Should Chief Turner Stay or Go?

After giving Chairman Eldrin Bell carte blanche over the Clayton County Police Department, our Board of Commissioners rescinded that order and opted to possibly reassign Police Chief Jeff Turner.

A Power Point presentation complete with pictures, was used to display the mismanagement allegations against Turner, listed in the Clayton News-Daily. A summary follows:

  1. Sept. 10, 2007: a Clayton County officer was arrested for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity using a CCPD laptop computer.
  2. Dec. 7, 2007: a Clayton County officer was terminated after admitting he had engaged the services of prostitutes both on and off duty. The audit claims that in October 2007, “allegations were lodged” against the same officer for allegedly having sex with a female suspect prior to transporting her to jail.
  3. May 2008: a female detective lodged a compliant of sexual harassment “to her immediate supervisor” and subsequently filed a sexual harassment suit against the county.
  4. Oct. 8, 2008: a sexual harassment complaint was lodged by a female police department applicant against a sergeant. The audit alleges that Turner “diminished the serious nature of the offense” when reporting the incident to Chairman Bell, and failed to follow a county ordinance “regarding proper notification of sexual harassment allegations.”
  5. Chief Turner allegedly ignored directives from the county by promoting certain officers to the rank of lieutenant in spring 2009.
  6. Chief Turner allegedly not sharing vital crime statistics with the Sheriff’s Department. The audit claims Sheriff Kem Kimbrough lodged “several complaints” about the matter in summer 2009.
  7. Chief Turner and certain staff members allegedly admitting that CCPD paid more than $109,000 to a vendor for hardware and software, of which no “deliverables” were received by the county.
  8. Aug. 25, 2009: a Clayton County police narcotics agent used a county vehicle to visit a female acquaintance. During the visit, the female’s boyfriend allegedly came to the residence, and while “fleeing the residence in panic,” the officer “ran into his own vehicle with his weapon drawn and shot [a] hole in it.”
  9. Sept. 7, 2009: two machine guns were stolen from the trunk of an officer’s car.
  10. Sept. 9, 2009: a police officer engaged in a high-speed chase with a male perpetrator suspected of soliciting sex from a prostitute. The chase ended in a crash on Old National Highway ( Fulton County), killing two innocent, female motorists.
  11. Reported “allegations of serious misconduct,” which Internal Affairs officers say come from a “credible witness.” Chief of Staff Alex Cohilas said the “allegations of wrongdoing are of such a serious, sensitive, and far-reaching nature that they [could not] be discussed” during last Tuesday’s meeting.
  12. Reports of 138 unaccounted weapons, 85 undocumented firearms used by police officers, and a narcotics evidence room “in disarray” and “overflowing” with more than 2,000 pounds of drugs, “much of which have destruction orders dating back to 2008.” Chief Turner stated that the department has not been audited in 20 years.

Two follow-up meetings will be held TODAY in the Commissioners’ Boardroom (112 Smith Street/Administration Building, Jonesboro), both of which are open to the public.

Should Chief Jeff Turner ...

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At 3 p.m., Chief Turner will get the opportunity to defend himself. He has already stated that several of the above allegations are untrue or contain inaccurate information, and that crime is down over 7 percent and the homicide rate is down 50 percent in Clayton this year.

The BOC could announce its decision at the second meeting to be held at 6 p.m., where Turner could be reassigned as director of the county’s police academy.

Regardless of what the BOC decides, we can only hope and pray that these decisions lead to a better Clayton county in 2010.

80 comments Add your comment


December 28th, 2009
10:54 am

Before reading these allegations I was firmly on the side of Chief Turner, and I won’t say I’m against him now but something does need to be done. Either the officers above need to go, or Turner does if he continues to protect them. Overall I like Turner a lot, he’s not only a nice guy but has done a good job as chief. I would REALLY like to know what Cohilas is talking about that was so bad they can’t tell the public, no matter what it is the public has the right to know! our tax dollars are paying all of their salaries!


December 28th, 2009
11:07 am

Chief Turner has done a great job ridding my neighborhood of drug activity. When I called on him, he immediately responded. Eldrin Bell needs to go. Atlanta kicked him out, so he decided to establish residency in Clayton County. Maybe his history needs to be made public as it relates to his political legacy. What has happened to Clayton County? Wasn’t like this ten years ago. Schools are terrible, people are crazy…


December 28th, 2009
11:08 am

There is too much information being withheld from the public to make a judgment. Being that every BOC member voted for it, including Edmondson, which was a surprise, I guess we can assume that there must be something very bad that we do not know about. I like Chief Turner, but I also respect Edmondson’s decision. He would not have voted for this, if he did not feel it was warranted. Time will tell.


December 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

I was told by a lady who worked with CCPD that CHief Turner is weak..he’s more of a follower than a leader. He is a generally nice guy but thats about it. If Turner’s son is common thug/criminal….do you expect him to be able to supervise others?

The list of accusations are reprehensible..but I know ..from being written up myself…that there are two sides to every story.

Bottom line…if all those things happen on his watch..Turner should go, He got a sweet deal with the academy…he may want to take and quit while he’s ahead.


December 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

Chief Turner should resign immediately. Who would want to work in that circus called Clayton County. The citizens made their bed, now let them lie in it! When you elect micro managers, it never works.

Clayton Resident

December 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

Pay close attention to Turner’s responses: “I will set the record straight.” On another occasion, the AJC quoted him suggesting that he guesses he would have to move on to become the director of training. These responses don’t sound like a man who is fighting for his job. He even says in today’s piece that he will “probably” appeal if he is relieved of his duties. While I can’t presume to know what he is thinking, the chief is not speaking language that tells us he wants to remain chief. He wants to tell us that the problems that exist at the Department were there BEFORE he became chief. I think the chief knows that if he goes back into the job, the accountability clock will start. And who in Clayton County government wants to be held accountable when so few others are. I don’t blame him, take the demotion with no accountability and chill like the others do.

Also, I agree wholeheartedly with “rat.” The vote was unanimous, with Edmondson and Bell agreeing with the three who typically vote together. There may be more to this.


December 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

Whatever is decided, one thing is clear: Bell needs to go!


December 28th, 2009
2:56 pm

Check out Olde Towne Morrow’s “Once In A Blue Moon” New Year’s Eve Countdown on December 31 from 5:00 PM til midnight, which promises to include live music, fireworks and much more!


December 28th, 2009
3:19 pm

If Eldrin Bells says white, I say black! Bell is an old crook and receives a 0% vote of confidence in my book!

Talk to the hand

December 28th, 2009
3:21 pm

I just want to know.Why wait until there was a whole laundry list of supposed complaints to do something? Also how credible is the source of the allegations? Who stands to profit from the removal of Chief Turner. Is that person behind the complaints? If they waited until former Sheriff Hill was out of office so that he would not have control of both sheriff’s office and the Clayton County Police Department why wait almost a year before bringing up the problems? I also wonder if there is a member of the BOC or one of the staff or employees of said Body who is under investigation by the CCPD and they are trying to keep them self out of trouble by this maneuver. You see I believe that Chief Turner and the CCPD are doing a great job keeping me safe here in Clayton County and they are color blind while doing so. It does not matter what race you are. They are there for you.


December 28th, 2009
3:24 pm

It is all smoke and mirrors. Wonder what the BOC does not want the voters to be looking at while they have this dog and pony show going on?

jimmy (conservative brother)

December 28th, 2009
5:13 pm

How can the board make allegations of mismanagement when they have so recklessly managed this county. Let’s take a look at a partial list.
Bell and other commissioners did not know (and still don’t) what happened to 14 million dollars.
Bell and other commissioners continued to sink 7 million dollars per year into C-Tran while neglecting essential services.
Several sexual harassment against Bell himself.
Most recently, commissioners attempt to beg the feds for 2.7 million dollars to save a failing C-Tran. Not only do they not get it but they may have to pay more than 2 million dollars back to the feds.
What about increasing the size of local government by creating two positions for Cohelas and Star.
I could go on and on. I know many who will stand behind Chief Turner I know none who will stand with this board. Turner should stay and be allowed to continue the work that he has started. Crime is down and Turner has done a lot to make sure that it continues to happen. If Turner goes… The recall campaign will begin. In fact since we have seen the reckless regard of this board it will begin anyway.


December 28th, 2009
5:21 pm

Bell needs to go HELL YAH!!!!!


December 28th, 2009
5:22 pm

Bell need to go ….how did he get to serve two terms bad as things are inthis county..he should have been out after one…oh yah..Lee Scott was his opponent so they figured he is’nt as bad as Lee scott.


December 28th, 2009
5:25 pm

Bell needs to go too. Who will run for his seat? Thats the problem….nobody steps up to run so he wins by default…He only got this term because Lee Scott ran against him….EVERYBODY knows Lee Scott is as crooked as they come so they settled for the less crooked Bell.

This go around I’d like to see a progressive new face who is ready to do some economic redevelopment in this county.


December 28th, 2009
5:31 pm

More politics as usual – Wade Starr and the three stooges are running our county. GOD help us


December 28th, 2009
6:21 pm

I think he is doing is job to the best of his ability. A lack of resources may have been the cuase for some of these minor issues.Overall I believe there is a bigger issue. The County wants us to believe that this these are the issues… I think otherwise.


December 28th, 2009
6:38 pm

Bob Hartley For County Chairman!


December 28th, 2009
7:01 pm

Chairman Bell voted against this. Give him credit. The three STARR devotees voted their own political agenda, per Wade. The one who must explain himself is Micheal Edmundson. The room was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the chief and removing the commissioners. That, dear voters, is our next agenda.


December 28th, 2009
7:10 pm

Lee Scott would have ruined the county. Wade Starr is doing his best Lee Scott imitation as we speak. When will the voters of this county demand that their elected employees what their constituents want. This is nothing more than a grab for power and we need to wake up – understand who we vote for – and who if anyone is pulling their strings. In this case we know who it is. Please voters – let the three STARR students know how you feel. My official – who I count as my friend – will answer my questions, or I will work against him in the next election.


December 28th, 2009
7:30 pm

The major face running for Chairman will be Wole Ralph. The puppet who instigated this on the BOC. He is a lightweight, History makes you wonder if he picked his political aspirations over his now failed marriage. Now he wants to run our county. Sounds like he might have a problem with commitment. If that is so , personally – will it also be, politically. For those of us still here, maybe it is time to cut our already substantial losses and leave this county to the hounds.


December 28th, 2009
7:30 pm

Oh Boy! I smell a rat…. Oh its just Eldrin Bell. Go back to the City of Atlanta. It seems as if he is good at keeping all of his dirt that he has encountered over the years hidden away. If you have lived in Atlanta,most of you know what I mean. I don’t know all the issues with Jeff Turner. If it was so bad why are you just coming out with it. This is something that should have been dealt with at that time (Shame on you BD of Comm).It also seems that Edrin has a lot of influence over the Board???? Can’t you all think for yourselves, or maybe Bell just winks his eye and you just fall in love with him. Who are you going to replace him with? Are going to replace him with someone worst? Let’s not forget our nightmare with Victor Hill. It’s all about power and politics and if you don’t know how to play the game you get tagged out real quick. Clay Co is not the only County where this is happening. We just know how to air out our dirty lundry and we seem to do it well.

Yeah, okay

December 28th, 2009
7:45 pm

Make no mistake. Wole Ralph WILL become the next Commission Chairman. Not because he’s the best one for the job but because people in this county are too apathetic, complacent and lazy to pay attention to what’s going on around them. Hell he barely ran the last time and WON a 2nd term!

People in this county have a VERY SHORT memory and an EVEN SHORTER attention span. Remember how fired up everyone was when we lost accreditation? Slowly but surely the crowds dropped off even BEFORE those Final Four were dismissed. The majority of Clayton residents NEVER got more involved with the school system despite all the drama, crying about my baby won’t get a diploma, etc. Our schools are still scaping the bottom of the barrell in a state that’s dead last in education.

We may get rid of Eldrin, but Wole will be the next commission chair. I have zero faith in this county’s voting abilities. Zero. the one smart thing I heard tonight was a black man say we need to STOP voting based on skin color & START voting based on knowledge and experience.

And even if I did have faith, there’s been a handful of decent candidates on any ballot in the past five years and they NEVER win because residents around here vote for the guy with the biggest billboards and the most signs clogging the side of the road. I just wish I never bought a home in this county, worst mistake I ever made.

Andrew Davis

December 28th, 2009
8:48 pm

Clayton Co. is a joke! First the school system loses it’s accreditdation,next comes the lost of your bus system, now they want to oust a 22 year officer of the force for things that happened prior to his term. On top of all of that the board does not listen to the people that put them in office.The people of Clayton co. want Chief Turner to stay. But the board, said “to hell what the people want”. They have their own agender and nothing else matters. Clayton co. you need to wake up and see what’s going on around you. The board of commissioners don’t have a clue and you are payiny the price. Maybe it’s time to think about a recall of the commissioners, and find some who care about the people and the county.

i like to watch; but can't see

December 28th, 2009
9:45 pm

Jeff Turner got playered by the county elite, for doing a good job; however, he missed by far as being a good police chief! He let his ego and his “supposed status” in the community overshadow, what was really happening in the community. Hey Jeff, let kill two innocent member of the community, on a bashed police collar, for money for police acting as prostitutes ! It’s 2010, a better effort need to be made policing; not just a pink version thrust in your your daily face by the pink lawless; because they think still have 1963 rights( well before the voting right era) ! Jeff, you are out because you would not stand up for whats “Right For The People” in (2009)! You’re an Uncle Tom! you, you had your chance. I hope you get another one! Live in the here and now! If you don’t, you will lose!


December 28th, 2009
9:50 pm

BnB, I was there and the majority of those folks whopping and hollering for Turner have never been to a BOC meeting and won’t be back for another one. As for Turner he should show some dignity and leave on his own. This public fight he is trying to wage shows how much he cares for this county, keeping us in the news! Congratulations Interim Chief Tim Robinson. Can we move on now?

i like to watch; but can't see

December 28th, 2009
9:54 pm

Maria, Bob Hartley For County Chairman! Sorry baby Bob Hartley is in jail like A. Williams! You dummass Clayton voters was hoodwinked pink minority, and by my friend 57+ illegal meeting by Cobb BOE! Like I say; i like to watch; but can’t see!


December 28th, 2009
10:21 pm

Chief Turner just got screwed. So did the citizens of Clayton. The BOC cared nothing about the large crowd supporting the chief. They showed themselves to be the cowards they are – refusing to give the Chief the public forum to defend himself – the same public forum that they used to accuse him. Refusing also to hear public input – sad day for democracy. The voters must replace the commissioners and then Cohilas can be relegated to the vehicle maint. office along with Wade – where they both belong. These jerks should not be on the public payroll. Looks like Eldrin tried to save face – he knew how the vote would go – and voted so as to be the good guy. What was encouraging was black folks – encouraging black voters to know the people running for office and not just vote for the candidate because they are black. We are learning.

Brown Sugar

December 28th, 2009
11:40 pm

Clayton County you deserve what coming to this county after letting chief Turner be voted out by CCBC just remember when you go back to the polls

Mama Says

December 28th, 2009
11:51 pm

Ok I have been on record as an opponent of Turner’s (or at least him being in the administration of the CCPD) but I have to say this.

Narcotics in general is in disarray and has been since Clackum

Dirty officers do not in and of themselves indicate dirty supervisors

It is true the CCPD has not been audited in at least 25 years (how can they blame Turner with results this old when there is no way to determine when weapons got missing)

The modern police departments of the country rely on in car computers for dispatching and criminal back ground checks by the officer in the car/on the street. Again the illegal or improper use of the computer is not Turners wrong doing by proxy—-it was a criminal act by the OFFICER WHO IS IN FEDERAL PRISON now.

Guns being stolen from a police car—again blaming the police for having the equipment needed to respond faster (SWAT) for our safety avoids the point that the CROOK stole the guns and therefore the CROOK is to blame.










Mama Says

December 28th, 2009
11:56 pm


unlike Turner, Robbins is qualified–he is also an FBI academy graduate, but his investigative skills are more pronounced. Homicide, Sex Crimes and Property Crimes as well as SWAT commander and supervisory speaking he did “work” his way up without the threat of law suits .


December 29th, 2009
9:22 am

Cinnomon – you are funny. You can try to cover for your friends Wole, Gail and Sonna. and of course Wade. But is was these fools – not Turner that make Clayton once again the target of the media, and not in a good way. You fool yourself into believing you are a force in this county. God Bless.

Horrible Horrace

December 29th, 2009
9:23 am

In Clayton Country, Arrogance and STUPIDITY reign supreme!!

So So

December 29th, 2009
9:37 am

So using the logic of the BOC – Eldrin should leave because those employees under his charge were accused of crimes including sexual harrassment, not to mention the sexual harrassment cases against him personally. Wole should leave for the influence peddling he engages in by way of Wade Starr – not to mention his inability to run his own home. Sonna and Gail should leave for their shear inability to understand the issues and manipulations going on around them but also being a Starr pupils. Michael should leave for nothing more than just following the pack. Cohilas should leave to show he has some integrity left. Yea, right. So there we go – a new BOC to build from the ground up – with true public servants and not political hacks and influence peddlers.


December 29th, 2009
10:54 am

Say pay grade, less headaches. Take the cushy position as head of the police academy and be happy. At least you weren’t sent packing.


December 29th, 2009
11:47 am

BnB, clearly everyone knows who the fool is here. And to calm your fears, I have absolutely no interest in being a “force” whatever that is in Clayton county. You have no idea who my friends are or do you know any thing about me, obviously from your comment. Yes I do have a good working relationship and level of respect for our commissioners (Ralph, Singleton and Hambrick), that you did get right. They have vision, strength and the integrity not to be bossed, bought or broken by the status quo while making hard and unpopular decisions for the future of Clayton County.

I would say to you, get a grip and control your fantasies about me.
May I suggest that you focus on having constructive real dialogue on the issue. Can we respect each other and express our opinions with out disparaging remarks and personal attacks?

Tell The Truth

December 29th, 2009
1:04 pm

The fact of the matter is that the Chief of Police is not an elected position. He serves at the behest of the commission. If the commission directs him towards certain actions and he ignores them, whose fault is that? I don’t personally know Chief Turner nor any member of the board, but if my boss tells me to file a report and I decide to not do it, whose at fault if I get fired? I’m interested to know what is so bad that it can’t be announced to the public. I hear a lot of rhetoric about going to the polls and voting the board out. My question is this, AND REPLACE THEM WITH WHO? For all of this fire Bell and fire the Board, the only name I can say I consistently hear as a replacement is Bob Hartley. Before I get rid of anybody, I need to see a viably better replacement. I’ve seen what Clayton looks like when you replace an elected official with just anybody (a la Victor Hill/Jewell Scott). If you think the county can’t get any worse, think again.

So to all of you who want to vote out the commissioners, give me the names of the next slate of viable candidates. If you can’t name the names then all you are doing is whining.


December 29th, 2009
1:41 pm

Thank you for substantiating my statements.

Independent Thinker

December 29th, 2009
2:03 pm

First of all, Jeff was a good leader over the police department. He was not autocratic and was fair and impartial to all- black and white officers. Tim is an excellent replacement if Jeff is unable to negotiate the legal system to get his job back. I like Tim, he is not arrrogant and is well-liked in the white and black community. Tim does not have an agenda-he just wants to be a good police officer.

That being said, I hate that he has to be a chief under the crooked Bell’s administration. The nerve of Bell, trying to pretend that he did not want to oust Turner. geriatric scoundrel was caught in the company of Mob figures when he was Police Chief in Atlanta during an FBI sting operation and has been accused of sexual harassment numerous times during his career. The residents in Clayton County are stupid. Wade Starr was instrumental in using his three flunky commissioners and consorts to oust Turner but Wade should remember why he hastily left his job as a public school educator. Some of us remember, Wade, it was called inappropriate advancing yourself to a person of another Gender, wasn’t it?

It is a complete shame to realize that Clayton County (school board and county government) is now under the control of some of the most infamous and ignorant characters on the planet earth and voters are completely in the dark. CONGRATULATIONS, TIM.

now stop it

December 29th, 2009
2:09 pm

Enough now. Synamon does try to steer people to her forum for discussions and discourse. She does have some friends in positions of power in the County. But she has no real influence or “force” with anything or anybody. Ask around.


December 29th, 2009
3:15 pm

Independent Thinker

I agree 100%, Wole Ralph really hurt himself with this move. I assure you he want ever get my vote again. He could’ve been a young progressive leader instead of letting some old cynical bitter brother treat him like a puppet. He is to Wade Starr what Victor was to Lee Scott.

Long-Time resident

December 29th, 2009
3:17 pm

Some of the comments are amazing (amazingly naive.) This is a power play by Wade Starr and the Three Stooges (and sometimes they get Edmondson to go along) to run off Turner, because Starr doesn’t like him. Bell is being criticized in this case for standing up for principles (something he is not good at either.) Bell should have fired Starr on day one of his first term, since Starr was working in that office then. Instead, he allowed him to transfer and has been paying for it since then. wade Starr has taken Lee Scott’s place as the boiler room director to crew up Clayton County.

Former Ford Worker

December 29th, 2009
4:31 pm

Bob Hartley will make a strong run for Chairman. If Bob is in jail, my name is Obama! As far of the entire BOC- Give em the Boot. This county can’t continue on this path of self destruction by self serving “public servants” sic. Yes, voters are asleep at the wheel. But maybe it will take someone like Bob to stimulate them into action.

Jeff turner has been a good leader. He is just the latest casualty of fools gone wild.

Mama Says

December 29th, 2009
4:40 pm

The fools gone wild are the ones who put Turner in the Chiefs Seat—–study the players people !

So So

December 29th, 2009
5:09 pm

Do you realy think Mr. Hartley is any different? Ask those who have dealt with him in past elections before you make up your mind.


December 29th, 2009
6:14 pm

Now you all want to get involved with what goes on in our county. You should have noticed that crime is up, hidden cops giving tickets are up, students skipping school is up, pay for commissioners are up, taxes for the people who pay home taxes are up and a weak police chief that still fights with the sheriff is up. Whats down in our county; the prices of our homes are down, the outlook for the county is down and electing people that know how to get the job done is down.

i like to watch; but can't see

December 29th, 2009
6:56 pm

Are you serious! Bob Hartley can’t even stay married or shack with anyone! Remember his campaign slogan “Put A Brother in Office” how stupid! Besides I hear he resides under the bridge at I-675 and Anvil Block road or in jail!

Super Smart

December 29th, 2009
7:01 pm

People in Clayton county will have to live with what they put in office. They couldn’t even get the old BOE recalled with that idiot Hartley at the helm. Another thing Bob Hartley have run for every office in the county and lost for the last ten years.

say what?

December 29th, 2009
7:48 pm

Turner was the best at the time of appointment because the community recognized him as the face of the CCPD. He did well there, but when you have to fire friends and people that you have known for over 20 years, your true character shows. True he appeared to be a wonderful leader, he gave hope to those new recruits that they could rise through the ranks to become a police chief- but he lacked leadership vision, and without a vision the people perish. The community policing is nothing new just going back to the basics of policing when neighbors were neighborly.

Now I hope that the BOC finds something else to do to keep Clayton county relevant to the economic upturn that will soon begin. Stop the negative and get us to a better place. Instead of the state of GA wanting to literally dig a tunnel for traffic from GA 400 to I-675, why not work on bringing jobs to I-675 so that there is no need for a tunnel for traffic overflow? Better yet how about working with the USPS to keep some jobs at the Crown Rd. center as it is thinking to shift 1800 jobs to North Metro. Clayton and its surrounding counties have some serious economic issues that need to be addressed, but I don’t hear about it nor do I see any progress from the BOC.

Eldrin Bell came here under the auspis of taking care of his mom and do any of you remember the beautiful layout in the old home and garden section of the ajc? He lied about his reason to come to Clayton, he knew that there was going to be a shift in political control, and could not help himself. If someone runs for nearly every position, is that person wanting to help the community or self? People wake up, and send emails and make phone calls to those who have (un)fortunately been elected to represent our needs, let your voice be heard, and not just on the ajc blog.


December 29th, 2009
8:26 pm

Sounds like we need CHANGE in Clayton County. We need to elect a man of integrity: DABOUZE ANTOINE for Clayton County Commissioner 2010!