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Lasseter pleads guilty to bribery charges, resigns from BOC

An artist rendering from federal district court of John Fanning, left, Carl "Skip" Cain, Shirley Lasseter and an unknown attorney.

An artist rendering from federal district court of John Fanning, left, Carl "Skip" Cain, Shirley Lasseter and an unknown attorney.

ATLANTA — Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, a seasoned government leader once praised for her motherly concern and reassuring presence in tense meetings, resigned from her post Thursday and pleaded guilty alongside her son in federal court to accepting bribes related to a real estate deal. A top federal prosecutor blasted the 64-year-old grandmother for selling her office and betraying her constituents.

Lasseter admitted to accepting a total of $36,500 in bribes in exchange for her vote in favor of a proposed pawn shop on Boggs Road near Duluth in District 1, which she has represented on the board since 2009. The former Duluth mayor of 14 years now faces up to a decade in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Lasseter became the third commissioner to step away from the embattled board in the last two years while facing the possibility of criminal prosecution.

Lasseter’s son, John Fanning, 34, and Carl “Skip” Cain, 65, also pleaded guilty to participating in the bribery scheme and to cocaine trafficking. They both face up to 10 years in prison and a minimum of five years. All three defendants face fines of at least $250,000.

Fanning is a former member of Gwinnett’s zoning board of appeals, which his mother appointed him to. Cain, of Flowery Branch, is an associate of Lasseter’s who works in the trucking business.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said Lasseter “sold her office and betrayed the citizens” of Gwinnett. Lasseter has resigned her post on the Board of Commissioners, a county official confirmed.

Cain reportedly acted as the “bag man” for Lasseter and Fanning, arranging bribes required for their official approval and setting up meetings with them for the payment of the requested bribes. Cain was paid a total of $10,000, which he demanded as a fee for arranging the involvement of Lasseter and her son. Fanning’s cut was to be a 50 percent ownership stake in the pawn shop, Yates said.

An undercover agent told the defendants that he “laundered money for drug dealers and that drug trafficking proceeds would fund” the proposed pawn shop on Boggs Road.

Lasseter and Fanning both told the undercover agent the bribes could buy their approval. Lasseter also said it was possible that the county would buy any portions of the property that could not be developed profitably, officials said.

Officials at county and federal levels were unsure Thursday of the pawn shop’s proposed location.

In an ironic twist, Lasseter told the agent that “such a purchase would be difficult because a state special grand jury had investigated county land purchases,” resulting in similar charges and an indictment against former Commissioner Kevin Kenerly.

County spokesman Joe Sorenson said Thursday that the county officials were trying to process details of the case, which came as a total surprise. The county was evaluating what would be done with Lasseter’s unexpired term, he said.

“This is something that we’re going to have to figure out over the next couple of days,” Sorenson said.

The drug charges for Fanning and Cain stem from a trip the duo took to New York, in which they flew back with four kilograms of what they believed was cocaine. They returned to Atlanta with “sham” cocaine planning to make a delivery to a buyer, believing they were trafficking drugs and laundering money for the undercover agent.

Lasseter, whose term was marked by the death of her husband and self-described health ailments, had announced in February she would not be seeking another term. Her District 1 Commission seat includes the Duluth and Suwanee area.

In October 2010, Lasseter stepped in as the board’s interim chair to replace Charles Bannister, who resigned in lieu of being indicted on perjury charges by a special grand jury empaneled to investigate questionable land deals.

At the press conference, Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said he had approached the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office two years ago requesting assistance in probing a “culture of corruption” in Gwinnett County government. Those agencies made his request a priority, he said.

“As a prosecutor, and as a citizen of Gwinnett County, I’m shocked by this behavior,” Porter said, adding later: “I think people need to be more careful with who they elect.”

Porter said his office is working in conjunction with the federal agencies in an ongoing investigation. Yates declined to specify when the investigation started or what paths it may take next.

All three defendants were released on $10,000 bond Thursday, and Yates said all three are cooperating. She would not elaborate on how Thursday’s developments might affect other facets of the investigation.

In court, Yates said Lasseter indicated she “was certainly having discussions” about how she might sell her vote on the proposed privatization of the Gwinnett County Airport in addition to the proposed pawn shop.

“It was a discussion with folks where nothing ever happened as a result of that,” Yates said.

In court, Lasseter told U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell she was contrite.

“I truthfully regret that I took a bribe,” Lasseter said when asked why she did it, as reported by the Associated Press. “I’m very ashamed that I did something like that to embarrass not only myself and my constituents but the commission and Gwinnett County.”

Those sentiments echoed on the courthouse steps, where Fanning’s attorney, Bill Thomas, said his client is “remorseful about what has happened.” Fanning made no comment and both men declined to answer questions.

“Today marks the first step in the process for his taking responsibility for his actions, and his making amends and trying to set this right as best he can,” Thomas said of Fanning.

Lasseter has been absent from official Commissioners’ meetings since Feb. 21, citing health issues. A few days after that meeting, she announced her retirement from government, saying she planned to enjoy her grandchildren.

“It’s sad, but I’ve got a very good feeling of accomplishment,” Lasseter said then, citing a balanced budget and service delivery agreement between Gwinnett County and its cities as feathers in her cap.

As recently as Monday, Lasseter made a public appearance in official capacity, addressing a Memorial Day crowd at the county’s Fallen Heroes Memorial.

As the head of Duluth government, Lasseter was viewed as a mayor for the people, answering to the moniker “Mayor Shirley” as the city’s population grew exponentially. She once dressed as the Runaway Bride at a hockey game, bringing levity to a situation that had the city tensely searching for a missing woman. Another time she placed a bet with the mayor of Alaska when the Gwinnett Gladiators faced off with his team in a championship series.

Gwinnett’s top elected official, Commission chairwoman Charlotte Nash, said Thursday that news of Lasseter’s underhanded dealings was as unexpected as it was appalling. Nash said she was not familiar with a project or rezoning on Boggs Road that fit the one in question.

“Just as I felt we had made some progress and had begun to point the county in the right direction, we are faced with this serious setback,” Nash wrote in an email. “I am just sick for all of Gwinnett County.”

Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris, who supplanted Lasseter when she left for the higher office, said Lasseter is still beloved and that news of her downfall had shocked the city.

“I think we’re all just feeling very sad and hurt in a lot of ways that she’d gotten into trouble,” Harris said Thursday night. “We just all respect her and love her.”

Staff Writers Tyler Estep and Keith Farner and editor Todd Cline contributed to this article.

Comments

gwinnettisgreat1 1 year, 10 months ago

Shirley took a 35k retirement check and hit the bricks. Nice.

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Coolray 1 year, 10 months ago

What sad news. The County Commission just took another big hit to its credibility. At this the house must be cleaned. Bribes, Drugs, what's next, kiddie porn?

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dav 1 year, 10 months ago

the long trail of corruption continues

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glenn_s 1 year, 10 months ago

Lassiter, Kenerly, and Bannister....what do they all have in common? Yea, they are all crooks, but they all also appointed the CA and Deputy CA who have run the county into the ground. Gwinnett used to be a respected county, and now it is a laughing stock. How long will Nash support these buffoons?

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mickey 1 year, 10 months ago

glenn......you hit the nail right in the head!

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agneskravitz 1 year, 10 months ago

Republicans, Corrupt to the core

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laxcoach 1 year, 10 months ago

It's unintelligent people like you that are causing our society to decline. There are corrupt republicans and corrupt democrats - learn to think.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

And empty barrels like Floyd make the most noise.

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CD 1 year, 10 months ago

Insanity. To think that this pathetic woman had the power to ruin the lives of thousands of citizens with her vote for Briscoe.

It's time that Gwinnett wake up and realize that the BOC and the Chamber of Commerce will stop at nothing to put a dollar in their pocket. Nothing.

And to sell out for 35k? That is no better than standing on a street corner.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

Heck, she sold my neighborhood out for her vote to put a trash transfer station next to a Catholic Church to help Bannister get even with a former political rival and also return a favor to a developer friend, and we're surprised at ANY of this lowlife behavior?

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OrganicGrl 1 year, 10 months ago

That is why this county is in the shape it is in...It is sad and unfortunately I am not surprised. Where can I get a sign made for my front yard stating neighbors to not re elect anyone that is in office?

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

And now comes Briscoe, the issue that CAN’T die - due to a 2/2 split . Could be WORSE – she could have voted to ramrod it through before she pled out…

Well Ms Nash, it looks like YOU will get to do the county citizen visit/meet and greet/ chat tour, just like the one done BEFORE you took office …

At least we know how zonings get shot to H@$X! Attention Tommy Hunter, your election chances just crumbled too.

Attention shoppers: Damage control in district 3/4 please!

Gwinnett commissioner, son plead guilty to taking bribe

http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/gwinnett-commissioner-son-plead-1450048.html

When the undercover agent later asked Fanning whether he was willing to become involved in illegal money laundering, Fanning replied, "I'm totally on board. ... I don't mind doing any of this and I've definitely done things under the table before my whole life. I mean, I got no problems doing stuff like this. That's how we all get by," the complaint said.

In September, the complaint said, Fanning and Cain flew to the New York area to assist in collecting what they thought would be a multiple-kilogram shipment of cocaine.

NO WONDER we need a BIGGER airport those little jets don’t carry enough product…

“What’s Political is Political and what’s the Law is the Law – the two don’t meet and shouldn’t have too”

Attorney to Gwinnett Superior Court Judge 4/12

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

Lassetter Gwinnett's very own MA Parker ..

Fanning, 34, who runs a landscaping business, told the judge he'd made "a very stupid mistake." Yeah got caught!!

"I'm still very young, still learning a lot," he said. "I made a paid mistake. I got in over my head, your honor." Mom's one heck of a teacher!!!

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BufordGuy 1 year, 10 months ago

"At least we know how zonings get shot to H@$X! Attention Tommy Hunter, your election chances just crumbled too."

You say some of the dumbest stuff on here of anybody I've ever seen.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

Hit a nerve there partner?

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Reason 1 year, 10 months ago

The artwork is the best part.

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jh7007 1 year, 10 months ago

Good riddance. The clean up continues...you think the rest of the BOC might learn somthing? We will take this county back

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Bojangle1 1 year, 10 months ago

As a County employee and resident, I am now profoundly ashamed to tell people where I work and live. Our leaders have lined their pockets with the proceeds of corruption while telling the 4,500 BOC employees that no raises can be earned for the previous 4 years. Gwinnett WAS the pride and envy of the metro area, but now the selfish actions of elected officials have brought disgrace to what was once a good place. Mr. Bedreau: if you genuinely haven't noticed and reported the criminal acts of your peers, then your are just simple, or in with them. Please make your departure as Bannister did.

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glenn_s 1 year, 10 months ago

Bojangle, you are right! But it is also the paid "professional" staff at the top, aka Stephens and Bovos who have had the reigns and have sent the county down the tubes. Not only do we need good elected leaders, we need integrity, professionalism, and frankly, just some common sense at the top.....something we certainly don't have now.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

Bojangle1...please do not consider a legal career. Your standard of evidence is just a smidge off base. What I find curious here is that you assume that because someone commits a criminal act that it's going to be obvious to everyone in the room...HELLO...if you intentionally commit a crime you do your best to make sure it isn't noticed.

Instead of trying to make political points @ Commissioner Beaudreau's expense you should be grateful that he's conducted himself with personal integrity and that Gwinnett does have District Commissioners that are doing it right.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

@Floyd Did you EVER attend ANY of the meetings during her term as commissioner? It was painful, like watching a slow moving train wreck and being unable to stop it. She was SPOON FED on operations by both Commissioner Beaudreau and Chairman Banister. There is HOURS of video on that. I felt sorry for her due to the loss of her spouse and THIS is how that sympathy is paid back? A son that freely admits “he’s used to under the table transactions with MOMMY”?

You HONESTLY believe NO one on the BOC had a clue? Did Shirley come off as some type of genius savant like the fictional Columbo character?

Eat your Wheaties dude, cause there is some REALLY HEAVY lifting heading your way on this one.

Fool us once shame on you, FOOL us TWICE SHAME on us…

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

R...yes, in fact, I did. her election was a clear mistake by district 1 voters.

I'm not talking about the BOC...I'm talking about Commissioner Beaudreau and yes...I'm certain he didn't know about it.

R...proximity doesn't equal quilt. Never has...never will.

I'm waiting for your evidence...your conjecture doesn't even rise to the label of "weak".

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

I've got hand to you with FOCUS, You'd make the Paulbots take notice...

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jljustis 1 year, 10 months ago

His post had nothing to do with a legal issue. Floyd, I hope you are not an attorney. If so, you must be awful. There is a lot to be learned about Beaudreau's actions. I hope the Federal Government is looking very close into his actions.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

Jljustis...actually it did...but the insinuation is that Commissioner Beaudreau is either "Simple (minded) or in with them". Such a thought assumes that there could not be a 3rd (or more) possibility hence why I suggested a career in something other than the law.

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jljustis 1 year, 10 months ago

I suggest that you don't consider a legal career. I will subit to your knowledge of simple minded. You seem to be an expert.

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EthicsInGwinnett 1 year, 10 months ago

Who do you think was voting against all the crap Bannister/Lassiter were pushing? Mike Beaudreau. If you can't tell the difference please stay home on election day.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

YES MOST ... but not all The Airport? Trashplan?

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

Glad I could help ... (Smiles)

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kledbetter 1 year, 10 months ago

I posted a comment right after the charles bannister and kevin kenerly hit the news that the feds should come into gwinnett county and clean up this corrupt county. Todays case with shirley lassester just made it more evident. But gwinnett county officials just will not listen. Wait and see who's next. The people of gwinnett county needs to take it back.

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BuzzG 1 year, 10 months ago

"The Feds should come in and clean up Gwinnett." Are you kidding? Someone needs to clean up the Feds. Eric Holder is an embarrassment.
We are turning into a third world country were you don't know where to turn for honest decent government.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

and buzz is a mindless republican who parrots what they teach him.

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BenDover 1 year, 10 months ago

The NUT doesn't fall to far from the TREE!.... Well, here we have another criminal that we are continuing to pay...Her City and County Pension should be forfeited, to start... Then, Put her in Duluth City Jail, the one she built, and let her live with the illegals that she wants to send back to Mexico.

Nasuiti got out when the getting was good. Tom Rice is on the hot seat in Peachtree Corners, and this is just the beginning. Lannette Howard, and Mary Kay Murphy are right behind... Chicago politics has come to Gwinnett.... I miss the good ole days, when a public servant, WAS a public servant....

As for me, I'm voting for whoever is NOT the incumbent, time to cross party lines...and vote the incumbent's out...

This county commission, needs a overhaul, from top to bottom.. My suggestion again, do away with the cities and have the mayor represent your area on the board. Have a commission of 15 instead of 5.. Makes sense, we have 800,000 people in Gwinnett...It will save us all a BOAT LOAD OF MONEY.... CHECK YOUR PROPERTYTAX BILL..and SEE.....

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Pragmatic 1 year, 10 months ago

I live in a city and I am glad I do. The services I get for such a minuscule tax is well worth it. I would not live in the unincorporated county.

For the record, glad to see another one chalked up by the prosecutors and law enforcement. She needed to go. It does make me wonder about the entire airport deal. I was very neutral on the issue, but now I am dubious.

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JW 1 year, 10 months ago

Here's evidence of one commissioner willing to sell a vote for the airport. We all know there is at least one more. Somewhere there is a paper trail between Propeller Investments and the other one. Time for the DA to get busy and weed out the rest of this corruption. Just when you think it can't get any worse........Might be time to clean house at the Republican Party of Gwinnett.....their record for candidates sucks.

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BenDover 1 year, 10 months ago

JW, I totally agree... The Republican Party in Gwinnett is an embarrassment to all of us tax paying citizens....

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MissDaisyCook 1 year, 10 months ago

Gimme a break! It depends on who is in power; how about the corruption in DeKalb, Fulton and City of Atlanta? They are all democrats.

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roaads1 1 year, 10 months ago

MissDaisyCook- You're right. Instead of finding problems we could count blessings. Gwinnett is a beacon of light compared to any other large county in Georgia. Corrupt politicians is nothing new anywhere in America, or other countries for that matter. Citizens in Gwinnett need to take a drive through Atlanta, Decatur, even Cobb. Gwinnett's paradise compared to them. Not perfect by any stretch.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

BUT at the CURRENT rate of decline? I see FULTON creeping up over my shoulder...

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

daisy and floyd are republican parrots - they say what they're taught to say.

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pcjohn 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think our DA will do anything. Look what he did with Bannister. And where was he when all these bribes were being handed out? See no evil. I guess

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Jeff 1 year, 10 months ago

Please remind us pcjohn exactly what bannister was being investigated for?

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jljustis 1 year, 10 months ago

No surprise here. Good riddance. She should serve jail time. Just one more crook to go.

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jljustis 1 year, 10 months ago

As I posted before, any commissioner voting for Propeller proposal should be investigated. No scam and skim.

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JW 1 year, 10 months ago

And they should also be ran off. Nothing wrong with a Republican calling the Republican party to task. Gwinnett politicians (without regard to party) have been bought and sold around here for years by the developers. Seen quite a few go in as citizens with modest means and they always come out rich at the end. Time for tar a feathers.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

Having been active in campaigns with opponents of Bannister, his mini-minion Lasseter and Kenerly, color me unsurprised, except for how long it took to identify them all as what they actually are. There are still others of their worthy scumball equals on the BOC, and one nearly identical potential replacement for Lasseter (and the Briscoe deal) already in the running. We're in political sewage up to our chins.

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Braveshopr 1 year, 10 months ago

"If the pleas were not enough to shake up the county government, federal prosecutors disclosed that more prosecutions involving land deals could be forthcoming. At Thursday's hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Gilfillan said all three defendants are now talking to federal and local authorities and could receive reduced sentences based on the value of their cooperation."

I bet they ARE talking. They will sell out everyone they know who even jay-walked once in the past twenty years. That is, unless the bigger fish get to them first.

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Erk 1 year, 10 months ago

I knew something was up when 'ole Shirley pushed for the county to buy some "excess" land from a developer for a COUNTY park. This peaceful piece of acreage was right next to I-85 and Beaver Ruin which is a wonderful place to get out an relax. Car zipping by at 70 plus miles per hour within feet of the park. Yep, gotta have it. What a joke. Clayton County is starting to look like an ethical place to live compared to Gwinnett. Few more years when I can break even on my home - we are out of here!

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

Yea, verily, sing like a bird they will. Stay tuned - Laurie McClain (on Fly Gwinnett Forward - guess who she works for), is already running for Lasseter's spot, and is unquestionably not fit to serve (guess why?). Nor is the sellout lass from PTC, with similar stains, and of course the old Bannister Buddy plus our favorite human etch-a-sketch - sooooo much dirt to go around.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

Keep up the good work my friend.

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

I have been telling people before the last election not to vote for her. He has always been under the control of developers. I saw her at my doctor's office about 4-5 months ago. Nothing was wrong with her. She was in a dermatology office. For those that voted for her, I hope you have finally learned your lessen about voting for someone because someone else told you to. Investigate and stop looking so stupid. All these politicians quit when something is about to happen to them so they can grab their fat pensions. Where is the law that prevents pensions when an employee is convicted of a felony? these fats cats only pass protection laws with loopholes so they can use them when they leave public service. Where is the outrage by voters? Are the taxpayers in Gwinnett that rich that they don't care or they all illegal and too scared to come outside? Boudreax abd Heard may be next. They had the other 2 yes votes for the airport expansion.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

Nice intelligent post Kevin...yeah...just because you assume they would vote for airport expansion they must be corrupt. You've posted foolishness plenty of times before but this maybe #1.

I'm glad I'm not in your world...it's way way WAY too small for me.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd - you're defending what she did aren't you.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

RCO...lay off the vodka before you post. That way you have at least an outside chance at making sense.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd - I'll bet you're still defending Bannister and Kenerly and so just add Lassiter to your list. You keep nice company.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

HAHAHAHA...you should do a bit of research before you put your foot in your mouth so deep you get Athlete's tongue.

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Dubbin 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd is running interference for Beaudreau who seems like he will vote for airport expansion.

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Katrina 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd, The reason pro-airport commissioners are suspect is that all the evidence points to a privatized, commercialized Briscoe being an abject failure. So one has to wonder why certain commissioners are so gung-ho for it.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

Katrina...I have no issue with someone wondering about that. Fair game. However, what bothers me, and it SHOULD BOTHER EVERYONE, is insinuations or worse with absolutely no evidence.

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CLawrenceville 1 year, 10 months ago

Our problem with the commission Floyd, is that if after reading all the studies done by the professionals who were hired to get the facts about the airport, they still voted to go forward, we would need an investigation. All professionals say it is doomed to failure, not a viable location and the taxpayers of Gwinnett would eventually get the bill. A vote for the airport is a vote against all the logical facts that say it is a terrible idea. We just need to stop doing dumb here in Gwinnett.

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redmudd 1 year, 10 months ago

Kevin, Where did you get that Heard is in favor of the airport? He has gone on the record against it. You mean Boudreaux and Howard are in the pockets of Propeller folks.

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

I'll gladly fill her unexpired term. I'd vote for whatever District one wanted me to vote. Too bad those type of politicians are gone for good.

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

she didn't just start this crooked business of her's in Gwinnett. Had to start in Duluth as well. That must be why so many new businesses can't get a liquor license. They didn't pay the right people off. I can give you a name of one that i know of that recently opened about 4 months ago and is still waiting for the license to sell beer & wine. Give me a break. I wouldn't live in Duluth if they paid me. Just as corrupt but the FBI hasn't struck there yet.

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Mack711 1 year, 10 months ago

When they get around to investigating Duluth bet they find many there may be just as guilty. Start with the Parks and Rec Department and a developer ,HDR. something may be going on there since the Mayor and Council voted to spend 510K on that dog park. A 250k playground at Taylor park. Some say that these projects are a waste of funds. Then the traffic circle, They have enough to build the thing, but not enough to replant Azelas on one persons property that was removed during construction? Give me a break!! Hurry and get to Duluth before they resign and get their pensions, at the city expense.

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cp3 1 year, 10 months ago

Mack711 - you continue to show how mis-informed you are. There were citizen review committes and they selected the Dog park as their number one amenity they desired. And elected officials in Duluth do not receive a pension - never have.

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jack 1 year, 10 months ago

Did I miss something? Was there no probable cause hearing, arrest, arraignment, bail, etc.? Not many folks walk into a courtroom and plead guilty without some prior public knowledge of the situation or preliminary legal wrangling. Not that the story is unsurprising, but surely (pun intended), somebody had to know this was coming before today. Or did I just experience a spike in senility?

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roaads1 1 year, 10 months ago

Jack- I said the same thing. This had to be going on for a while. The fact that we didn't hear before now is surprising.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

News states in was known in SEPTEMBER...

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MissDaisyCook 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe something will finally come out on Nasuti and Morgan and the ramming of the baseball stadium down our throats.

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roaads1 1 year, 10 months ago

MissDaisy- The extra $19 million still haunts a bit. I remember Danny Porter complained about that money. I guess we'll see.

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Coolray 1 year, 10 months ago

The swamp must be drained. Re-elect no one. Then watch these people like a hawk. Ethics don't exist in politics and its ashame.

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Gwinnettsince1991 1 year, 10 months ago

And we are supposed to trust politicians with our money on the TSPLOST vote? HECK NO, they get no more of my money to sell us down the river

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NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

You just got to appreciate the timing of this. I mean, why would anybody vote for any existing commissioner, let alone TSPLOST?

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

Why? The commissioner I will be voting for in July has conduced himself with integrity. I'll take that on any day but even moreso now.

And this don't vote for re-election for anyone is just a tad foolish. What do you get then? A roll of the dice...I'm not willing to trust my district to chance.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd - Voting for "known, established, experience" has led to the likes of Lassiter, Bannister and Kenerly. So much for that.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

RCO...lasseter was elected by a minority of the registered voters who frankly just didn't do their homework. With regards to Kenerly, I was there when he gave his announcement that he wasn't running again. Made me celebrate. Bannister? His departure from the BOC should be remembered annually.

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jack 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd- the commissioner you're voting for in July; is it the same one who screwed those folks out of their cell tower deal? I find your definition of "integrity" disturbing.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

Yet another person putting integrity in quotes. Now that's disturbing.

You, among a large number of others here, don't understand the difference between a decision you don't agree with and integrity.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

But we DO see and understand the difference when the government body that CONTROLS zoning matters enters into DIRECT conflict with its citizens by COMPETING for revenue. This couple WANTED the cell tower, why didn't the county take one of the OTHER 98 percent of the opportunities that were disputed?

The matter was tabled more than 20 times ... 20?

Floyd have YOU ever personally tried to directly fight a BILLION dollar firm? NOW that's "disturbing", especially when your tax dollars are used AGAINST you

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jack 1 year, 10 months ago

Yeah, I've got quotation marks and I'm not afraid to use them. (Hope the use of apostrophes didn't make you overly uncomfortable) Integrity is the quality of being honest. Stonewalling a couples zoning variance request for three years until you can find a way to cut them out of their deal for purposes of political expediency is not integrity.

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NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

Now Jack, "Integrity" (See, I used quotes too!) is such a big big word for Floyd. Given his historical posts here, I'm reasonably certain he doesn't have the first clue of the meaning of the word.

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jljustis 1 year, 10 months ago

In your opinion. Let's see how this plays out.

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JHogan 1 year, 10 months ago

Trying again. According to a report that I saw this afternoon, the outcome of this investigation was known in September, 2011. Why did it take so long for the outcome to be reported to the public?

We have just finished "qualifications" for elections to the local government. Now, after it is possible for other candidates to qualify for election, this "surprise" is sprung upon the electorate.

I smell a very large rat there.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

And remembering back to the August 2011 meeting where staff was cited as borderline insubordinate, weren’t there concerns at THAT point about bidding delays pushing the Briscoe process out till December 2011? MAYBE this was part of it…

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JHogan 1 year, 10 months ago

That should read "Now that it NOT possible for other candidates..."

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JHogan 1 year, 10 months ago

It's pretty sad in a "democracy" when a simple question cant even get by the censors.

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 10 months ago

Where's DA Porter been during all of this?..seems since the Sugarloaf Madam case, he's been almost non-existent..

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

dentaldawg...I suggest you actually READ the article you're commenting on...Porter was the one who asked for investigations to be conducted.

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mickey 1 year, 10 months ago

Floyd...I am with you, people -at least read the article and then read again and just to make sure you got all of the information read it again. Mr. Porter is The GOOD Guy here.

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lawmon 1 year, 10 months ago

According to published reports, this prosecution is the result of Danny going to the US Attorney and FBI and asking for assistance in ridding the county of a culture of corruption. Good for him!

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Dubbin 1 year, 10 months ago

That is just Porter taking credit in my opinion. If he had wanted to do something about corruption in the past he could have done so. Like by actually charging Bannister instead of letting him walk.

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Jeff 1 year, 10 months ago

@Dubbin, what charges was Bannister facing before he resigned?

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notblind 1 year, 10 months ago

It was lying before a grand jury, wasn't it?

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Jeff 1 year, 10 months ago

You are correct. Perjury. I'm not sure what the punishment would be for that but I am sure that it's a slap on the wrist. So charging him with perjury and letting him stay in office would have been a bad move. i think the DA did the smart thing for the county by forcing him to resign before bannister could do more damage.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

Well you can blame the Gwinnett County Republican Aristocracy for all of this. We live in a state and county where red is unopposed which is like having a license to steal. You can't tell any of them that they're wrong. I 've been attending the meetings about the airport and feel certain there are more snakes under the rocks.

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lawmon 1 year, 10 months ago

When I learned of this yesterday, I was shocked, disappointed and then angry, in that order. This confirms that there was/is a culture of corruption in Gwinnett. The simple truth is that all that is required for evil to flourish is for good men and women to do nothing. It is time for us all to adopt and adhere to the cadet honor code at West Point--"a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."

I will no longer tolerate it.

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notblind 1 year, 10 months ago

You are powerless to stop it. The first thing a con man tells you is " You can trust me". They are very persuasive, that's how they have success.

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gwinnettisgreat1 1 year, 10 months ago

Guys, calm down a second. These are politicians at the local level. Do you really expect anything less? Some of you act like you are "shocked". Really? Are you really? Cause if you are, you are living under a rock.

It will not matter if you elect Simon Peter, someone, somewhere will need some pull for building, expanding or rezoning, Simon will be in a pinch financially and the lining of pockets begins.

What is shocking is that Shirley girl truly believed she was smart enough to get away with it. With technology and government the way it is now, how anyone thinks they will skate free is beyond me. Your sins will find you out. I just hope Shirley spends some of that 35k on a new hair do.

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

Anything LESS? No not really... short of a previous poster's comment on kiddie porn, we are pretty much at bottom.

Something better? YES, I demand a higher level of thievery... At least tell me that "you feel my pain".

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1bearz 1 year, 10 months ago

OK, we are now 3 for 5 in commissioners. We need to wake up and vote AFTER checking out the candidates. Do your homework, do the research, become educated before you vote this year. This is for local, state and federal elected officials. We cannot continue with the same old thing or our grandchildren will be living in another country, NOT the USA.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

. Voting isn't a privilege as much as it as a responsibility of citizenship. I couldn't agree more...get informed...stay informed.

Nice.

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SickandTired 1 year, 10 months ago

This is a quote from the article in the GDP (Feb. 2012) regarding Shirley's retirement from politics "Nobody has to worry about that coming in after me. They've got a clean slate coming in."

it's amazing the arrogance of some people. Can she be that stupid?

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newresident 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes, here it goes again with the county whose officials are better known as crooks. My question to all is why are any of the present commissioners still sitting in place? Why not a clean sweep and maybe step outside the present "good old boy crew" who seems to still be behind the scenes? The people of count put Nash back as Chairman but what has she done? She was on the commission before and was voted out, from what I have been told since it was before my time here.

I have met many good people since I moved here but I have also seen the system that appears to run this county at all levels and the actions of this one commissioner, along with the other two, are just examples of what it has become. When leaders act this way you need to clean the house and give others a chance.

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rco1847 1 year, 10 months ago

AND THE MONOPOLY by the Gwinnett Republican Aristocracy continues. We have fewer options and choices because people "Think" only Republican Candidates which is like handing elected officials a license to steal.

Propeller and Fly Gwinnett Backwards should be bidding on Purchasing the County Jail. They seem to have more experience there.

Is anyone really surprised. What so many of us expected has been proven true,and while there may not be more indictments you can be certain some of the rats scurried off before they got caught. When they said a prayer at the begining of the commission meetings I wanted to puke. It's nothing but backing stabbing bullship with a phoney front.

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notblind 1 year, 10 months ago

Back when Bannister was running for reelection I voted for a Dumocrat for the first time since I voted for Zell Miller.

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Floyd_Akridge 1 year, 10 months ago

I was working on Lorraine Green's campaign. I wish she had won but only something like 9% of the registered voters participated.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

Odd, but I don't recall seeing you around either of her campaigns.

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Bruce 1 year, 10 months ago

Was anybody else concerned when Nancy Harris, current Mayor of Duluth said, “We just all respect her and love her.” I could think of several things to say, but not that. Maybe express that it's a sad day for Duluth, but not that.

Good job Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter . The shame here is there is probably more to come.

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Mack711 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe Nancy Harris was getting ready for an investigation into Duluth and the City Council. Would not be suprised that the FEDS may be taking a look at what has been going on in Duluth both since Shiley has been Mayor and now with Nancy as Mayor. Duluth officials may be next in line for investigations, both past and present.

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debbiestorm 1 year, 10 months ago

just another day in the paradise of corrupt gwinnett county

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NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

About the question of being shocked...NO, I am not shocked. What is my expectation? I expect our elected officials to act with honor and integrity to uphold and fulfill an obligation they promised in the best interest of their constituents...nothing more...nothing less. It is a small thing to ask of the people you entrust to look out for your own best interests. If you lie under oath, you engaged in criminal behavior. That's what Bannister did and resigned as Commission Chair in lieu of prosecution. He said, in effect, "I'm guilty!" Kenerly, with all of his legal maneuvering to avoid trial on miscellaneous and sundry technicalities, is doing everything in his power to keep from going to trial. If the man is in fact innocent, wouldn't he want to have his day in court to clear his good name? As for Lasseter, we all know where this is going now don't we? No, I'm not shocked, but I certainly do expect more from our elected officials. I'm really sick and tired of everybody being subject to the rules of law and behavior except the select few who strongly feel that these things are beneath them. And while I can empathize with Shirley's personal tragedies, we all have them, but it doesn't give the rest of us a license to engage in these types of behaviors either. I personally hope she finds peace as she spends the remainder of her life behind bars, because if her so-called health issues are seriously an issue, that's where the remainder of her life will be spent.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

I know a former 25 year store owner that packed up and left for North Carolina after Shirley became Mayor, checked in with him since this happened, and he was not surprised by the corruption issues. We know her via her support of a trash transfer station next door to a Catholic Church in our neighborhood, to keep Bannister and a developer happy. She's been for sale for a very long time, she's just lowered her price lately.

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