Terrell Bolton, formerly DeKalb County’s $162,000-a-year police chief, is claiming indigence as he tries to get his job back. Bolton says he can’t afford to pay a court reporter to transcribe the four-day hearing held on his appeal of his dismissal. Bolton was fired in February for insubordination and misuse of county vehicles, including a $32,000 Range Rover and a $55,000 Mercedes Benz assigned for his use.
One week ago, Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington apologized and shouldered the blame for the 2006 shooting death of Kathryn Johnston: “I take full responsibility for what happened.” But not so much in court. Detectives claim arrest quotas pressured them to cut corners in drug investigations. Pennington testified the department had performance standards, but no quotas. And he can’t be blamed, city attorneys contend, “for the illegal actions of a few rogue officers.”
Georgia law enforcement agencies looked somewhat less than law-abiding when student journalists asked for public records, the Georgia First Amendment Foundation reported this week. Authorities refused students’ requests, charged them excessive fees and grilled them on why they wanted the information. One sheriff complained to the president of Mercer University.
It pays well to be Atlanta’s police chief. It pays better, apparently, to be raising money for the police. Dave Wilkinson, president of the Atlanta Police Foundation, made $215,500 in 2008, or 23 cents of every dollar it collected. That’s roughly $15,000 more than Police Chief Richard Pennington makes in a year.
The Good News: Residential burglaries are down 2 percent in Atlanta so far this year. The Bad News: That small dip follows a 65 percent spike during the three previous years. So reports Terminal Station, an Atlanta real estate blog that has started picking apart Atlanta’s crime statistics. An excellent, if somber, analysis that advances discussion of the issue beyond the spin from City Hall.
Aug. 20, 2009 — Death row inmate Troy Davis won a new hearing this week in the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. But the case will focus as much, if not moreso, on whether he could have proved his innocence earlier. Davis’s lawyers have pulled together affidavits from witnesses claiming they lied on the stand or that another man is the real killer. Critics say the affidavits are not persuasive. Here’s your chance to read and decide for yourself.
Fired DeKalb County Police Chief Terrell Bolton was insubordinate, misused county vehicles and repeatedly engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer, an administrative hearing officer has ruled. Download the full decision.
Aggravated assaults climbed by more than 50 percent in intown Atlanta this year, and residential burglaries were up sharply in Buckhead and southwest Atlanta, police statistics show. Year-to-date statistics posted online show overall crime was down citywide through April. But the numbers also show pockets of the city where certain types of violent and property offenses have risen sharply.
Ex-DeKalb police chief Terrell Bolton, fired for personal use of county vehicles, gave himself sole authority to approve use of take-home police cars late last year, records show. But that directive took effect several weeks after he returned two luxury cars, seized from drug dealers, that had been parked in the garage of his Stone Mountain home for much of 2008, according to evidence in an administrative hearing on his dismissal.
Maj. Pearlene Williams, chief of staff for Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington, is under investigation in DeKalb County, where her son has been serving time for a 2007 pawn shop killing. Court records show the DeKalb district attorney opened a file Wednesday on an allegation that Williams violated her oath of office, a felony, after the DeKalb sheriff forwarded an investigative report. Neither office would discuss the case. But, a spokesman cautioned, “She hasn’t been charged. She hasn’t been indicted.”
Fired DeKalb police chief Terrell Bolton’s explanation for keeping two seized luxury cars at home in his garage is “absurd,” the county’s district attorney says. Police handling of the two cars might also have violated state law, DA Gwen Keyes Fleming wrote in a March 24 letter. But she said it would not warrant criminal prosecution.
Fired DeKalb police chief Terrell Bolton testified today he was exempt from county procedures forbidding police executives from taking compensatory time. He said Vernon Jones, former DeKalb CEO, promised Bolton comp time in 2007 when he was hired. “My deal was that I had followed the [comp time] policy as established by my boss,” he testified as an appeal hearing on his firing resumed. “I was an executive and I was unique.”