Lamar County Magistrate Court.

 

Arthur Burtz English Magistrate Court Candidate.

Arthur ‘Brutz’ English, a candidate for Magistrate Judge in Lamar County has beaten back a second challenge to his candidacy for magistrate judge – this one from the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

An opinion from the JQC arrived Tuesday morning in Lamar County which ruled English was not eligible to be seated as magistrate judge.
The commission does not govern elections but, in theory, could have challenged English taking the judgeship if he were to win.
Early voting in the race is underway in Lamar County.  The other candidates are Paul Kunst, Jeff Mason former Head of Security at Gordon College , Griffin-ite, and Griffin Police officer,  also Shannon Williamson.

English fired back at the JQC with a response citing case law.

Late Tuesday, the commission backed down.
 
The two rulings from JQC director Chuck Boring were obtained by The Herald Gazette and are published inside this open post.

 

Original ruling received early on Feb. 23:

Director’s Opinion

From: Charles P. Boring
Date: February 23, 2021
Re: Candidate for Judicial Office – Civil Rights Restored Post-Felony Conviction

Rule 28.A of the Rules of the Judicial Qualifications Commission authorizes “[t]he Director and any other staff member designated by the Director to render . . . a Director’s Opinion concerning his or her interpretation of the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct as applied to a given state of facts.” A Director’s Opinion is merely the Director’s personal interpretation of the Code as applied to the facts of a given inquiry. It is not binding on the requestor, the Investigative Panel, the Hearing Panel, or the Supreme Court. Director’s Opinions are intended to provide assistance in interpreting and applying the Code. Compliance with a Director’s Opinion is not a defense to any complaint, although reliance on a Director’s Opinion would be considered in mitigation of discipline. This opinion applies to a specific situation only; and it does not establish a general standard.
A Director’s Opinion has been requested regarding whether an individual who is a candidate for the position of Chief Magistrate Judge in an election set for March 16, 2021 can properly hold public office if elected. If he cannot hold the judicial office for which he seeks election, the candidate would run afoul of Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 1.1, which requires that judges and judicial candidates respect and comply with the law. Given the factual scenario provided the Director, along with the below analysis, the candidate would not be eligible to hold the judicial office he seeks via election and his candidacy would therefore violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The information provided to the Director shows that the candidate was convicted of a felony in September 2006, had his sentence terminated and completed in May 2012, and then had his civil rights restored in November 2017. The Georgia Constitution provides that a person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude is not eligible to hold public office, unless that person’s civil rights have been restored and at least ten years have elapsed from the date of the completion of the sentence without a subsequent conviction of another felony. Ga. Const. art. II, § II, ¶ III (emphasis added). According to the Georgia Constitution, an individual is not eligible to hold public office until ten years after the date of completion of the sentence. Although this candidate’s civil rights were restored in 2017, his sentence was terminated and completed in May 2012 which would make him ineligible to hold any public office––including judicial office––until May 2022.
Further, in Georgia all felonies are crimes involving moral turpitude. Rehberger v. State, 502 S.E.2d 222, 223 (Ga. 1998). Thus, the judicial candidate’s felony conviction qualifies as a felony involving moral turpitude that would preclude him from holding public office until at least ten years have elapsed from the completion of his sentence. At this time, pursuant to the facts provided and records available to the Director, only eight years and nine months have elapsed since the completion of his sentence.

Accordingly, the Director’s Opinion is that this candidate is ineligible to hold any public office, including the public judicial office of Chief Magistrate Judge, until May 2022. If this candidate continues to run for judicial office, he will run afoul of the Code of Judicial Conduct, specifically Rule 1.1. This Director’s Opinion is strictly limited to this candidate’s participation in the current election for Chief Magistrate Judge and does not reach an opinion on whether the candidate would be eligible to run for judicial office in the future.

Follow-up opinion received late on Feb. 23:

Amended Director’s Opinion

From: Charles P. Boring
Date: February 23, 2021
Re: Candidate for Judicial Office – Pardon and Civil Rights Restored Post-Felony Conviction

Rule 28.A of the Rules of the Judicial Qualifications Commission authorizes “[t]he Director and any other staff member designated by the Director to render . . . a Director’s Opinion concerning his or her interpretation of the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct as applied to a given state of facts.” A Director’s Opinion is merely the Director’s personal interpretation of the Code as applied to the facts of a given inquiry. It is not binding on the requestor, the Investigative Panel, the Hearing Panel, or the Supreme Court. Director’s Opinions are intended to provide assistance in interpreting and applying the Code. Compliance with a Director’s Opinion is not a defense to any complaint, although reliance on a Director’s Opinion would be considered in mitigation of discipline. This opinion applies to a specific situation only; and it does not establish a general standard.

A Director’s Opinion has been requested regarding whether a candidate for the position of Chief Magistrate Judge who was previously convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude in the State of Georgia but was subsequently pardoned by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles; had all civil and political rights restored; and all disabilities from the conviction removed, can properly hold public office if elected, consistent with the Code of Judicial Conduct. As the Director’s duty and responsibility according to the JQC Rules is to render opinions concerning the interpretation of the Code of Judicial Conduct as applied to a given state of facts, the Director reminds the candidate that the ultimate interpretation of the law and resolution of any conflicts or discrepancies between Constitutional provisions, statutes, case law, and other legal rules and/or opinions is outside of the JQC’s purview. Because an inquiry into whether the candidate, if elected, could properly hold public office, and holding public office in violation of the law could constitute a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, a review of relevant Constitutional provisions, statutes, case law and other legal rules and/or opinions is necessary.

At the time of the issuance of this Opinion, the information provided to the Director shows that the judicial candidate was convicted of the felony offense of Theft by Receiving Stolen Property in September of 2006. The candidate’s sentence was then early terminated, and thus completed in May of 2012. On November 2, 2017, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, without implying innocence, issued a pardon of the candidate, restored all of his civil and political rights, and removed all disabilities under Georgia law which resulted from the conviction, pursuant to Ga. Const. art. IV, § II, ¶ II.

The current Georgia Constitution provides that a person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude is not eligible to hold public office, unless that person’s civil rights have been restored and at least ten years have elapsed from the date of the completion of the sentence without a subsequent conviction of another felony involving moral turpitude. Ga. Const. art. II, § II, ¶ III (emphasis added). As such, a person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude and has had his civil rights restored is still not eligible to hold public office until ten years have passed since the date of completion of the sentence without a subsequent conviction for another felony involving moral turpitude. Although the candidate in this matter was pardoned and his civil and political rights were restored on November 2, 2017, his sentence was early terminated and completed in May of 2012. Ten years have not elapsed since the date of the candidate’s completion of his sentence.

Notably, Ga. Const. art. II, § II, ¶ III does not include any mention of pardons, and certainly does not provide that a pardon excuses one from the requirements of the article. The candidate, however, points to O.C.G.A. 45-2-1(4), which provides that “any person finally convicted and sentenced for any felony involving moral turpitude under the laws of this state…unless restored to all his rights of citizenship by a pardon from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles” is ineligible to hold any civil office. Presumably, the candidate looks to this statute to support the position that because his civil rights have been restored by a pardon from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, he is eligible to hold civil office. The Georgia Supreme Court has held that “if the Constitution has prescribed the qualifications which allow and prevent eligibility to a public office, the General Assembly cannot by statute add to or take from those conditions of eligibility.” Griggers v. Moye, 246 Ga. 578, 580 (1980).

It is well established within Georgia law that eligibility to hold public office is the general rule and ineligibility the exception. Weems v. Glen, 191 Ga. 388, 391 (1945). But, qualifications to hold public office are clearly subject to reasonable state regulation and restrictions on an individual’s ability to hold public office may be imposed by the Constitution and the law. Parks v. Ash, 168 Ga. 868, 872 (1929). Georgia Attorney General Opinion 92-3 states the following:

The loss of the right to hold public office which results from conviction of a crime is not part of the punishment for the violation of a criminal statute but a collateral consequence that results solely by reason of a constitutional or statutory provision prescribing the eligibility requirements for public office. A public office does not become a right until the individual who claims it can show he is constitutionally and statutorily eligible.

1992 Ga. Op. Att’y Gen. 10. The same Attorney General Opinion (“Opinion”) continues, “the people have chosen to change the public policy of this state so as to disqualify from public office individuals who have been convicted of a crime and pardoned until ten years has lapsed from the completion of their sentence without a subsequent conviction for another felony involving moral turpitude.” Id. The reference in the cited Opinion to people having chosen to change public policy is a specific reference to Ga. Const. art. II, § II, ¶ III’s ten-year lapse requirement, which is a requirement that was added by Amendment in 1990. The Opinion concludes with the finding that “a person seeking to hold any office or appointment of honor or trust in this state must meet the eligibility requirements as now set forth in Article II, Section II, Paragraph III.” Id.

With the aforementioned principles in mind, the Code of Judicial Conduct requires that “judges shall respect and comply with the law.” CJC, Rule 1.1. Assuming a reviewing court finds that the candidate in this matter cannot properly hold public office based upon a complete review and analysis of applicable Constitutional provisions, statutes, case law, and other legal rules and/or opinions, the Director’s resulting opinion would be that such holding of office would likely constitute a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, specifically, Rule 1.1. On the other hand, if a reviewing court finds that the candidate in this matter can properly hold public office in accordance with the law, the Director’s resulting opinion would be that such holding of office, standing alone, would likely not constitute a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. This opinion does not, however, address or consider any other Code of Judicial Conduct Canons or Rules implicated by the underlying acts that supported the candidate’s initial arrest, conviction, and subsequent pardon, as those issues are not before the Director at this time.
wkeu would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this news story. 

 

COVID19 Cases in the past 24 hours.  New state totals are,  810, 473.  The number of deaths state wide is  14, 882 deaths and 55, 394 Hospital,

Spalding 3578 cases, 126 deaths,
up 1 in past 24 hrs, 
 380 Hospital.

For Counties please visit our website wkeuradio.com

Fayette 5, 911 cases, 128 deaths,
up 2 in past 24 hrs, 221 Hospital

Coweta 7, 849 cases, 145 deaths,
272
 hospital

Clayton 20, 844 cases, 362 deaths,
up 2 in past 24 hrs,  1, 211 hospital.

Henry 16, 916 cases, 241 deaths,
up 4 in 24 hrs, 493 Hospital.

Butts 1, 966  cases, 68 deaths,
up 1 in 24 hrs, 108 Hospital

Upson 1, 697 cases, 96 deaths,
160 Hospital.

Lamar 1, 232 cases, 37 deaths,
97 hospital.

Pike 967 cases, 21 deaths,
63 hospital.

All Counties:

 

County Cases Per100k Antigen Positive Confirm Deaths Prob-Deaths Hospit
Appling 1818 9794.73 369 56 4 157
Atkinson 759 9111.64 215 18 1 115
Bacon 1013 8882.85 333 26 8 74
Baker 157 5038.51 61 7 0 32
Baldwin 3699 8325.83 558 101 7 295
Banks 1536 7686.92 136 30 1 177
Barrow 7912 9159.21 909 115 1 557
Bartow 10054 9076.38 2713 181 15 717
Ben Hill 1454 8735.36 559 55 18 147
Berrien 1003 5203.36 684 28 12 68
Bibb 12643 8309.56 2033 342 31 1622
Bleckley 777 6052.34 624 33 16 45
Brantley 862 4489.12 643 26 3 67
Brooks 894 5684.49 377 37 7 85
Bryan 2452 6265.17 690 30 3 168
Bulloch 5005 6298.21 1329 49 41 199
Burke 1655 7407.57 712 31 20 139
Butts 1966 7809.64 667 68 4 108
Calhoun 440 6965.33 125 15 0 72
Camden 3036 5630.15 626 25 5 115
Candler 716 6606.99 180 33 24 60
Carroll 6941 5778.44 3511 118 87 287
Catoosa 5053 7347.57 428 58 5 218
Charlton 1012 7637.16 287 18 8 56
Chatham 18346 6279.09 2185 344 21 1469
Chattahoochee 2646 24616.24 392 9 2 22
Chattooga 2084 8414.76 466 58 6 152
Cherokee 19997 7500.27 6956 251 9 1110
Clarke 11907 9174.83 2076 112 5 456
Clay 177 6199.65 51 3 0 9
Clayton 20844 6837.73 2084 362 19 1211
Clinch 696 10456.73 208 21 1 63
Cobb 54939 6949.13 13752 832 66 2747
Coffee 4137 9611.54 1028 121 29 627
Colquitt 3270 7203.75 1067 65 35 227
Columbia 10421 6569.33 5173 146 39 441
Cook 1129 6474.74 562 35 4 104
Coweta 7849 5163.78 4834 145 12 272
Crawford 499 4080.8 118 14 2 60
Crisp 1304 5850.42 597 41 18 148
Dade 1080 6682.34 162 9 1 51
Dawson 2532 9370.49 237 34 1 221
DeKalb 51169 6451.33 5062 751 59 4081
Decatur 2046 7772.97 678 53 12 135
Dodge 1069 5244.05 985 56 41 105
Dooly 721 5380.6 260 28 12 82
Dougherty 5244 5832.82 1768 263 15 950
Douglas 10748 7075.43 2502 148 29 731
Early 964 9501.28 147 40 4 67
Echols 354 8919.12 96 2 4 11
Effingham 3525 5505.58 595 56 2 221
Elbert 1474 7780.42 725 47 13 118
Emanuel 1681 7417.05 763 51 26 119
Evans 725 6783.94 174 13 9 69
Fannin 1958 7439.21 207 51 9 158
Fayette 5911 5028.76 1919 128 13 221
Floyd 9236 9243.76 1649 161 33 778
Forsyth 15966 6322.99 3165 141 6 871
Franklin 2258 9678.94 270 36 6 144
Fulton 73502 6686.98 10756 1034 71 4159
Gilmer 2337 7438.65 397 64 10 190
Glascock 138 4561.98 115 6 10 19
Glynn 6293 7313.44 1197 143 16 414
Gordon 5942 10236.18 1407 91 10 286
Grady 1468 5982.07 510 43 12 165
Greene 1416 7565.31 274 45 6 126
Gwinnett 79706 8207.43 11347 876 61 4970
Habersham 4533 9897.38 264 136 6 456
Hall 23705 11487.82 1609 371 23 2228
Hancock 800 9764.43 74 55 1 98
Haralson 1602 5214.5 816 31 42 65
Harris 1970 5675.27 331 47 0 140
Hart 1634 6258.86 602 35 15 111
Heard 592 4785.77 209 13 3 37
Henry 16916 7052.27 4253 241 22 493
Houston 9293 5917.64 3952 162 53 635
Irwin 662 7017.92 218 15 10 78
Jackson 7927 10611.78 1039 119 11 453
Jasper 626 4408.76 656 17 15 57
Jeff Davis 1218 8040.67 534 35 9 97
Jefferson 1533 10011.1 318 51 5 142
Jenkins 700 8162.31 108 37 2 79
Johnson 776 8032.29 314 40 7 93
Jones 1510 5281.38 372 40 3 142
Lamar 1232 6367.91 624 37 11 97
Lanier 476 4598.59 260 8 3 26
Laurens 3574 7556.66 1754 134 20 333
Lee 1534 5118.28 1029 44 6 173
Liberty 2680 4329.28 403 49 1 199
Lincoln 483 5944.62 254 19 2 47
Long 636 3193.57 154 11 1 45
Lowndes 7238 6140.25 4188 127 58 339
Lumpkin 2648 7833.86 105 54 5 262
Macon 570 4388.67 211 22 4 76
Madison 2553 8460.09 448 37 9 134
Marion 370 4461.59 151 14 1 31
McDuffie 1566 7251.01 699 38 5 141
McIntosh 590 4050.25 134 13 2 50
Meriwether 1412 6717.41 420 49 8 124
Miller 608 10548.23 153 5 4 31
Mitchell 1471 6669.39 477 70 4 222
Monroe 1758 6340.39 606 76 11 170
Montgomery 705 7643.1 156 19 2 40
Morgan 1106 5779.08 712 13 4 75
Murray 3843 9545.22 610 66 4 221
Muscogee 12653 6602.97 1547 313 37 999
Newton 6793 6046.07 2443 178 15 562
Non-GA Resident/Unknown State 24483 0 4734 401 131 1176
Oconee 2707 6485.85 844 57 5 118
Oglethorpe 1106 7257.22 264 25 1 70
Paulding 9629 5580.67 4783 143 35 307
Peach 1735 6337.9 683 43 4 194
Pickens 2322 6925.14 739 52 16 179
Pierce 1168 5975.95 1129 38 12 121
Pike 967 5127.25 1048 21 10 63
Polk 3701 8511.57 1471 71 7 343
Pulaski 585 5370.42 287 30 8 50
Putnam 1658 7575.97 314 46 0 145
Quitman 75 3269.4 77 1 0 9
Rabun 1424 8383.37 141 36 8 143
Randolph 450 6662.72 150 31 1 76
Richmond 18489 9142.11 4098 346 72 1217
Rockdale 5406 5692.92 1010 122 17 781
Schley 200 3791.47 108 3 0 20
Screven 776 5582.73 107 16 5 62
Seminole 710 8722.36 181 16 2 62
Spalding 3578 5177.25 1884 126 29 380
Stephens 2846 10809.78 95 70 2 243
Stewart 754 12302.17 98 21 0 120
Sumter 1754 5966.19 669 86 7 251
Talbot 359 5829.81 84 15 0 35
Taliaferro 94 5759.8 20 2 0 9
Tattnall 1771 6969.42 404 37 21 108
Taylor 481 6044.23 274 20 3 69
Telfair 692 4423.42 546 42 10 66
Terrell 534 6306.84 211 40 2 105
Thomas 3410 7674.82 748 106 7 332
Tift 3351 8207.2 1307 91 28 404
Toombs 2765 10247.19 418 84 17 162
Towns 983 8168.52 109 37 12 118
Treutlen 617 9035 214 19 3 51
Troup 5492 7799.59 1430 161 36 452
Turner 578 7157.01 377 29 2 85
Twiggs 489 6047.49 121 30 6 90
Union 1904 7515.3 145 62 3 190
Unknown 2835 0 915 11 0 44
Upson 1697 6458.12 1496 96 16 160
Walker 5837 8385.29 666 71 5 241
Walton 7260 7577.18 1861 199 14 439
Ware 2848 7943.55 1715 125 17 324
Warren 358 6871.4 138 10 2 44
Washington 1567 7718.45 359 48 19 103
Wayne 2538 8467.34 751 65 10 250
Webster 97 3803.92 37 4 0 13
Wheeler 453 5727.65 160 21 2 35
White 2852 8980.41 154 62 12 276
Whitfield 14097 13467.79 1699 203 10 688
Wilcox 453 5153.58 330 27 17 67
Wilkes 644 6431 374 16 5 63
Wilkinson 695 7792.35 176 23 0 114
Worth 1138 5649.89 543 55 7 166

 

NEWS RELEASE    

 

Upson Regional Medical Center designated as Level II Maternal Center

 

Upson Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce its designation as a Level II Maternal Center by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health.

Each year, more than 350 babies are delivered at Upson Regional Medical Center. Compassionate staff and a patient-centered facility make Upson a great place for moms, families, and babies. In partnership with the medical center, Upson’s OB/GYN providers provide a wide range of services including annual wellness exams, family planning, prenatal through delivery care, midwifery services, nursery care, postpartum care, breastfeeding/lactation services, breast exams, prenatal patient centering education, nutrition, and more.

“The Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health commends Upson Regional Medical Center’s staff for the commitment to excellence in maternal care that is being provided. Improving care for women in Georgia is exceedingly important and is keeping with Public Health’s desire to protect and improve the health and lives of individuals throughout our state,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D. M.P.H., Commissioner and State Health Officer.

“Our maternal and newborn staff are dedicated to providing excellent care for our community. We strive to provide state-of-the-art care with a family-centered approach. The Women and Newborn Services team at Upson Regional is truly remarkable,” said Director of Women and Newborn Services, Brandie Kilcrease.

SPALDING COUNTY DISTRICT 4 HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

 

Covid 19 Vaccinations 

Spalding County Health Department

Every Friday 8-5, given vaccine is available, and weather permits.

Must have appointment and qualify per tier guidelines for first appointment.  Appointment line is 762-888-8180

No appointment necessary for second dose, but must have vaccination card to be vaccinated.  Cannot be vaccinated until date on back of card or later.

Must enter from Solomon St. to Searcy Ave.

 

 

 

Georgia’s statewide judicial emergency order is being extended for the 11th time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an order signed Sunday by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton.

 

GEORGIA CHIEF JUSTICE HAROLD MELTON

 

The most recent extension, which will expire on March 9, is “nearly identical” to an order signed on Jan. 8 that once again suspended jury trials. However, it said those trials may begin again next month.

Chief justice extends COVID-19 judicial emergency,  Melton first suspended jury trials in the emergency order signed on March 14, 2020. The chief justice in October 2020 signed an order that ended the suspension after a backlog of untried cases began to grow.

“Our judicial system, and the criminal justice system in particular, must have some capacity to resolve cases by trial, and our trial courts have accumulated many cases that are awaiting trial,” he said.

 

 

SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND VOTER REGISTRATION
825 MEMORIAL DRIVE
GRIFFIN, GA 30223
770-467-4245
N O T I C E
TO: ALL CITIZENS

FROM: SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND VOTER REGISTRATION
SUBJECT: SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND VOTER REGISTRATION REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, in accordance with O.C.G.A. 21-2-379.6 (c) that the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Spalding County Board of Elections and Voter Registration will commence on the following date, time and location:

DATE: Monday, February 15, 2021
TIME: 10:00 A.M.
PLACE(S): Spalding County Elections Office
825 Memorial Drive
Griffin, GA 30223

Masks will be required and CDC guidelines for Social Distancing will be followed. Also, masks will be provided to those who do not have one. The public is invited to attend. Space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Executive Session – Discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).

For additional information, please contact the Spalding County Elections and Voter Registration Office at 770-467-4245.
Marcia L. Ridley, MBA, D.H.L. Humanity
Elections Supervisor

Spalding Sheriffs Department

 

SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
SHERIFF DARRELL DIX
401 Justice Boulevard
Griffin, GA 30224
PRESS RELEASE
Major Dwayne Jones
Public Information Officer
770-467-5413
djones@spaldingcounty.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sheriff Darrell Dix, said  “On Wednesday February 3, 2020, I was contacted by Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee about a family member of a Baldwin County resident who had been the victim of a phone scam. The elderly victim, who is a Florida resident, had sent a total of $24,000.00 to the scammers before her family learned of it and stopped it.”

The scam that worked on the victim in this case was that a male called the victim and identified himself by name as her grandson. He gave her the story that he needed her help to get out of jail after being in an accident and being charged with DUI and other traffic offenses. He told the victim that his bond was $8,000.00 and he needed it in cash. Another male called the victim posing as a bail bondsman and requested the money for her grandson’s bail, where to send it to, and how to send it. The victim gathered $8,000.00 in cash, and it was delivered via UPS to an address on Ray Street in Griffin.

 

The following day the male posing as her grandson called again and said that a victim of the crash had died and that he needed an additional $16,000.00 in cash for bail on the new charges. The female victim once again bundled the cash and sent it via UPS to the same Ray Street address.

 

While working jointly with the victim’s family and UPS staff, Spalding County Investigators were able to have the package tracked and intercepted. Once it was secured and in our custody we created a fake package and had one of our Special Operations Investigators pose as the UPS delivery person. When he started across the yard at the Ray Street address he was met by a Hispanic female who pulled up in front of the address in a minivan. The female approached the Investigator, verified who the package was intended for, signed for it, and took custody of it. As she started to walk away she was arrested by our surveillance team.

 

The female arrested has been identified as Ruth Garcia, H/F, 42 Years of age. She has been charged with Theft by Deception and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud. She is currently residing in the Spalding County Jail.
We were unable to locate the original $8000.00, but we have the $16,000.00 secured and we are waiting for the victim’s family members to pick it up and return it to her.

 

We are still following leads in this case to work as far up the food chain as we can on this scam. We don’t know if we will be able to identify other victims or recover any of their assets as we move forward but we are going to do all we can to track it down.

 

We are asking that everyone be aware and make others aware of these and other scams. If someone calls with a story needing money please take the time to get the information from the caller and try to verify their story. If they say they are calling you from a jail, independently get the phone number to the jail they say they are at, call it, and ask if your loved one is there. This same type of scam also happens regarding hospitals where victims get calls saying that a loved one needs treatment, and it can’t be done until money is paid up front. Also, please remember that nobody is going to send you money if you have to pay money to them first.

 

Many times people who fall victim to scams are left feeling embarrassed, and this shouldn’t be the case at all. Scammers are professionals who know their jobs and have very convincing stories with information they are able to find about their victims. This information is often learned by scammers from social media posts by the victim, family members, or friends, and they manipulate it to create their victims.

 

If you have elderly family members, other family members, or friends who you have concerns about potentially falling victim to scams, please sit down with them and have a conversation about scams and how they operate. If you need information on preventing scams or how to not fall victim to scams, you can call the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-467-4282 and ask to speak to Major Mike Morris. If requested, we will come to your church, group meetings, or gatherings, and conduct presentations on scam awareness and prevention.”

Junior Deputy Trip to DC Cancelled.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has issued a press release in regards to the Jr. Deputy Trip to Washington D.C.

In light of the continually evolving COVID19 virus situation that we are all facing and the instability in our Nation’s Capital, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the May 2021 Jr. Deputy trip to Washington, D.C for the Spalding County 6th Grade Students.

We want to make sure that families and students know that we have their best interest in mind. The cancellation of the trip was a difficult and disappointing decision for us to make. But in the long run, the safety of the students, staff and community are our priority. Right now, it does not seem likely that we will be able to reschedule this trip but we will update you if there are any changes.