Innocent until proven guilty

Clayton County Commissioner Wole Ralph (District 3) says that he is not guilty, and wants folks to keep an open mind about his recent arrest in Atlanta.

“I deeply regret this occurrence,” says Ralph via press release. “I am not guilty of these violations and I look forward to resolving this matter in court. I fully expect that I will be afforded the same due process as any other citizen and subsequently vindicated.”

Vice Chairman Ralph was recently arrested on charges of DUI, obstruction, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane. Atlanta police officers have challenged his claims of innocence, stating that he refused to cooperate, that they could smell alcohol on him, and he refused to take a field sobriety test according to the AJC.

Since being elected to office in 2004, Ralph has been nationally recognized for his leadership here and has received many awards as per the Clayton County website, including the Community Champion Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Two of his fellow commissioners have issued a statement of support for their colleague.

For those looking for Ralph’s ouster from office as a result of these charges, that won’t happen according to the Clayton News-Daily. Since he has been charged with misdemeanors, “ . . . . state rules governing the removal of local officials do not apply,” and the Attorney General’s office will not get involved.

Stay tuned. Your thoughts?

50 comments Add your comment

whatever

February 28th, 2011
12:15 pm

I am not so much calling for his ouster, As I am calling for him to be willing to do the Perp walk of shame that he has so willing to use on other County Employees. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If it comes out in the police report ( which will come out at trial) that he was Driving Drunk (and as the ad says driving while buzzed is driving drunk) Then I want him to be MAN enough to say “I was wrong. I lied, And It won’t happen again.” THEN he should make his actions follow his words. Unfortunately I don’t think that he will do this as he seems to think he is above the law. Or he would not have tried to use what he thought was a “get out of jail” free card. Sorry Mr. Commissioner. I am a “Police Commissioner” only works in the County you are actually serve in. And a Honest man would not use it even then.

Roach

February 28th, 2011
12:29 pm

Read the police report. Either we have a lying county commissioner or multiple lying police officers, unless a Wole Ralph look-alike with phony ID was out late that night. Sure, lying isn’t a felony–in Clayton County, it’s more a qualification to run for office.

A Simplier Time

February 28th, 2011
1:03 pm

Isn’t impersonating the police a felony? Is saying your a “police commissioner” the same offense?
I wonder what charge an average joe (or jamal) would get after stating to an officer that he is a “police commissioner”?

Clayton resident

February 28th, 2011
1:47 pm

Any other person who did all that stuff to a copy would’ve been shot on site and the APD’s history of honesty is suspect. Not sure who or what to believe in this case.

BlackRain

February 28th, 2011
1:50 pm

Time to man up , Wole. Let me see – should I believe 2 highly trained policemen, or should I trust a man who as a commossioner – has shown little regard for the citizens of this county – to follow an old pied piper. Do Wole and Sonna and Gail really think those policemen made up the swerving car – the scrapping along the median (easy to check that), the alcohol smell and the belligerent attitude of the occupant of the vehicle?

Brick House in FP

February 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

“Innocent until proven guilty”

…You had my attention from the start.

For those who don’t remember The Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombing; Richard Jewell was falsely implicated without the benefit of any trial, by that of the media, law enforcement, and public opinion.
I stood up to tell those who voiced their lopsided opinions, of Richard Jewel’s guilt, that a person in our Nation should have their day in court to prove their innocence, until then, it should not be discussed.

….I post this In memory of Richard A. Jewell (December 17, 1962 – August 29, 2007)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Jewell

Maddog

February 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

I would like to know what he was doing on Metropolitian Ave at 0230. If he was not guilty, why no state test. And as stated above, he needs to do the perp walk. He has been very disrespectful of the police in this county, that attitude was reflected during his arrest. And finally, what guilty person ever admits to being guilty?

SynamonSays!

February 28th, 2011
4:49 pm

Since when in America is one guilty until proven innocent? Another question for you self-appointed judges and jurors, since when was the word of a police officer gospel truth? All parties will have their day in court.

Stephen says

February 28th, 2011
5:05 pm

Why not just blow the state test – like someone who is not been drinking and be done with it?

It bothers me that he thinks he is above the law. The state has the blood alcohol test there to stop cops from making false claims of DUI. It seems to me that he should know the law – since he is a “police commissioner”

But then again, I agree with Synamon. Maybe the cops conspired together, made him lose control of his vehicle, and then fight with him, and then not blow on the test, and it all is a grand conspiracy! NOT

StraightNoChaser

February 28th, 2011
5:10 pm

@SynamonSays!

You have a right to defend those you are politically aligned with. That’s politics and I understand it. The reason why Mr. Ralph is not getting support from the citizens of Clayco is because he has not supported the people of Clayco. Those you support will support you…..rule #1 of politics. Yes Mr. Ralph will have his day in court and the judge will weigh the word of 2 police officers and their account via their report along with a picture showing someone with bloodshot eyes and appearing dazed (you know you don’t just get bloodshot eyes don’t you?). Mr. Ralph better hope and pray that the police didn’t have a dash cam.

SynamonSays! I am not sure if you see the writing on the wall but its no coincidence that you are starting to see the Wade Star fortress fall. First it was Hambrick with inappropriate use of housing authority property. Next you have Cohilas retiring out of the blue and most recently Wade Star stepping down from his policy position (can’t wait to see the upcoming news story that will give everyone some insight into WHY he stepped down (We are getting closer Wade, we are getting closer).

Bob

February 28th, 2011
6:46 pm

Synamon – Grow up. He was on Stewart Ave in the middle of the night. Come on – we know he has been divorced a while, maybe he was just lonely.

BlackRain

February 28th, 2011
6:59 pm

You are right Synamon- this smeels to high heaven – but it is on the side of Wole that the stench is so bad. NO one is above the law. He is just hoping to get a jury of his liking in the courtroom – jury nullification lives.

A Simplier Time

February 28th, 2011
7:56 pm

Right on StraightNoChaser!

It seems the slimy sycophants only come out when the moon is full, lol!

Focus Group

March 1st, 2011
7:45 am

Maddog hit the nail on the head.

PaperFrank

March 1st, 2011
8:38 am

Does anyone not see that he was set up. There is a bowling alley on metropolitan where he said he was. There is no such thing as a police commissioner so at best the cop didn’t hear him correctly. At worse he is just making up stuff or couldn’t hear him as he was being yanked out of the car. Also there is no MEDIAN on metropolitan! They pulled him over because he stood out. Treated him like a common criminal – realized who he was as began making up a justification for being abusive. He is innocent till the cops are proven guilty.

whatever

March 1st, 2011
8:51 am

@ Brick House in FP In case you forgot it was not the Local police who wrongly blamed Richard Jewell. It was the F. B. I. Richard Jewell was an honest to Goodness hero. Diligently doing His job and Saved untold hundreds of people harm or Death by finding the bomb before it blew. On the other hand our “GOOD” commissioner is a Zero with a huge sense of entitlement. Who spews harm like a bomb. I will grant at one time he might have been an honest and caring and effective Commissioner out there for the People of Clayton County. But Now he seems to be joining the status quo and in it for what it will do for him. Just business as usual for a typical Georgia politician. Too bad he lost his way.

Huh?

March 1st, 2011
8:57 am

Got no love for Ralpha used to like him but he not the same person I voted for in 2004, or the same one who skated thru his last election because he knew he had no competition (Dist 3, stand up in 2012!) heck he didn’t even bother to campaign but facts is police ATLANTA police lie all the time and get caught, look at woman they killed in her own house a couple years back at christmas. Again don’t care about Wole but can see the cops setting something in motion then realzing they started it with an elected official and try to cover. a

Thomas Says!

March 1st, 2011
9:12 am

MR Wole on Stewart Ave, just cruzing, be real and I am sure he had just finished bowling,it’s about time the above the law commissioner’s start getting what they deserve because they are not for the people of Clayton County but out for themself and their friends.

.

Bob

March 1st, 2011
9:28 am

hey – a Simplier (Mind) Time – by the way its Simpler. also it is not sycophants – its psychopaths. That is your lesson for the day. God Bless you

oldtimer

March 1st, 2011
10:13 am

Looking a facts…Police are rarely wrong on this…There is a reason he refused the field sobriety test…I guess the tests at Grady Detention Center will tell the truth. Get real folks…This one is hard to make up and he has gotten to big for his britches.
These Atlanta cops won’t even know who he is.

Roach

March 1st, 2011
10:56 am

@Bob: “Sycophants” or “psychopaths? Now that’s a tough one–we should have a poll. “Psychopath” is a diagnosis, while “sycophant” is what it is. Still, this being Clayton County, it’s absolutely a tough call.

SynamonSays!

March 1st, 2011
12:21 pm

I believe what I said was, “When in America is a one considered guilty until proven innocent?” to all of the asinine responses, I say get a higher level of understanding. Your lack of knowledge in matters of law is coming through and you sound so hateful.

Thomas Says!

March 1st, 2011
12:43 pm

What now Synamon Says do we all need to be educated since when we are not in agreement with you, we lack knowledge, we will just wait and see what happens with his test from Grady Detention Center.

raja

March 1st, 2011
1:27 pm

SynamonSays!

If Wole Ralph is so innocent; why not just take the test and be on your way? You know why?
Because he’s not. You look stupid trying to defend him and you wonder why no one wants to
be involve with you.

Rex Mex

March 2nd, 2011
7:57 am

Saw channel 2 news last night and there was no median on the street they showed. Cops do lie but hey, so does everybody else.

SynamonSays!

March 2nd, 2011
10:42 am

Thomas,
No just those who make uneducated comments. You can agree or disagree with me that is your choice. Knowledge is power and you too could use some too. He will help you to make better decisions in the long wrong.

StraightNoChaser

March 2nd, 2011
11:57 am

@SynamonSays!

Knowledge is not power. Information is power in this digital age. Since you are such a supporter of Mr. Ralph maybe you can get him to answer some questions.

What is the most current thing he has done that has benefited District 3?

Why does he not speak to his constituents when he walks around the Walmart in Lovejoy when they address him?

Why hasn’t a recreation center been built in District 3 after its groundbreaking on election day 2008? b. Why has Mr. Ralph said that the county is going through a lawsuit with the builder and when it is resolved the Rec center would be built, but there are no lawsuits listed against the county in this regard?

Where is Mr. Ralph’s brilliance regarding the county’s budget and how much money it would save the county to close down the Police Academy and the other brilliant ideas to save the county money….isn’t the county still looking at a budget shortfall?

What business has Mr. Ralph brought to the county since he has been in office?

Maybe you can ask these questions because I can’t get a return phone call or past his body guard Wade Star during the commission meetings.

Brick House in FP

March 2nd, 2011
12:24 pm

..It bothers me that this topic was posted, before the court’s verdict, but, it don’t surprise me that the president of the local chapter of the Clayton County NACCP showed up to offer her support for Mr.Ralph.

…What does Kim Allen have to say about this one ?

SynamonSays!

March 2nd, 2011
1:41 pm

First of all you are being less than truthful and your sarcasm takes away from your serious legitimate concerns. You want to have an intelligent conversation with me about this issue? Log onto my show, synamonsays.com.

I know my position that the elected officials are performing well under unbelievable conditions will evoke anger and hatred from those of you are set on destroying Ralph, Singleton and Hambrick. But as I what I believe, is that the mean-spirited should be allowed to express their sincere opinions as it relates to my advocacy for the county. The citizens need to know what venomous, revengeful people we have in our communities who are self-serving. As Daddy used to say, “show me what they working with!

Why is my blog that talks about the birther issue, which is a ajc article being put under moderation?

whatever

March 2nd, 2011
1:58 pm

The cops that stopped him must have not been white because they are not using the race card. Just the crooked cop card…… I bet that goes over will with law enforcement.

SynamonSays!

March 2nd, 2011
4:01 pm

Cops were not white. Remember all police officers do not fit the profile of a rouge cop. Rouges can be any race! Majority of officers regardless of race do protect ad serve. for those who do not we have the courts!

2DPoint

March 2nd, 2011
4:52 pm

I agree with Synamon that rogue cops come in all colors. Sometimes it’s a black man’s worst nightmare to be stopped by black cops. Regarding this Ralph case, I will say the police report doesn’t look good and Clayton Co. government officials can look at a world of obvious proof that one is guilty and will stare you in the eye and tell you that person is NOT guilty, IF that person is a friend. Yes, I truly believe there are unclean hands running our county’s government and that many people feel powerless and thus angry about it. Whatever happened with Ralph on that late, late night on a seedy side of Southwest Atlanta will play out and he will either find a way to out-wit the charges or the justice system will serve due process in court.

StraightNoChaser

March 2nd, 2011
5:00 pm

@SynamonSays!

Great!!! Now that I have your attention please tell me where I am being untruthful. I personally called Mr. Ralph’s office asking about the Rec center in district 3 & I personally researched the lawsuit not finding anything.

I have personally tried to talk to Mr. Ralph after commission meetings getting in 2 words before be shuffled off by Wade Star.

I sat and watched Wole make the move to close the Police Academy down touting how much money it would save the county and look at the predicament we’re in.

So tell me where I am wrong please.

Thomas Says!

March 3rd, 2011
9:24 am

I really like the comment you made those who make uneducated comments and guest what you can use some as well, and trust me I have more knowledge than you think.Don’t get so upset because the truth is being told about Wole, he is an elected official and he walks around like he think he is God, it never ever hurts to speak to people whether they are in your district are not, you never know when someone might move into the district you represent.

you gotta be kidding me

March 3rd, 2011
11:05 am

the man is guilty……90 days in jail

raja

March 3rd, 2011
12:05 pm

Thomas Says!

You’re so right about Wole attitude towards citizens in his district. I have friends who live in the same subdivision as Wole, they say he don’t speak but when he first ran for commissioner he came around knocking on doors asking for votes. I hope we have better candidates next election because I’m going to be out in Lovejoy making sure this man don’t get re-elected.

Bob

March 3rd, 2011
4:05 pm

I apologize to A Simplier Time and Roach. Thanks to you , I have been schooled and understand more than I did previously. Have a good day.

Maddog

March 3rd, 2011
5:58 pm

Funny how the BOC passes a civility ordanance after Hambrick and Ralph are accused of breaking the law.

A Simplier Time

March 3rd, 2011
10:20 pm

If convicted, will Ralph apologize? Does anyone feel they need an apology? Stay tuned! Court date and location: Atlanta Municipal Court on May 3, at 8 a.m.

JustTheFacts

March 4th, 2011
8:49 am

@Maddog…I like what you said, what guilty person ever admits their guilt…interesting. Time will tell. Anyone, is your license automatically suspended if you refuse field sobriety or DUI testing?

JustTheFacts

March 4th, 2011
9:00 am

No one is set on destroying Ralph and his colleagues, the facts speak for themselves. The County declining quickly. Budget matters: closing the police academy, raising millage rates, using prision labor, no pay raises, outsourcing planning svcs, and cutting ctran along with $4.5m (2010) in reserve all quoted by commissioners in former AJC articles to give budget relief. Why then are we $8m in the hole???…not personal just business.

Maddog

March 4th, 2011
10:14 am

Refusing a state test results in suspension, if they (police) did what they were suppose to.
My questions to those supporting Ralph, what has he done for the county and does he really live in the county? Things that make you go hmmm!

raja

March 4th, 2011
12:10 pm

Maddog,

Does Wole ralph lives in the County?

I know he doesn’t a home in CC. You can check the County property search,

http://www.claytoncountyga.gov/departments/tax-assessor/real-property-records-search.aspx

well,well

March 4th, 2011
3:17 pm

Their is also an ongoing investigation on the former DA Jewel Scott. A diversion plan to help youths accused of a first time felony to get off with some counseling and life choices lessons. I remember her campaign promise of not letting any more innocent young black youth go to prison. Now we find that not only did she not handle the monies correctly (maybe Lee needed some seed money) – but that this program was for those accused of felonies. Gee Jewel , I guess to you only white folk are the only guilty ones.

RayJay

March 4th, 2011
3:20 pm

Wole – you must be a great disappointment to Big Daddy Wade. IS that why he has given up one of his county job – so Mr. Starr can begin to get ready for a bid for the Chairman position ?

Doris M

March 5th, 2011
9:18 am

We shall see on May 3rd when the court makes a decision. But it’s mighty suspicious that one would not take a breath test on a DUI charge if one was not guilty. Being on Stewart Avenue (Metropolitan Avenue) and driving erractically is also mighty suspicious. Sometimes the pressures of public office can become overwhelming but lying about something is the very worst you can do. Just admit Mr Ralph that you are fallible as is every human being.

Jborodawg

March 5th, 2011
11:39 am

Yes, innocent until proven guilty…in court. But, perception is everything. Out at 230AM, on Metropolitan? Hmmmm. And, probably every DUI case has the perp saying they’re not guilty before the court date. One might beat a field sobriety test in court, but not a hospital-administered test. And don’t call it justice either way. People with money get justice. That’s why the jails are full of poor people.

Be that as it may, even if he’s found guilty, that does not mean he can’t be an effective county commissioner. I’d hate to see anyone lose their job due to a DUI. It should have nothing to do with job performance or retention.

SynamonSays!

March 6th, 2011
11:10 pm

Civic illiteracy abounds in Clayton County. Innocent until proven guilty applies to everyone! Some of the asinine statements made here reek of hatred and revenge. Get over it!!!

Roach

March 7th, 2011
12:15 pm

“If people disagree, they’re stupid.” Thanks so much to our county power-brokers for at least singing a consistent tune. It goes so well with their other favorite, “Of course you can lie to the people . . . they’re stupid.”

SynamonSays!

March 7th, 2011
2:34 pm

What happened, not enough negative traction from this blog, they have to run it for another week. It is really encouraging to know that all the people can not be fooled all the time. We are getting there Clayton County–Hold on and don’t leave!

Only a nitwit would construe disagreement as stupid! Why would one think that way?