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/