Kenerly Refuses To Testify Before Land Deal Grand Jury.

Randy Travis of Fox 5 in Atlanta files a report on the Grand Jury investigation into land deals in Gwinnett. Outgoing County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly refused to appear before the Grand Jury, the first person to do so.

A Gwinnett County commissioner refused to testify before a grand jury, claiming the subpoena was “a fishing expedition.” The grand jury is investigating whether there’s anything shady about the millions of dollars paid to developers for future park land.

Grand jury work and their subpoenas are always secret, unless they’re part of a motion fighting those subpoenas.

For some reason the embed feature at Fox 5 isn’t working. Click here to view Travis’ report.

21 comments

  1. Republican Lady says:

    It is never a good idea for an elected politican to decide when he’she will cooperate with officials and when they want. If Kennerly has nothing to hide, then he should cooperate. This type of political attitude is dangerous and raises a red flag to me, as the past is full of examples of politicans denying wrongdoing only to recant and admit whatever truth it is they denied.

    Kevin, think hard about what you are saying and doing because as a Gwinnett voter in your district, I will remember this at the polls the next time your name comes up on a ballot.

  2. Doug Deal says:

    Fishing expeditions are pretty much what grand juries are about. That is their testimony is secret and the rules of evidence relaxed.

    Any politician refusing a subpoena from a grand jury should be instantly removed from office and jailed for contempt.

  3. PegM says:

    Don’t lock and load so quickly. When you appear before a Grand Jury you have no representation, no opportunity to expand on questions, or in other words present yourself in a good light. If the jurors have a preconceived notion…speaking technically “you are screwed”. It’s kind of like being forced to take a drug test for a job even if you’ve never touched the stuff in your life. I’d sit back and watch this unfold before I kicked Kevin to the curb. And by the way, Kevin is not running for anything and is serving his last term.

    • Doug Deal says:

      This is why they are secret. He can freely go and plead the fifth if he likes, which knowing the Gwinnett county commission (being a former resident there) is something he probably should do.

    • Republican Lady says:

      Peg M,

      How many Grand Juries have you been to or served on? I have been to at least 500 as a witness in some form. Although Grand Juries usually hear criminal cases in which defendants are never suponeaed in criminal cases, only witnesses, sometimes the victim, and police officers, the focus is to determine if there is enough evidence to secure an indictment against the defendant.

      Special Grand Juries can be appointed to gather information to determine wrongdoing. There appears to be enough suspicion to warrant this investigtion so when that suspicion involves politicans, I do not feel politicans should decide if they will appear. While it is true there is no legal representation, it also is not a “yes-no” enviroment and he will be able to explain whatever he is asked.

      While I know this is Kevin’s last term in Gwinnett, that does not mean his name won’t pop up on some future ballot for office, and if it does, I will consider what he does in this instance when deciding to cast any future votes for or against him.

  4. fishtail says:

    I imagine that the reluctant-to-testify Commissioner knows that a Grand Jury would indict a ham sandwich if the District Attorney asked them to.

      • Republican Lady says:

        It appears to be a civil Grand Jury. This link from the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia Grand Jury Handbook has this to say regarding public officials.

        http://www.pacga.org/pubs/grand_jury_handbk.shtml

        Conducting Inspections or Investigations
        When the grand jury undertakes a civil investigation or inspection, the members must do so in a manner which protects
        the Constitutional rights of the person who is the subject of the inspection. The courts have held that, at a minimum,
        these include notice, the opportunity to present evidence and to respond to the report of the grand jury’s findings. In
        the case of many public officials, the Georgia Court of Appeals has held that the public official must be afforded the
        right to appear with counsel before the grand jury, to hear the evidence presented and to give sworn testimony. If the
        grand jury conducts its investigation in a manner which is found to have violated due process, any report or general
        presentment is subject to being rejected by the court.Optional Inspections or Investigations.

        Whenever deemed necessary by eight or more grand jurors, the grand jury shall appoint a committee of the
        grand jury to inspect or investigate the following:
        Any county office;
        Any county building;
        Any public authority of the county;
        Any court or court official of the county;
        The county board of education or county school superintendent; or
        Any of the records, accounts, property, or operations of any of the entities described above.

  5. ByteMe says:

    There’s more to the story….

    Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter has withdrawn a subpoena served on County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly in a special grand jury investigation of park land purchases.

    Seems Kenerly was indeed putting himself at risk by talking with the Grand Jury and Porter wasn’t prepared to offer immunity.

    The motion said Kenerly invokes his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and the special grand jury “lacks the power to compel [Kenerly] to testify because it does not have an indictment before it and these proceedings are a fishing expedition.”

    So Porter didn’t have his ducks in a row either.

    • polisavvy says:

      Thanks for the link, Byte. Unfortunately for Kenerly, it sounds like they will get whatever information they want in one manner or another.

    • Republican Lady says:

      I accessed your posted link and was surprised to learn this is the first special GJ in twenty years and that it was specifically directed toward Kenerly. I would have thought more special GJ’s would have been held in 20 years on various issues.

      Seems like a few weeks back, Ox made some noises about inflated mortage insurance rates or something to that effect. I wonder if these are questionable land deals indirectly relate back to him or if this is something totally separate from the Ox.

      • I don’t think the Special Grand Jury is directed specifically toward Kenerly. It’s directed toward a number of questionable land deals. It may or may not involve several current and former County Commissioners and it may or may not involve a number of influential developers.

    • Doug Deal says:

      So calling it a “fishing expedition” was simply cover for him invoking his 5th amendment rights.

      Grand Juries do not “have indictments before them” they issue indictments.

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