Your morning jolt: Shirley Franklin goes to D.A., and the feds, over baseball bat remark

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has filed complaints with both federal and state authorities against an Atlanta police union leader who said the city’s treatment of disabled cops made him want to take a baseball bat to her head.

Sgt. Scott Kreher has apologized and has been suspended, but apparently that hasn’t satisfied the mayor, according to Jon Lewis and WSB Radio — via tape from WSB-TV.

Franklin has filed complaints with both Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta. Writes Lewis:

“My family was upset. They still are upset,” Mayor Franklin tells Channel 2. “It’s bothered me more than I thought it would….”

“When you take a bat and hit someone in the head, that’s an effort to kill you,” she says.

Franklin has similar unforgiving comments posted on the city’s web site:

“His threat cannot be tolerated or explained away. I believe his threat to be serious and an attempt to intimidate me and other city officials and my family.”

Supporters of the sergeant have started a petition to have him reinstated.

My AJC colleague Christian Boone has some opinion sampling this morning, and while some think the mayor has overreacted, others don’t:

“If I had said that to a police officer on the street, where do you think I’d be?” said State Sen. Vincent Fort, who believes Kreher should resign or be fired. “I was just looking at a poster the other day that spoke to this. It said thoughts become words, words become actions.”

The state Department of Labor reported early this morning that unemployment was unchanged at 9.1 percent in the metro Atlanta area from March to April.

At present, according to Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, 446,560 unemployed Georgians are looking for work, an increase of 60 percent from April 2008. Of that number, 167,981, or 37.6 percent, are receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

Newt Gingrich stirred the Inside-the-Beltway crowd on Wednesday with pair of 140-character Twitter messages calling U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist.

Former Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr this morning has sent out his own tweet, with a kinder and gentler message: “Let’s have a real debate on Judge Sotomayor, not hysterics like many radio pundits want,” Barr tapped out.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Athens) has joined forces with District of Columbia opponents of gay marriage, the Washington Examiner has noted.

The District local government recently adopted a measure that recognized same-sex marriages entered into in other jurisdictions. Opponents say the matter should be decided in a referendum.

Broun has filed legislation that would overturn the D.C. decision — but to take effect it will need majority approval in both chambers and President Barack Obama’s signature.

While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • $25 million in stimulus funds are approved for MARTA.
  • State parks to reduce access and services. More than 170 jobs eliminated.
  • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said it’s up Georgia, Florida and Alabama to hash out a conclusion to a nearly 20-year water war.
  • Atlanta City Council President Lisa Borders home broken into — for the third time.
  • HOV toll project approved for I-85 in Gwinnett County.
  • Atlanta lawyer engaged in “unethical,” “possibly illegal” conduct, judge says.
  • Same-sex marriage debate arises in Atlanta mayor’s race.
  • Investigators doubt arson in Gainesville school bus fires.
  • Lawsuit accuses Delta, AirTran of colluding on bag fees.
  • Georgia banks’ losses in first quarter: $1.2 billion.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Kyle Wingfield, the new guy, says Obama has proven he’s no change agent.
  • State Sen. Curt Thompson declares that seven years of inaction on transportation and such have taught us that elections matter.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • ABC: Georgia Tech may be the first university to outsource its football and men’s basketball ticket sales.
  • And beyond:

  • WSJ: The Obama administration is close to recommending a single regulator to oversee the entire banking sector.
  • WP: As part an effort to use facial-recognition software, Virginia has banned smiles on driver’s licenses.
  • NYT: Litigators from both sides of Bush v. Gore joint to fight the gay marriage ban in California.

    For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    14 comments Add your comment

    Coastal Cavalier

    May 28th, 2009
    9:25 am

    The remarks were stupid and inexcusable and the mayor is following him down the path of over-reaction and stupidity.

    Copyleft and Will Jones You Are Idiots

    May 28th, 2009
    9:28 am

    Poor pitiful shirley is always having to run to someone. She has to run to Washington for
    money like a true ghetto welfare mother and now she has to run to the DA for the pay
    she is getting for wronging all those injured police officers.
    And for poor little vince fort to throw in his 2 cents is like asking Ken Nugent his opinion
    of who should be the next Supreme Court Justice. It is laughable.

    Nimbus

    May 28th, 2009
    9:57 am

    We all know that if a private citizen like you or me made such a remark we would be arrested and charged with terroristic threats, and would have a felony record for the rest of our lives. Why should a police officer get a free pass on this?

    md

    May 28th, 2009
    10:10 am

    There was never a terroristic threat made. If there had been he would already be under arrest. Shirley is simply attempting to deflect attention from her supreme arrogance and stupidity.

    pat

    May 28th, 2009
    10:15 am

    I wish I could have went with Mayor Franklin to Paul Howard, DA’s office and the United States District Attorney. When I heard the remark, I immediately felt Mayor Franklin’s life was threatened. This is a serious matter. Step One: He should be fired and not allowed to resign. Step Two: He should be blacklisted from any law enforcement position. The officer squandered his career with his hateful remarks. Step Three: Either he should be charged with terroristic threats or a hate crime. Both are felonies. Anyone that thinks this is nothing to be concerned about has not had their life threatened. You can’t tell someone that is the victim, you haven’t been hurt. Angry words can incite any looney tune to do something stupid. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen. In any case, hopefully the officer will learn from his leadership position he is suppose to be an example of positive and professional leadership. The remark makes him sound like a ignorant moron who doesn’t have an extensive vocabulary so he chooses words that hurt.

    Stan

    May 28th, 2009
    10:25 am

    The Mayor needs to let this go. The man did not say that he was going to do anything, rather he was expressing frustration (albiet in a very poor choice of words) that injured police/firemen are getting screwed by workers comp.

    Pat Cries.

    May 28th, 2009
    10:41 am

    Pat…stop with your whining and “poor pitiful me” attitude. Remember, your attitude determines your altitude. That being stated I would guess your altitude is less than 10 feet above sea level.

    PS…get a life and understand subjects on which you choose to babble. *POOT*

    Farmer John

    May 28th, 2009
    10:56 am

    You reap what you sow, and Mayor Franklin has sown nothing but hate and discontent among Atlanta’s Police. Let her cry all she wants to – it will only bring more attention to the lousy job she has done with law and order in the city.

    Road Scholar

    May 28th, 2009
    12:23 pm

    So are the man’s accusations correct? Shirley hasn’t mentioned once that she is looking into the matters!We have all lost our temper at one time or another and have said things that we regret. Now amplify it since he has to deal with the Atl City Council.

    Read This

    May 28th, 2009
    1:01 pm

    At least she didn’t go ‘Philly’ on him.

    herbK

    May 28th, 2009
    3:24 pm

    Franklin has no business being mayor – she has terrible problem solving skills, and is too thin skinned.
    Not to mention she begs for money. When do the citizens of the city say enough of the Jackson/Campbell/Franklin type crap and start supporting a candidate who can actually fix things?
    Oh wait, there isn’t one……………………

    Clark, where are you?

    Copyleft and Will Jones You Are Idiots and Sotomayer is a member of La Raza

    May 28th, 2009
    3:34 pm

    Pat, I have had my life threaten and more than once. I didn’t cry like the ghetto loser welfare queen shirley did.
    Momma taught me, STICKS AND STONES and Daddy taught me, DEFEND/PROTECT YOURSELF.
    Do you have parents and did they not teach you anything. My GOD you leftist wimps can’t do anything
    without running to the government.
    And as far as hate crimes go, all crimes are committed out of hate but freedom of speech is not a crime.
    Wish me dead, I could care less.

    Oh, and shirley would have cried to the police but she knew that the police chief she hired was a pathetic
    do nothing from a corrupt new orleans police force. A police chief that helped get a poor old woman killed
    and the police chief has not paid a price for that! WHERE IS THE JUSTICE MZ GHETTO WELFARE QUEEEN MAYOR?????? As always you throw the working police officers under the bus while you and your corrupt friends feed at the hog trough.

    Lee

    June 1st, 2009
    3:33 pm

    The heck with feeling sorry for Shirley Franklin because someone made a comment looking out for the welfare of their constituients. Shirley surely does not look out for the welfare of here constituents. She was “cold blooded” in laying off hundreds of employees due to her administrations mismanagement of city resources. She is “cold blooded’
    against “taxpayers” by forcing the city council and holding “city residents hostage” in making a decision in agreeing with her in “raising taxes” or we do not get “police services” due to her mismanagement of the city of Atlanta departments and bureaus. Why should we as citizens feel sorry for her. Everyone should feel sorry for us citizens. MAYBE WE SHOULD GO TO THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AGAINST HER FOT THE SITUATION SHE HAS GOT THE CITZENS AND THIS CITY INTO. SOMEBODY HELP US,PLEASE!!!!!

    EdMII

    September 21st, 2009
    11:46 pm

    So what? I wanna kill Mayor Shirley Franklin too. So does 51% of the city. Vote Mary Norwood. It’s time for us black folks to vote our MIND and not our PRIDE, or else we’ll get another limp Frank.