The Cobb County district attorney says he’s done prosecuting metro Atlanta’s most famous illegal immigrant, and wants a local judge to get over it.
Pat Head, whose term as county prosecutor is about to expire, says Jessica Colotl, the Kennesaw State University student whose illegal status sparked a statewide debate, has completed a plea bargain arrangement that he’s approved.
Even if Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley hasn’t. From Kim Isaza and the Marietta Daily Journal:
In an eight-page response filed in Cobb Superior Court on Tuesday, Head repeatedly points out the entry into the pretrial diversion program — in which defendants charged with certain offenses can pay a fee and do community service to avoid prosecution and a criminal record — is at his discretion.
Head also writes that Colotl, who was charged with a felony charge of making a false statement, completed program requirements, including 150 hours of community service, done at the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club, and paid the fees.
Previously, Staley had balked and said there was no precedent for such things. So Head cited a 2007 case involving the judge’s sister:
“Individuals charged with False Statement and even Forgery in the First Degree have been successfully admitted into the Pretrial Diversion Program. (See State v. Linda Staley Clark).”
You can say things like to a judge, in official court documents, when you don’t intend to run for public office again. Continued Head:
“To deny Ms. Colotl the benefit of the Program, which she successfully completed … would be arbitrary and capricious. As noted above, there is nothing about this Defendant’s charge that is exceptional or in her record that is disqualifying given other eligibility criteria,” Head writes.
But when the reporter asked Head if this were the end of the Colotl saga, the district attorney demurred. “I don’t know if anything is ever resolved in Georgia,” he said.
U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, goes into last leg of his tough re-election campaign with $1.9 million in the bank (as of Sept. 30) and a significant financial advantage – at least when it comes to personal campaign funds. From Russ Bynum and the Associated Press:
GOP challenger Lee Anderson, a state lawmaker and farmer from Grovetown, reported late Monday that he had $174,297 left in his campaign account at the end of September. That means for every dollar Barrow had to spend, Anderson had less than 15 cents.
As the last white Democratic congressman from the Deep South, Barrow is fighting harder than ever to win a fifth term. Republican state lawmakers redrew his 12th District seat last year to carve out Savannah, the congressman’s home and Democratic base, to a give the edge to a GOP challenger. Barrow vowed to press on and moved to a home in Augusta to stay within the district lines.
Barrow is spending his money on ads that portray him as an independent who refuses to be beholden to either party. The Democratic congressman rolled out a new TV ad Tuesday that highlights his recent endorsement by the National Rifle Association. The 30-second ad shows Barrow clutching his grandfather’s antique revolver and his father’s bolt-action rifle.
“I approve this message because these are my guns now,” Barrow, a Harvard educated lawyer, says as he slides the rifle’s bolt forward with a dramatic clack. “And ain’t nobody gonna take ‘em away.”
Anderson, meanwhile, was looking for a boost from one of the GOP’s biggest guns. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio joined Anderson for a private fundraiser Monday evening in Augusta. Anderson’s campaign didn’t immediately have any details Tuesday of how much money Boehner helped raise.
“John Barrow can spend as much money as he wants. It doesn’t change his voting record,” said Anderson spokesman Ryan Mahoney. “People in the 12th District know Lee Anderson, have worked with him and farmed with him. And at the end of the day they’re going to vote for him.”
Keep in mind that several outside conservative groups, including Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, are flocking to Anderson’s assistance.
You’ll remember that, on Tuesday, we reported that state Rep. Steve Davis, R-McDonough, had written a letter to the city of Atlanta, noting that at least one of its traffic courts was displaying an old state flag – not the current one approved in 2003.
In response, we received this note from state Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta:
I thought you might want to know that after reading Steve’s letter regarding the Atlanta courtroom’s out-of- date flag, my office is forwarding a new one to them. Whenever, I can help my city look good for visitors – or alleged violators – I want to do whatever I can to help as a proud member of the Atlanta delegation.
My former AJC colleague Ron Martz reports that a group of his journalism students at what will soon be the University of North Georgia have started a new media-monitoring blog, Media Byus. We eagerly await their judgment on last night’s presidential debate.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider