call holding one accountable a mean spirit? Spare me the perfect kids lecture. Spare me the bible beating lecture too. If my child engaged in the activities hers did, I would turn them in myself. I do not condone, nor would I engage in, any of the activities she has pleaded guilty to. I guess you could say, I hold mine to a much higher standard. I don't harbor any ill will toward her. I just expect and anticipate her to be held accountable for her actions, and somehow I'm mean spirited as a result. As religious as you portray yourself to be, I'm just amazed that you actually believe the crap you keep shoveling.

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Just don't believe in kicking a person who is already down. I am sure you will feel safer once she's off the streets. And you do harbor ill will, and i am sure you feel the same about John Edwards, the corrupted white house and Al sharpton, so I understand your fair evaluation. Some people just aren't as good at parenting as others. Not sure what you mean about the crap shoveling. I am doing what you are doing, expressing my opinion. That's all it is.

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

If you and her friends know her and knew she was having trouble, where were you when she needed you the most (e.g., when her house was being forclosed)? If her motive was due to financial hardship, where were you and her friends to help her along so she would not become a criminal? Now, you set up a fund. Wouldn't it have been much better to help when it most mattered?

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

had we known we would have. but you can still chip in ;)

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jljustis 2 years, 3 months ago

No thanks. I don't believe you when you say that you did not know. I don't think you are being truthful.

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Robb, do you really think that she would really come to your defense if you needed her? Being a County Commissioner, and if it were you in the position that she is in, she would separate herself so far from you, you would not ever be able to approach her. She would not even take your phone call. She would deny that she ever knew you. She would have to do whatever it took to protect herself from even knowing you.

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

I just want to know why you did not help her. If you helped her get gasoline, why didn't you ask her what else she needed? She was probably already deep into her corruption by the time the gasoline incident happened. She would not come to your rescue if you needed it. She would deny that she even knew you. Yet you want to set up a trust fund for her defense. She would never defend you if the situation were reversed. As a County Commissioner, she would deny that she even knew you, because she would be concerned for own "reputation." Helping her now is like closing the barn door after the horses got out. There is nothing that anyone can do for her. She did this all to herself and to her boy.

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey E nd of the Book - There's a delivery for you at Briscoe Field.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

You sleep with dogs, you get fleas... You sleep with Criminal's you WILL get caught...

She got caught and despite all the "Friends" who support her.. She lied directly to your face for all those years. Who know's how much she took from the residents of Duluth, that she probably has covered up. As a resident of Duluth, she was not the "idol" her friends present her as in this post. They are blind to the real person she is.

Not to use quotes to back up statements as my bible quoing poster above..."Do no worship false Idols",.....

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theendthebook 2 years, 3 months ago

Well Ben, since you have all the inside scoop, maybe you will share with her friends. And if there was a history of shenannigans, we would know it by now. I don't know of anyone worshiping false idols though, et tu?

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not a friend, you are....don't hide behind the bible in your comments....have guts to make statements on their own merit. We'll see how true her friends are.... How much money have you collected so far for the CROOK? Oh, I'll bet that NO ONE wiil post that....

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DDE 2 years, 3 months ago

I get tired of people who intentionally break the law then say they're sorry and they made a mistake. It's not a "mistake" which is unintentional, it's a decision they know is wrong and they do it anyway. I'm sure she and her son are sorry - sorry they got caught. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

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Katrina 2 years, 3 months ago

Right! A mistake is when you're working a math problem and get the wrong answer. According to news reports, neither Shirley nor her son had any problem dealing with money launderers and drug smuggling. How sleazy can you get?!?!?!?!

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CD 2 years, 3 months ago

Kenerly, Bannister--scum. No doubt. But at least they were not involved with drug money in as far as the allegations brought forward. Your "Mayor Shirley" was willing to get down with those that kill innocent children--or at least get down with the proceeds from their "work".

I'm not sure how much help Shirley can be to the feds, but if she can point the in the right direction, then she needs to sing. She will have taxpayer-funded medical help in the slammer, so save your donations for when she needs to buy cupcakes at the commissary in prison. I'm not sure about her take on socialized medicine, but she will get a taste of it in the slammer.

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Coolray 2 years, 3 months ago

I had many dealings with Mayor Shirley. I did not like her but I never thought she was corrupt. I can really imagine her life falling apart and, in turn, she fell into temptation. The larger issue here is the "culture of corruption" that exists in Gwinnett politics. For far too long, a group of rich white men divided up the spoils and paid off politicians who did there bidding.

Shirley was wrong to give into the culture but the swamp needs to be drained. The culture fostered by developers, bankers and the Chamber crowd must be undone. The way to do this is more indictments and a more vigilant electorate. I didn't vote for Shirley but I never suspected she'd do this. So we need better quality people but we don't need to put good people into a corrupt system that gives them easy justification for doing the wrong thing.

I plan to say a prayer for her. But mostly, I plan to pray for the community I live into to raise the standards and no longer tolerate a small group of powerful men who control just about everything involving politics.

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Don 2 years, 3 months ago

Well I hope everyone remembers this come election time and vote every sitting BOC member out that has someone running against them.

Welcome to the good O'll boy politics of Gwinnett.

She is guilty and needs to do the time. I do not care what her situation was she committed a crime. Does a homeless person get off for shoplifting food? NOPE!

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conservative56 2 years, 3 months ago

Don, how many hours did you donate to our county in the past 12 months? What have you done for anyone besides yourself and your family in forever? I will have you know that this county was built on good O'll boy politics. When the good O'll boys ran it we had little crime, little unemployment and little problems. It wasn't until people from everywhere else moved in and started telling us how they did it that we got to this point.

Why don't you run for the commission. If you do it right the job pays about $8 an hour. You get to subject yourself to constituents who for the most part only care about themselves and what they can get from the county. They will expect you to cater to their every whim and provide more services without increaseing taxes. The press will do everything they can to get you to say something contriversial so they can sell newspapers. I am sure you would be perfect for the job and would make every one in the county happy.

How about it Don? Are you going to do something or just spew venom on a blog? Would you like to put up a sign at my business or home?

Good Luck!

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kthomas 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll bet the deeper the investigators dig the more they will find. Its my belief the corruption runs much deeper, and can be traced back to previous commissioners. Especially the ones that have stuff named after them in the past 15 years or so.

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Kat 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm only a few years younger than Shirley. I too make 31k per year and share a 2 bedroom apartment with my son. Things do get tight financially, but 31k is hardly poverty level. I also have some health issues. So I don't have any sympathy for the woman. There are other routes to take and she chose an illegal one.

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conservative56 2 years, 3 months ago

Shirley screwed up bad and she is going to pay for it, end of story. I wonder; is it our counties fault that our citizens have so little self esteem that the only way they can feel better about themselves is to kick a 66 year old woman when she is down?

To Premier2878 and the others like you; get a life. Try working in the community to help out instead of this hateful and useless banter.

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CD 2 years, 3 months ago

I read the post and see nothing to believe that the poster should seek help for low self-esteem. I do see a poster that is fed up with the political state of this county.

It could be that the poster does not have the spare time to volunteer in the county since he/she is spending most of their time working to pay their tax bill; you know, the taxes the Gluttonous Heathens talk so much about cutting, but instead implement pay lanes on 85, refuse to cut county expenses further to meet a faltering tax base here in Gwinnett, and then seek to sell the airport, that costs zero, so that another group of heathens can screw the citizens and after they revenue share the ad-velorum taxes and pad the delelopers, they can leave the whole mess to the taxpayer. I'm not even going to mention T-Splost. Well, at length.

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

I do charity work for my community. What do you do, Conservative 56? If you are part of the Civitans, then we need to worry about you. When was the last time you ever did anything but support a criminal?

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tomcat 2 years, 3 months ago

SHAME ON SHIRLEY... Not only have i been a life long resident of Gwinnett County but have been employed by Gwinnett County for 24 years. While good people and i must add hard working people have not had raises as employees in over five years , It's really nice to know that our leaders - you know the ones that reminded us how broke Gwinnett County is and how lucky we have a position , Was doing the nasty dance and having a grand old time on somebody elses dime. And then out comes the good ole bible thumpers right on cue to protect a low life criminal. makes a mind wonder if this was the first time or the first time she has been caught. Trust me you don't wake up deciding today is the day..Yep i want to take bribes as your sucking down your cream lattea from StarBucks. You know the coffee a regular working person can't afford. This act should be treated as treason to the good people of Gwinnett County and should be treated as so. With that nice little fake southern draw and that flaming red hair you are gonna make some body a wonderful wife ( in prison ) . I really hope your oldest knows how to hand wash clothes.

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JustPlainOldBob 2 years, 3 months ago

All involved should be investigated, if enough evidence, charged, and given a fair trial. This is how it should be done. Mr. Porter needs to go for Kenerly with a gusto and it befuddles me that Bannister got off by walking away.

My family was a 4th generation plus Gwinnett family dating back to formation of Gwinnett. We moved out of the county and up the road so to speak. Guess what? It is just as corrupt, good ole boy system, and reminds me of the rural days of Gwinnett and later when Gwinnett really started to grow. We let them get away with it and it continues today. The problem with apathy is no one cares.

Why does anyone feel sorry for these dirt bags? Lies, corruption, and DRUG DEALERS, my gosh wrong is wrong is wrong.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

To all of the idiot's who have money to throw Shiley's way, why didn't you do it several years ago, when she lost her home? People, this is a well educated woman, Masters degree. What does that tell you, teaching doesn't pay, crime does? After she lost in past election, she was still working for the state, (great benefits, both health and pension), and at 64 finally got caught... No sympathy, for the fool...

The woman needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law...10 years, 250k fine....But, don't feel sorry for her... she will have a home, 3 meals a day, health care, and be able to save all of her S.S. and pension money for 10 years...When she gets out they will probably, reduce the 250k to time served...

She truly has made a name for herself and all government buildings, roads, etc. that bear her name need to be changed... (If there are any, I do not know)

Remember, SHE PLEAD "GUILTY", there is NO TRIAL.. SHE admitted to the crime.. CASE CLOSED...

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toby 2 years, 3 months ago

She is just another politician. She just got caught. They are all the same. Don't have skills to get a job so they depend on the tax payers wallets. And if she could buy a $224K house back in 1974, she had plenty of money. How do you lose it? And she was managing money for the tax payers. Now go after the rest of the crooks. Clean up America. Shoot the lawyers first.

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cp3 2 years, 3 months ago

toby: All politicians are the same? You, and so many others, continue to show your mis-information, or ignorance. Most politicians at the local level have full-time jobs, (most are well-paying), and depend very little on the part-time paycheck they recieve. I know of some who give back their pay to their communities, or have offered to work for free. Not every politician is the same, not every lawyer is the same, not every teacher is the same, on and on. Open your eyes and realize that there are good, honest people in public office. One, (or three), bad apples at the County level don't spoil the whole barrel. But I do agree, it gives them all a bad taste. Everyone should look beneath the surface before judging politicians as a group.

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BenDover 2 years, 3 months ago

You are correct not all politicians are corrupt, It's just unfortunate that Our's are...they are supposed to be watching over our money, and providing services... yet every where you turn there is a smell of fowl in the air... From the trash, to the Stadium, to the Airport....Why can't the leaders of this county just watch over the running of the county and leave it at that? Personal agenda's have no business in government... That's know working for the people. I personally know several honest politicians and these "bad apples" do effect them as well.. You have to let each person chart their course.. As citizens, we need to demand, term limits for public servants and watch what's going on in commission meetings(transparency) in government....

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atlga 2 years, 3 months ago

Some people were lining up to run against Shirley for Mayor. She had worn out her welcome and it was time for her to go. So she goes to the County Commission and learns from the pros! Lock all of them up.

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IvaBenHadd 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you US District Attorney, Sally Q. Yates.

Thank you Gwinnett DA, Danny Porter.

Now take the Director for DeKalb's Green Space and Park Bonds and put her before a Grand Jury. LONG OVERDUE. I BET OLE JEFF RADER WILL BE DOING SOME INTERVIEWS THEN ?

DeKalb County is R.I.C.O.

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IvaBenHadd 2 years, 3 months ago

It used to be in Gwinett that the krazy ole coots in the county were all around Snellville ?

It appears that the Good People of Gwinett have not vetted their choices as well as they thought ?

Evidently strong Republican Values don't get the job done = you forget honesty n integerity !

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Premier2878 2 years, 3 months ago

Where does the money go if Shirley Lasseter does not use all of the money they collect? Does John Robb get to keep all of the money that is not spent since the account is in his name? Who are the signers on the account? Is there any guarantee that he will refund money that are not used.? What if the Federal Government says that this type of legal defense fund cannot be used for a drug dealer!? John Gotti had to get his own attorney, because he commited a Federal crime. He could not accept funds from other sources. Who keeps the records of the donations, and who determines how funds are distributed? If it looks like corruption, acts like corruption, and shows the ugly head of corruption, it probably is CORRUPTION. How do you know that this defense fund is not part of corruption? You can doctor it up, change the color,and defend it, but it is corruption by any other name is still corruption. Before anyone gives money for something like this, I think that people need to ask a lot of questions. Otherwise, they may as well dump their money in the sewer.

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