It’s all fun and games
I remember my mom saying to me when I was young; “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”. Now that the Recall Lutz Committee has asked to withdraw the petition, we have to wonder if it was done because someone’s mom just announced that someone was about to get hurt. We have already parsed this story several ways: we wondered if there was a libel case, we wondered if a felony had been committed, and we wondered if it was just good ole boys being good old boys. I have even wondered (while not in writing) if this was nothing more than harassment (maybe another article coming soon).
I am now beginning to believe that the recall Chairman, Kevin Kanieski, is trying to avoid a felony. Let’s take a look at the circumstantial evidence: 1- we know that Brian Harris admitted to the paper that Kevin Kanieski did not bring him the petition, 2- we know that Kevin Kanieski was the circulator of the petition (pg 63) that Brian Harris signed, 3- we know that Kevin Kanieski was the circulator on 6 of the petitions with a total of 42 signatures, 4- we know that O.C.G.A. § 21-4-5(b)(1)(E)(i) says; “An affidavit by … the person circulating such recall application that each person sponsoring or signing such recall application is an elector of the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled and that the fact or facts upon which the ground or grounds for recall are based are true”, 5- we know that O.C.G.A. § 21-4-5(b) says that “every elector signing a recall petition shall do so in the presence of the person circulating the petition, and 6- we know that the violation for this offence is “Under the penalty of a violation of Code Section 16-10-71 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to false swearing, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by imprisonment of not less than one nor more than five years, or both”.
With the evidence we already know and the law we cited, shouldn’t the D.A. now become involved? If a felony occurs in the forest and no one hears, well maybe you can argue that a crime did not occur. But this one has repercussions and involves a lot of people; you could argue that there is a conspiracy afoot. While there are more than a few that may have buyer’s remorse in voting for Lutz, the fact is he was elected by a majority. This recall effort goes to the core of our democracy; when an illegal action is taken in an effort to remove a dually elected official, I believe that we are on the verge of a tyranny.
The fact that the recall committee has asked to have the petition withdrawn does not erase the fact that a crime may have occurred. Our D.A., Lee Darragh has an obligation to at least investigate the issue. His mission statement is: “The District Attorney represents the citizens of Hall County in the prosecution of all criminal cases in a manner which best protects the public and best preserves justice for each citizen.” I believe that the D.A. should act to protect the interests of not only the majority of citizens who voted for Commissioner Lutz, but to ensure that justice is served for Commissioner Lutz.
While you are at it, you may want to see if there is anything you can do with a couple of the good ole gals. I noticed that former Flowery Branch council member, Mary Jones, notarized a couple of the applications (pp. 51 and 55) and signed one of the applications (pp. 54) when O.C.G.A. § 21-4-5(b)(1)(E)(i) says that “No notary public may sign the application as an elector or serve as a circulator of any application which he or she notarized.” I don’t know the penalty, but it would be good for the news cycle if we can get a real good ole gal behind bars. Of course, being that Mary Jones was a contributor to your campaign in 2006 ($200) make keep you from pushing that one.
Well, Mr. Darragh, what will it be? Are you going to follow through with your mission statement, or are you going to keep your head in the sand?
Hugh Hall County Akston