Attorneys hint that probe has deepened

ATLANTA -- Carl "Skip" Cain's attorney called the prison sentence recommended by federal prosecutors on Tuesday "a gift."

The lighter sentence of 57 months was the direct result of Cain's work with the same investigators who had charged him with conspiring to traffic cocaine. His cooperation included covert and undercover recordings, and multiple debriefings that assisted in prosecuting codefendant John Fanning and "other matters," said U.S. Assistant District Attorney Doug Gilfillan.

Fanning's cooperation, meanwhile, was essential in charging former Gwinnett County planning commissioner Mark Gary with bribery. Gary was appointed by Fanning's mother, former county commissioner Shirley Lasseter, and is accused of paying them $30,000 in casino gambling chips for Lasseter's favorable vote on a $4 million waste transfer station, from which Gary stood to profit.

The probe, prosecutors hinted Tuesday, does not end there.

Gilfillan said Fanning "was not truthful with the government about everything" in his dealings with authorities but did provide information about "other individuals."

In asking for leniency, Fanning's attorney Bill Thomas reminded the judge that the intelligence Fanning did provide related to "significant individuals." His lies to prosecutors involved powerful people in Gwinnett, Thomas said.

"Crossing them would put (Fanning's) family in harm's way," Thomas said.

Both attorneys declined to elaborate after the sentencing hearings.

As a character witness, Fanning's brother, Justin, echoed Thomas in explain his brother's lies to prosecutors.

"He feared harm from people involved," he said.

U.S. Attorney Sally Yates condemned the actions of Fanning and Cain in selling the office of a Gwinnett commissioner to whom they thought were drug traffickers. Gilfillan noted in court that all three defendants engaged in bribery schemes before and after Danny Porter, Gwinnett District Attorney, had empaneled a special grand jury to root out corruption in Gwinnett.

"They showed a shocking indifference to prior law enforcement efforts," Yates said, "and to the dangers to the community posed by the illegal drug trade."


Kat 3 years ago

Again feeble excuses from defense attorneys. Fanning didn't fear for his family when he started taking bribes. The lawyers want people to believe he is some kind of hero for ratting out people now. That's what these people do in exchange for a lighter sentence. It seems that the attorney here is saying that Fanning gave them intel on "significant individuals". More people will be charged? Butch Conway's statements to the press make it sound like everything is pretty much over. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this plays out.


JRegan 3 years ago

@Kat. Very good points, let's hope that in the year Lassiter and Cain wore wires to record conversations that they were talking to the developers that have helped to corrupt our county government.

Kennerly's trial is scheduled to begin in the next couple of months, it too should result in some eye openning testimony.


Cleanupguy 3 years ago

A pitcher is useless without a catcher, what with non-participating (60% registered, typically low teens turnouts) and incredibly uninformed voters electing and re-electing the catchers. Same deal with the flipper-flopper cruurently running for Prez. By the way, Bannister and Kenerly were re-elected, and Lassteter pretty much was a shoe-in. I blame stupid voters allowing these issues to happen over and over in plain sight, without benefit of intelligent thought.


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