Nathan Deal again raids the Legislature for an appointment

Get ready for another special election, as Nathan Deal – even from far-away China – continues to use the Legislature as his talent pool. From the governor’s office:

Gov. Nathan Deal has named Rep. Tim Bearden of Villa Rica as his choice for director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Upon approval by the Georgia Board of Public Safety, Bearden would replace Dale Mann, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years of service, and take office effective Nov.1. …

Bearden began his career in law enforcement as a patrolman in Villa Rica in 1990. He was later named sergeant of the Motorcycle Division of the Douglasville Police Department, earning the honor of Officer of the Year in 2003

During his tenure in the Motorcycle Division, Bearden participated in undercover narcotics operations and drug interdictions. He completed more than 1000 hours of law enforcement training before stepping down in 2004 and attended Mercer University.

Bearden was also a sponsor of several efforts to ease Georgia’s laws restricting the permitted carrying of concealed weapons in public places – a topic that past governors have found wearisome.

So there’s that to think about, too.

The governor last month named state Sen. Jim Butterworth, R-Cornelia, as adjutant general, and earlier this month named state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, as deputy state treasurer. Then there’s state Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, who is about to become a member of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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13 comments Add your comment

Coastal Cavalier

October 20th, 2011
2:35 pm

Stop the presses…Deal makes an appointment not from Hall County.

Raquel Morris

October 20th, 2011
2:39 pm

Didn’t Bearden have some kind of funny business about getting paid to do work for the Douglas County Sheriff’s office but there was no written contract, work product, or record of what he did for the cash?

Raquel Morris

October 20th, 2011
2:47 pm

City Council Members Speak Out Against Bearden
Filed under: Crime News, Local Government, Local Politics by douglasnews07 — Leave a comment June 25, 2009
This just parallels SO MUCH to the school board attorney/county attorney controversy….from today’s Times-Georgian:
Councilmen blast city for Bearden payments
by John P. Boan/Times-Georgian
Two Carrollton City Council members are criticizing the city for paying Rep. Tim Bearden for consulting work without a formal contract.

Councilmen Gerald Byrd and Peter Balega released a joint statement Thursday saying they were “shocked” by the monthly amount of city funds paid to Bearden, R-Villa Rica. They said in the statement they were “unaware of any paid services rendered (to the City) during the dates stated on the checks.” The statement appears in a letter from local attorney Gary Bunch, who is representing both councilmen on the matter.

Bearden has been retained as a consultant for the city of Carrollton since late 2005, during which time he has been paid nearly $100,000.

According to a letter from Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner that was published in the Sunday, June 21, issue of the Times-Georgian, the relationship between Bearden and the city began in the fall of 2005, when he was hired “to facilitate an alliance between our police department and the community.” From October of that year to the present, Bearden has received a monthly payment of $2,100 paid out of the city’s budgetary line item marked “general administration, purchased/contract services.”

Through May 7 of this year, he had received a total of $92,400.

While the council knew of Bearden’s relationship with the city — Garner acknowledged it at a meeting in June 2006 — both Byrd and Balega say it was neither openly discussed nor approved at any council meeting.

Bunch’s letter claims “a plethora of problems exists with the contract,” including the fact that it is not in writing and “there are no verifiable job duties for Representative Bearden, nor verification of any alleged work performed by Representative Bearden.”

The statement from Byrd and Balega concludes by saying, “We feel the best government policy is to be open and honest with ALL public monies, with everything documented.”

But Garner, City Manager Casey Coleman and City Attorney Chuck Conerly contend that the relationship with Bearden is no different than that between the city and the other 300-plus full-time employees on the city’s payroll.

“The city has 300 and some employees, and I’m not aware of a written contract with any of them,” Conerly said. “Georgia is an at-will employer. Most businesses, including the city of Carrollton, don’t have written contracts with their employees.”

“I don’t know, quite frankly, that we’ve ever put a consultant on contract,” Coleman said. “Usually it’s just ‘advise me on this and give me a report,’ and if you did the work you get paid.”

He did say that the only other verbal contracts or agreements the city had on record was with Keep Carroll Beautiful, the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Avery Environmental, the company in charge of collecting recyclables in the city. None of these three act solely as a consultant in the same capacity of Bearden.

Coleman said that while there is a description of the job requirements for all the full-time city employees, no such written description exists for the tasks Bearden was hired to perform.
In terms of the work Bearden has completed since being hired nearly four years ago, the published letter from Garner addresses several projects in which he has played a role, including the Police Department’s “Save a Life … Stop on Red” campaign, the annual Toys for Tots drive and the “Fans for Seniors” program aimed at helping the elderly keep cool during the summer. Garner said Bearden is also involved in sensitive police issues that must remain classified. A former police officer, Bearden has 15 years of experience in law enforcement and formerly served as a motorcycle officer in Douglasville.

While Conerly conceded that a written contract with Bearden and written accounts of the work he’s performed might alleviate public concerns about his relationship to the city, it doesn’t make sense to single him out simply because he is a state lawmaker.

“It’s possible it would give people more comfort but at the same time, I don’t know why we would treat that relationship differently just because he’s a state representative,” Conerly said.

Garner said that he doesn’t micromanage the day-to-day workings of the city, instead leaving that up to Coleman. He said there are certain things he pays close attention to, but other matters, such as the hiring of consultants like Bearden, he has little hand in.

“I have some benchmarks I look for. I tell [Coleman] we’re not going to raise taxes, and we haven’t. I want a healthy cash reserve. We have built that to $6.5 million. [Coleman] has developed the best water system in the Southeast,” Garner said. “As long as those benchmarks are met, I don’t give a gosh-darn hoot how he manages everything else.”

Phil Lunney

October 20th, 2011
3:01 pm

Governor Deal’s idea of diversity is a white guy from West Georgia. White Republicans have become the new good old boy network. I am not saying he is not qualified, but after Mr. Deal appointed 7 white men to enforce the new Immigration Law, a person has to question whether our government will ever reflect the population of the State Of Georgia in the 21st Century.


October 20th, 2011
4:48 pm

Phil Lunney

October 20th, 2011
3:01 pm

He appointed a black man to head the biggest agency in the state. DHS. Oh I guess that is not relevant to your narrative?


October 20th, 2011
5:05 pm

Will officer now be required to carry firearms at the GPSTC?

Don't Kid Yourself

October 20th, 2011
6:09 pm


Good job – you found one African American that was already a Commissioner under Governor Perdue. Keep looking.

1 out of 8 is 12%

October 20th, 2011
8:26 pm

one more and he is reflective of the state. Grow a pair, best qualified means best qualified.

Phil Lunney

October 20th, 2011
9:35 pm

Can we talk about women in government, anyone? Oh yeah, Deal and friends eliminated the woman that was going to issue that subpoena abut campaign financing. She was replaced eventually by a female lobbyist who will outsource the investigations, which, of course, will not have any funding. But if we believe “1 out of 8…”, we have the best qualified. Women are 50% of the population so I guess it follows that there are a lot of female appointees (or not, I guess they scare the boys). And once she does her job, the Good Old Boys will replace her.


October 20th, 2011
11:53 pm

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specializes in producing ERW Steel pipe other products are manufactured using special steel billets,
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October 21st, 2011
1:55 am

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October 21st, 2011
1:57 am

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use of biomass fuels, the most common is Pellet Fuel.


October 21st, 2011
11:01 am

Who got dat dro?