I promised to follow the Truth no matter where it leads which makes this one of the hardest articles that I have written. I was alerted to this story in a completely different context, but here I am. I have talked to several friends about this piece, and while I am not held to the traditional journalistic standards, I don’t want to write a hit piece just for the sake of attention… I want the Truth to have some news worthiness. So with some concern, I pen this piece about a Hall County (and maybe Gainesville City) employee that has been sideways with the law on a couple of occasions, but apparently did not warrant a trial. I realize that the graphics are bad; I took a picture from my cell phone off of the computer in the Clerk of the Courts office.
Our first incident occurred way back in 2004 when the Gainesville Police department arrested the defendant for running a stop sign, no proof of insurance, and a suspended driver’s license. I went to the City to see what the disposition was and discovered that all charges were dismissed (nolle prosequi) by the solicitor. Considering the distance in time, I left that one alone.
The second incident seemed worth looking at. This occurred in 2011 when the defendant was charged with failure to maintain lane and driving under the influence of alcohol. As you know, DUI is a serious charge. In the incident report (pp4), the defendant gave her version of “Do you know who I am” when she pointed out to the officer that she worked for the county and the city court system. While it wasn’t the funniest “do you know who I am” question I have seen, it warrants attention.
Several things seemed to happen in very fast order, yes she was arrested, but then she was released in an hour and a half. After refusing to take the field breathalyzer, the record doesn’t show that she was offered the state breathalyzer, blood or urine test at the jail. Refusal of the state test could result in the suspension of your license for a year pending an administrative hearing. As it turns out, she was arrested on a day that Flowery Branch had court and the judge immediately rescued herself even though the actual court date for the offense wasn’t for over a month (9/13).
While the case is still open, two of my lawyer friends both said that the city had a weak case to start with (due to the refusal to take the breathalyzer) and since the police officer left the city shortly after the arrest (I have been told there is a story here too). But now that the statute of limitations may have expired, this case will most likely never be heard. I would imagine that after this article is read by our friends at the City of Flowery Branch, it may finally be dismissed: nolle prosequi.
The question that may lead to the Truth here is why has this Defendant been able to skirt through the criminal justice system so easily? Would we be this lucky? Is this a matter of just coincidence after coincidence? Does the Defendant happen to know the right people in law enforcement and the court system just because of her employment? Or does the Truth lead us to a conclusion elsewhere?