I, Viola Davis, with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter and Restore DeKalb, submit a new request and report detailing and summarizing an ethics complaint (alleged criminal activity, wrongdoing and malfeasance) against Sharon Barnes Sutton and others within DeKalb County government to the new DeKalb Board of Ethics (2016). I had and continue to have the support of Restore DeKalb with Joel Edwards and a group of citizens striving to “restore” transparency, ethics and accountability in our local and state government.
We request an advisory opinion because new evidence, documentation and witnesses have come forth to prove the code of ethics and state law were violated. The additional information will prove that the actions of a select group of elected officials and top administrators undermined the law to the point that the ethics case against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton would need to be forwarded to:
1. A Special Prosecutor with the District Attorney and/or Solicitor General’s office. The District Attorney Robert James has a conflict of interest with Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton due to his close relationship with Warren Mosby, the prior boyfriend of Barnes Sutton and James’ campaign consultant.
2. An expansion of the Public Integrity Unit to include a cross section of law enforcement such as the local police department under Dr. Cedric Alexander with the FBI/GBI as oversight agents. The Public Integrity Unit investigates allegations of wrongdoing by elected officials and appointed officials.
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. 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.
Comments: DeKalb Board of Ethics: Is There Outside Manipulation and a Sabotage Action Plan?
We received a letter from the Board of Ethics lawyer suggesting I, Viola Davis, not attend the May 8, 2014 meeting. When we asked other complainants if they received the letter, we found that we were the only one to receive a letter to not attend.
We have no choice but to ask if there is an action plan to manipulate and sabotage the Board of Ethics to prevent the general public from holding elected officials and employees of government agencies accountable.
John Ernst, Acting Chairman, asked that we forward the letter to the board because he was not familiar with the letter suggesting I not attend the board meeting.
To ensure transparency, ethics, and accountability, we have decided to place a majority of our documents online for the general public to review. We strive to make this process fair and balanced for the general public by removing the political manipulation and sabotage to include:
1. CEO Lee May replacement of Chairman Isaac Blythers when he needed to be reappointed to ensure stability and continuity of the Board of Ethics.
2. CEO Lee May replaced Blythers with Terrance Thornton without first vetting the replacement for such a critical position. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated that Thornton’s financial history includes a foreclosure and not paying his taxes on time.
3. Viola Davis was sent a letter suggesting she not attend the meeting on May 8, 2014.
We request the process be more transparent, fair and balanced. We demand the political manipulation cease immediately. We need an Ethics Board that reassures the public it will lay a foundation of integrity, fairness, and overall respect for the process. We must restore public trust at all cost.