ACTION ALERT: Attend the GA House Transportation Committee Hearing
Thursday 3/16, 1:00 PM
614 Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Room 506
Atlanta, GA 30334
The people of Georgia must show up in strength to defeat #SB183 the “For Whom the Road Tolls” bill. The Governor’s bill proposes the State of Georgia to loan private parties moneys out of taxpayer funds, AT RISK, to build and operate unlimited numbers of toll roads all throughout the state, and for these private concessionaires to collect tolls in perpetuity, even after the state loans are paid off. The people need to show up and stand against the crony-capitalist exploitation of the Georgia Taxpayer.
Section 2 allows SRTA to extend credit to private individuals and organizations
Section 3 legalizes permanent toll roads in Georgia.
Section 3 allows mandatory tolls to be imposed on Georgia roads in the same manner as implemented in states like New Jersey and Florida. It also allows tolls to be placed on existing road capacity.
If you can’t attend in person, please call the committee members and let them know how you feel about the state loaning money to private corporations and tolls in perpetuity.
HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
(click link for representative website and contact info)
Tanner, Kevin Chairman
Watson, Sam Vice Chairman
Epps, Bubber Secretary
Ballinger, Mandi L. Member
Benton, Tommy Member
Burns, Jon G. Member
Carson, John Member
Coomer, Christian Member
Corbett, John Member
Cox, Clay Member
Deffenbaugh, John Member
Dempsey, Katie M. Member
Frye, Spencer Member
Gardner, Pat Member
Gilliard, Carl Wayne Member
Hanson, Meagan Member
Harrell, Brett Member
Hitchens, Bill Member
Jones, Sheila Member
Jones, Vernon Member
McCall, Tom Member
Newton, Mark Member
Nimmer, Chad Member
Prince, Brian Member
Rutledge, Dale Member
Rynders, Ed Member
Setzler, Ed Member
Taylor, Darlene K. Member
Taylor, Tom Member
Waites, Keisha Member
Williams, Al Member
P.S. Please forward to your lists and share/tweet on social media.
Action Alert by Field Searcy with In Defense of Liberty.TV
SB183 Testimony – March 9, 2017
House Transportation Committee
Press Release: DeKalb State Court Jury Awards Kevin Ross $11.3 Million Verdict
Kevin Ross vs District Attorney Robert James and others:
Suspicions surround DeKalb’s ‘missing’ millions
By Mark Niesse – The Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 9, 2016
The item is buried on a 4-year-old DeKalb County Purchasing Department spreadsheet: an eyebrow-raising $72,348,739.04 to build a sidewalk.
The actual cost? Just under $1.26 million.
DeKalb officials say the discrepancy is some kind of error — a baffling but harmless mistake.
But the citizens group Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter is more wary. In a county that has seen one government corruption case after another, members of the group say, it’s obvious a comprehensive audit needs to be conducted.
Read entire article at link: http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/suspicions-surround-dekalbs-missing-millions/nsCqL/
When to Stop: Sharing the Road with School Buses
Courtesy of SDIA
As DeKalb County students return to school on August 8th, SDIA’s Safety Committee reminds you of Georgia’s law regarding passing school buses.
In most cases, all drivers are required to stop when meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended when loading or unloading passengers. The only exception to this rule is when highways are separated in the center by a dirt, grass or concrete median. In this situation, only vehicles following or traveling alongside a school bus in the same direction must stop.
A warning that a bus stop is about to take place will always be given with the flashing amber lights on the front and rear of the school bus. Upon seeing these flashing amber lights, vehicles approaching the school bus from both the front and rear should immediately slow down and prepare to stop. All drivers must pay special attention to children, be focused and exercise caution when in the vicinity of a school bus stop, as student riders can sometimes be unpredictable. Once the bus is fully stopped, the flashing red lights will activate and the stop arm will deploy. Vehicles must stop and should remain stopped until all loading students are aboard in the morning or all unloading passengers have cleared 12 feet off the roadway in the afternoon. Motorists should proceed with caution, only after passengers have cleared the roadway, the stop arm is cancelled and the flashing red lights are deactivated.
MULTI-LANE: Paved. Vehicles traveling in both directions MUST STOP.
DIVIDED HIGHWAY: With dirt, grass or barrier median. Vehicles behind MUST STOP. Vehicles traveling in opposite direction must use caution.
TWO LANES: Vehicles traveling in both directions MUST STOP.
Failure to obey the law not only puts the safety of our children at risk but also puts you in a position to be fined. The fine? $300 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense in a 5-year period. Think you won’t get caught? Every school bus driver who observes a violation is authorized and directed to record the vehicle description, license number of the offending vehicle, and time and place of occurrence and report to local law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction where the alleged offense occurred.
South DeKalb Improvement Association, Inc. (SDIA)
Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton’s Pink Slip
By Viola Davis, July 12, 2016
To Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton:
We regret to inform you that your employment as Commissioner of the 4th District of DeKalb County, Georgia is being terminated, effective July 26, 2016. Your termination is the result of poor performance as outlined below:
• Constant Late Arrival to Commission Meetings and Committee Meetings
• Refusal to Allow the Public to Call Commissioners’ Name During Public Comment
• Refusal to Perform a Forensic Audit of Departments with Missing Money and Discrepancies in Funding
• Suing DeKalb County Board of Ethics which Cost Taxpayers and Voters Thousands
We issue this “Pink Slip” as a written form of termination for poor performance. Copies of the “Pink Slip” will be sent to taxpayers and voters throughout the 4th District and made part of your personnel file. Your neglect to attend community meetings and debates, answer citizens’ concerns, provide strict oversight of departments, dishonesty and divisiveness are signs that indicated an overall disrespect for the 4th District constituency.
As Commissioner of the 4th District, you have a prior history of stating the following:
• “I’m not an “employee”, I’m a Commissioner!”
• “I am good with everything I’ve done.”
Since it is our vote that hires and fires elected officials and our tax money that pays elected officials salaries, we (the people of the 4th District) are the “employers” and you are the “employee”. In the name of moving our district in a new direction with a new vision, we must advise you that after two terms…your performance is poor and we are looking for new leadership.
Restore District 4:
By Restore DeKalb
New Vision, New Direction, New Leadership
R - Restore Public Trust by removing the “Cloud of Corruption”
E – Economic Development throughout the county
S – Safety and Security for our community
T – Transparency and Integrity
O- Open, Honest and Accountable Government
R – Rebuild and Reclaim our Local Control
E – Ethical and Efficient Governance
1. Restore Public Trust by removing the “Cloud of Corruption”:
a. Steve Bradshaw will demand a forensic audit of the Watershed Department to verify a recent complaint that $70 million dollars is missing. He will have a full forensic audit of the county budget so that we have a clear understanding of where our money is going.
b. The Incumbent (I) was on the Public Works Committee that oversaw the Watershed Department 5 of the 7 years the committee existed. She was/is chairman of the Finance, Audit and Budget committee. Yet, she stated that she could not have a forensic audit because, “we don’t have the infrastructure in place to do it (audit)”.
2. Economic Development throughout DeKalb County:
a. Steve Bradshaw has a new vision for the 4th District as a businessman to increase commercial development. He pledges more aggressive business development efforts to drive job growth.
b. The Incumbent (I) has hindered commercial development throughout her term. We ask that everyone drive down Memorial Drive. She is attempting to build a library at Wade Walker Park in violation of federal regulation that cost taxpayers over $100,000 in grants.
3. Safety and Security for our community:
a. Steve Bradshaw will ensure the police and fire personnel receive adequate funding to retain our experienced officers. He pledges better pay and benefits for our public safety and public works employees. He also pledges more timely and efficient code enforcement.
b. The Incumbent (I) has hindered increased funding for police, fire and code enforcement. During her term, she has had open differences with the Code Enforcement Advisory Board.
4. Transparency and Integrity:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to honor the Open Records Request Law and answer requests in a timely manner.
b. The Incumbent (I) refused to answer Open Records Request until the watchdog group, Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, filed a complaint to the state Attorney General.
5. Open, Honest and Accountable Government:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to have at least one County Commission meeting a month in the evening so that more citizens can be engaged and additional town hall meetings in the 4th district. He will support expanding the public comment time during County Commission meetings.
b. The Incumbent (I) was instrumental in starting the policy that restricted the public from using the Commissioners’ name during public comment. The practice was so controversial that it made national news. She is notorious for not answering complaints from citizens, home associations, etc.
6. Rebuild and Reclaim our Local Control:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to work with the local representatives and form a partnership with the Board of Education. He will establish a District 4 Mayor’s roundtable and Pastor’s roundtable so that our cities and churches are partners in government.
b. The Incumbent (I) has a history of being divisive and dishonest. In her two terms thus far, her record has decreased the development of our local community.
7. Ethical and Efficient Governance:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to behave in an ethical manner with integrity and honesty. He is an honorable discharge commissioned officer and has a history of business ownership, management, and ethical governance.
b. The Incumbent (I) is presently suing the DeKalb County Board of Ethics at taxpayers’ expense. Watchdog groups view this as nothing other than a delay tactic on her part. The Incumbent’s executive assistant was found guilty by the Board of Ethics of the following charges:
i. Failure to properly preserve government records. Specifically, failure to maintain purchase card receipts.
ii. Theft by taking, theft by deception, false certification of gift cards with county funds for personal use, improper purchase of personal items on government issued purchasing card without reimbursement to the county in many cases.
iii. Theft by deception, false certification by employee, making a false statement in violation of O.C.G.A. Specifically, use of county time to attend Barnes Sutton’s political event.
Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter and Restore DeKalb were victorious. They originally filed this complaint May 30, 2014 against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and her executive assistant, Judy Brownlee. Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton threw Judy Brownlee “under the bus”.
Where’s the $70 Million Dollars that’s Missing from Watershed?
The DeKalb County LSBE vendors voted to make the information public that we gave to law enforcement. The LSBE vendors were very upset that DA James proclaimed that there was no need to investigate issues/people concerning the grand jury report, particularly in the Watershed Department.
We are forwarding information on one particular contract for $1.4 million dollars (Public Works contract). After submitting an Open Records Request and receiving Kelvin Walton’s emails, our researchers went through (and continue to go through) over 20,000 emails and hundreds of attachments. We found an attachment that provided the amount of money paid out on different contracts. The contract for $1.4 million paid out over $72 million dollars. Please note that this is the same contract that the FBI indicted two county employees for extortion and bribery in 2012.
I, Viola Davis, personally spoke to the contractor, and he said he did receive the $1.4 million dollars. However, he did not know anything about the $72 million. Our question is, who received the money?
We ask that you review the documents we delivered to District Attorney Robert James. We did not deliver the attachment of documents that involve the $72 million dollars because of the lack of action on former documents presented to the District Attorney’s Office. We are presenting these documents to the public to review and decide if there is enough information to demand action and another outside third party review for criminal activity.
Video – DeKalb LSBE Vendors Call for RICO Investigation and Criminal Forensic Audit:
To view initial documents…see link:
Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter and Restore DeKalb Request DA and Solicitor General Prosecute Judy Brownlee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 24, 2016
FROM: Viola Davis, Co-Founder
Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter
Fact Sheet: Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter and Restore DeKalb is requesting District Attorney Robert James and Solicitor General Sherry Boston Prosecute Judy Brownlee to the “Fullest Extent” of the Law
Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter and Restore DeKalb is requesting District Attorney Robert James and Solicitor General Sherry Boston prosecute Judy Brownlee to the “fullest extent” of the law, especially after the May 16, 2016 ruling of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics for the following state law violations to include:
1) Failure to properly preserve government records in violation of the Georgia Records Act O.C.G.A. 50-18-90 et seq. and 22A (c) (7) of the Ethics Code (Engaging in an activity prohibited by law). Specifically, failure to maintain purchase card receipts.
2) Theft by taking, theft by deception, false certification by employee, making a false statement in violation of O.C.G.A 16-8-3, 16-10-9 and 16-10-20 and 22A (c ) (7) of the Ethics Code (Engaging in an activity prohibited by law). Specifically, purchase of gift cards with County funds for personal use, improper purchase of personal items on government issued purchasing card without reimbursement to the County in many cases.
3) Theft by deception, false certification by employee, making a false statement in violation of O.C.G.A. 16-10-3, 16-10-8 and 16-10-21 (b) and 22A (c) (7) of the Ethics Code (Engaging in an activity prohibited by law). Specifically, use of County time to attend political event.
Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter and Restore DeKalb continue to be victorious in holding elected officials and government staff accountable for violating the public’s trust. We originally filed our complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and Judy Brownlee on May 30, 2014. We have waited patiently for nearly two years for justice.
We presented an earlier ethics complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and Judy Brownlee to the DeKalb County Board of Ethics that was well documented and showed Barnes Sutton and Brownlee violated codes within Section 22A (c) (1-7) of the DeKalb County Code of Ordinances known as the Code of Ethics, as well as violation of state statutes.
Unfortunately, Barnes Sutton filed a lawsuit against the Board of Ethics proclaiming the board was unconstitutional. She questioned the authority of the board to sit in judgment of officials’ behavior, arguing that it undermines the fundamental due process rights. Despite DeKalb voters approving the new ethics law by 92% back in November of 2015, Sharon Barnes Sutton delayed the ethics board hearings which ultimately denied the public justice.
On February 9, 2016, Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter and Restore DeKalb requested the appointment of a Special Prosecutor and expansion of the Public Integrity Unit to help restore public trust. We initially submitted our request to the DeKalb County Board of Ethics concerning our ethics complaint against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and Judy Brownlee due to our strong belief that the charges were criminal in nature.
However, Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton has chosen to sue the DeKalb County Board of Ethics as a delay tactic. We questioned the reason Commissioner Barnes Sutton waited until her final hearing (approximately 1 ½ years) to initiate her lawsuit.
History of criminal charges against elected officials and government staff:
1. Burrell Ellis
a. Burrell Ellis, former CEO of DeKalb County, was charged with 15 felony counts in his initial indictment in 2013.
b. The initial indictment included theft by taking, criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings, and coercion of other employee to give anything of value for political purposes.
2. Clarissa Brown
a. Clarissa Brown, former executive assistant to DA Robert James, received a ten count felony indictment for stealing on purchase cards.
b. Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter requested the purchase card charges for Clarissa Brown on December 9, 2014 through an Open Records Request:
i. Gwinnett case number 15-FT-00594-8 (Quasi – Fast Track Case) was filed two years after Brown was fired approximately December 29, 2015.
ii. Brown pleaded guilty January 2016.
c. Clarissa Brown was fired from her position after the violations were discovered and DA Robert James requested a special prosecutor.
d. Clarissa Brown pleaded to ten counts of felony for theft by taking, etc.
e. Brown pleaded guilty to using her government charge card for car repairs, property taxes and plane tickets.
3. Bob Lundsten
a. Bod Lundsten was indicted with nine counts of felony in 2014-2015.
b. Bob Lundsten’s indictment was for as little as $300.00 despite his repayment of prior questionable charges.
c. Bob Lundsten was originally charged with six counts of theft by taking and three counts of making false statements.
d. The charges against Bob Lundsten were decreased to misdemeanors in an out of court settlement.
e. Under an agreement with prosecutors, Lundsten pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor obstruction.
4. Stan Watson
a. Stan Watson was accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) after an altercation against two women in a local club.
b. Stan Watson was videotaped by local police and a police report was written that provided serious accusations of DUI.
c. Solicitor General Sherry Boston requested a special prosecutor to intervene to review Stan Watson’s case for prosecution.
We submit that the charges voted on by the DeKalb County Board of Ethics involve violations of state statutes. We believe that our ethics complaint rises to criminal charges. These criminal charges must be address by both our District Attorney and Solicitor General to “truly” restore the public’s trust and remind everyone that laws are enforced “equally”. We are forwarding the complaint with supporting documentation from the Board of Ethics to both departments to examine for prosecution.
If these charges create a conflict of interest situation, Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter and Restore DeKalb are once again requesting the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.
We request the prosecution of Judy Brownlee because new evidence, documentation and witnesses have come forth to prove the code of ethics and the “state laws” were violated. The additional information proved that the actions of a select group of elected officials and top administrators undermined the law to the point that the ethics case against Judy Brownlee would need to be forwarded to the District Attorney and Solicitor General for prosecution.
The serious complaints against Judy Brownlee are presented for the purposes of requesting these issues move forward. Thus far, we have presented complaints that have enough evidence to warrant criminal investigations. We have presented complaints that are factual, well researched and command results. There are those who claim we must end these cases for the county to move forward. However, how can we end cases that have never “really been open”.
Our request for the prosecution of Judy Brownlee must be addressed by the District Attorney and/or Solicitor General to ensure justice. We request equal justice under the law. We ask for an appointment of a Special Prosecutor by Attorney General Sam Olens if anyone views such actions as a conflict of interest.
Read an article at the link: http://crossroadsnews.com/news/2016/jun/03/ethics-board-fines-barnes-sutton-aide/