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Charles Bannister's DUI lawsuit dismissed

Charles Bannister

Charles Bannister

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Sheriff Butch Conway

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit claiming that the 2010 arrest of then-Chairman Charles Bannister on DUI charges was politically motivated.

On Thursday, Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. dismissed Bannister’s lawsuit, which was seeking $1.7 million in damages, and ordered the plaintiff to pay the defendant’s court costs.

Bannister was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy who watched the politician exiting a Lilburn bar and then reportedly weaving on the road. Both an Intoxilyzer and blood test showed no alcohol in Bannister’s system, and Sheriff Butch Conway apologized days after the incident.

Last year, Bannister sued Conway and two deputies, Vardis Benson and Michael Cummings, claiming false arrest, false imprisonment and retaliation.

“Any allegation of a conspiracy between Conway, Benson and Cummings to unlawfully arrest the Plaintiff is based on pure speculation,” the judge’s order said.

County officials, including Conway, declined to comment and said that the court costs had not been determined.

A message left for Bannister’s attorney was not immediately returned.