‘Data wipe’ probe now at a standstill

Fayette County officials have been unable to recover the information that was “wiped” from the computer hard drives used by former county staff attorney Scott Bennett.

That essentially has stalled a probe by the county marshal’s department, which conducts in-house investigations for county government.

Chief Marshal Ed Collins noted that he will keep the investigation open for now, but since Bennett had permission from then-county manager Jack Krakeel to wipe the data off the two hard drives, there is no criminal case to be made for either theft or misuse of government property. Read More»

5-0 against district voting in commissioners’ poll

The use of at-large voting to elect Fayette County commissioners remains the preference of the new county commission, according to interviews conducted by The Citizen this week.

However, the commissioners have recognized that some citizens, particularly African-Americans, have felt unrepresented in the past and thus the new commission is “reaching out” to them in an effort to be more inclusive. That effort has meant Read More»

Commission Chairman Brown avoids ethics penalty, plans legal appeal

Although he was found to have violated two provisions of the Fayette County government ethics ordinance, county Commission Chairman Steve Brown was partially absolved of one of the charges which spun off from seeking advice from the Georgia attorney general’s office.

The other charge, however, dealt with Brown issuing an order to the county’s HR director via email. Brown contended at the Jan. 23 hearing before the county’s ethics board that the email was actually a request, noting that had he considered it an order he would have followed up to make sure it was followed. Read More»

Fayette commission to change ethics ordinance?

County govt. meets Tues. night to 'discuss' ethics ordinance days after chair found in violation

The Fayette County Commission will conduct a special called meeting Tuesday evening to “discuss Fayette County’s ethics ordinance.” The meeting will convene at 5:30 p.m. at the large public meeting room at the county administrative complex in downtown Fayetteville. Read More»

Ethics board rules against commissioner Brown

Board votes against any penalty for 2 violations brought by former commissioner Horgan

On a split vote this evening, Fayette County’s ethics board determined that County Commission Chairman Steve Brown violated the county’s ethics ordinance on two separate occasions.

The board voted unanimously, however, not to penalize Brown for either of the infractions. Read More»

To please feds, Fayette to cut window at courthouse for passports

Fayette County Justice Center in Fayetteville. File photo.

Fayette County officials are planning to build a service window for the county’s probate court to comply with a passport application requirement from the U.S. State Department.

The window will be from the office to the main lobby of the Justice Center complex, meaning that if any lines form they will be waiting in the main lobby of the courthouse instead of inside the probate court office, officials said. Read More»

Brown ethics hearing, round two Wed. night

The Fayette County Ethics Board tonight (Wednesday) is expected to consider an ethics complaint filed against sitting County Commissioner Steve Brown that was filed last month by former County Commissioner Robert Horgan.

The complaint alleges that Brown violated three county ordinances by issuing an order to a county employee, disclosing information Read More»

Brown ethics hearing: plenty of action, no resolution

Fayette County Ethics Board members (L-R) Scott Rowland, Sheila Huddleston and Dan Langford on Jan. 16 prepare to hear the ethics complaint against Commissioner Steve Brown filed by former Commissioner Robert Horgan. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It was supposed to be a hearing on a complaint filed by former Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan on two issues relating to Commissioner Steve Brown that Horgan maintained violated the county’s ethics ordinance. But the Wednesday hearing was postponed until Jan. 23 after ethics board member Dan Langford made a failed motion to dismiss the charges, and the alternate board member was unable to take his place at the meeting after Langford promptly resigned his position. Read More»

Erased county computer: ‘No intent to illegally take’

Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown. Photo/Ben Nelms.

However, probe into wiped data continues, says Fayette chief marshal

An investigation by Fayette County Chief Marshal Edward Collins into the missing hard drive from former county attorney Scott Bennett’s work computer concluded that there was no intent to illegally take or withhold the computer or hard drive. Pertaining to the data on the hard drive, Collins said that issue is still under investigation. Read More»

Passing the gavel in Coweta

Passing the gavel in Coweta

Coweta County Commission Chairman Rodney Brooks (R) hands the gavel to Commissioner Bob Blackburn at the Jan. 8 meeting. Blackburn will serve as commission chairman during 2013 and 2014. Photo/Ben Nelms.