A Gwinnett Commissioner Indicted? Color Me Surprised (Again)

May 31, 2012 15:18 pm

by Charlie · 31 comments

In a story that does not appear to be a re-print, Federal bribery charges are now pending against Gwinnett Commissioner Shirley Lassiter and her son, John Fanning who is a member of the Gwinnett Zoning Board of Appeals.  A third man, Carl Cain, is also charged.  Just to keep things interesting, Fanning and Cain are also charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute.

A court hearing for the three defendants is scheduled for this afternoon, an indication that some or all of the defendants could be entering guilty pleas. Lasseter resigned her office today, her attorney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to a federal complaint unsealed today, Lasseter accepted $35,000 in bribes last year for her vote and influence involving a development on Boggs Road.

The three defendants were apparently ensnared in an undercover FBI operation. The complaint indicates that conversations between the defendants and a cooperating witness, described only as “Person A,” were secretly recorded.

Lassiter is but the latest in a long string of Gwinnett officials to run afoul of the law.  In my twisted world, it is the first thing I think of every time I hear a suburban Atlantan (or Neal Boortz) talk about the corruption down at Atlanta City Hall.  So many look so far to find corruption when they could just stay home and find it in their own back yard if they were just willing to accept what they see.

NorthGAGOP May 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

$35,000. That get’s you a middle of the road car.

Charlie May 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

And probably 5-10.

John Vestal May 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Not for long…..if that’s where you drive.

Bridget June 1, 2012 at 12:36 am

I refer you back to the folks tied to the casino getting quietly wooed.

jstjoan May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Did I mention that Henry County Commissioner Randy Stamey and Zoning Board Chair Terry Echols (related to PSC Tim Echols) are being investigated by the District Attorney. Found it in my own backyard, indeed.

http://proofofright.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/confirmed-district-attorney-investigating-henry-county-commissioner-stamey-zoning-board-chairman-echols/

AMB May 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Will the ethical non-bribe accepting, non-lobbyist beholding, non-gambling tout GOP members please raise their hands?

Jimmie May 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm

All of this corruption throughout the political scene reminds me why I initially started having interest in Ron Paul. I thought there was absolutely no way he could have made it 12 terms as a Congressman and not be on lobbyist payroll or been investigated for bribery of some kind. It amazes me how he has made it this long in such a corrupt Good Ol Boys scene. On the other hand it is clearly obvious why the GOP party does not support such a wise and courageous man. He simply does not play the BS game every other congress member does.
Can I run for Commissioner? I absolutely promise to not take any bribes, lobbyist gifts, or any other unethical gifts that may come my way. I would sign a contract stating that in the event that any of the above is proven that I was negligent in my promise that I would resign immediately and hopefully face corruption charges.
I have to ask again. Is it the position that corrupts the person or the person that is corrupt before getting the position.

Harry May 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Back around 10 years ago when Shirley Lassiter and Marcia Neaton were involved with the City of Duluth and Duluth Planning Commission, and the Crossroads Development was taken into the city limits and immediately permitted, there were similar allegations but no indictments were forthcoming.

xdog May 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm

All three plead guilty.
http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/gwinnett-commissioner-son-plead-1450048.html?cxtype=rss_news_61499

Here’s the scary part for those who remain: “Prosecutors disclosed today that all three defendants are cooperating with federal and Gwinnett County authorities in other ongoing, unspecified investigations.”

Sometimes the feds do things better than local or state officials. I hope they give every damn one of those lying, cheating, deal-cutting, back-scratching, inbred SOBs a new mailing address for the next few years.

Mike Hassinger May 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Updated: Fanning and Lasseter have pleaded guilty. And allocuted.

Jackster May 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm
joe May 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm

“…who’s on the short list…”

You all can have any of the ones in Henry, we would be glad to send them to you.

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm

More shady, unlawful and outright criminal dealings concerning the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners?

I’m shocked! Just shocked! Absolutely SHOCKED, I say!!!!!!

Yet another example of “The Art of the Shady Land Deal”….

debbie0040 May 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

“If the pleas were not enough to shake up the county government, federal prosecutors disclosed that more prosecutions involving land deals could be forthcoming.”

I bet this has former commissioners sweating…

KD_fiscal conservative May 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm

“federal prosecutors disclosed that more prosecutions involving land deals could be forthcoming”

No, thats just the lib’ur’al Media Elitists and Obama Government going after the little’ole conservatives again.

Miss Scarlett May 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm

It should have the current commissioners worried too.

Jimmie May 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hopefully the investigation dates back to the Trash Plan BOC. Maybe this could be the end of the persistent Airport BOC’ers too. I love it when corruption gets exposed red handed. At every level.

Jimmie May 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I bet this has former commissioners sweating………And Present ones too!! This has just lost Beaudreau his campaign. Doesn’t even matter if he is doing the same stuff or not. This is the straw that broke the camels back. Good riddance to them all!

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm

“Good riddance to them all!”

I agree…It’s about time for the old guard to step aside and make room for a whole new generation of crooked politicians in Gwinnett…The Democrats.

Buzz Brockway May 31, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Jimmie,

As a personal friend of Mike Beaudreau’s I gotta say I resent your remark. Mike voted against most of the crap being pushed by the former Commission Chairman and his buddy Lassiter.

I’m ticked at Lassiter and hope the Feds keep on rolling. We need corrupt people run out of town, but Mike Beaudreau is one of the good guys.

The Last Democrat in Georgia June 1, 2012 at 12:03 am

You’re a stand-up guy, Buzz. That’s why we like you, because you’re the equivalent of an warm-blooded mammal who stands upright in a room full of slithery cold-blooded reptiles.

rrrrr June 1, 2012 at 1:22 am

@Buzz, I’m glad Mike has a friend and you will stand up for him, BUT the airport and TRASH Plan are Mike’s plain and simple.

PLEASE allow Mike a somewhat teachable moment here; it might make him a better good guy. His passion on the Briscoe airport process may be as pure as the driven snow…
But we had a little dust-up at a BOC meeting in August of 2011 where it was mentioned that staff were borderline insubordinate. At that meeting, it was also discussed that delays injected into the bidding process due to staff’s failure at that point may push RFPs out past December. Now with the Fed allocution, its released that this investigation was known about in SEPTEMPER of 2011. Maybe Mike was indeed played like a Stradivarius by Ms. Lasetter, but knowing and watching him maneuver since 2006, he seems to be far too smart for that…

As to the trash plan, the residents of Gwinnett were promised open COMPETIVE bidding. However, what we REALLY received were Gwinnett County lawyers standing up in Superior Court advising the judge that bidding was NOT required by State law – hence we obtained the grand consent order resulting in our overpriced trash plan today.
It’s all legal, as to narrow definition of the consent order for sure, but its bait and switch for the commoner. Also let us NOT forget the opening pages of that consent order where certain Gwinnett officials would NOT be sued if the consent order were signed.

This all is so sad because the commissioners could have avoided this whole mess originally at the get go by using the Gwinnett County Procurement policies that were ALREADY in place at the time.

debbie0040 June 1, 2012 at 9:40 am

Jimmie, do you happen to be a candidate running against Mike? Not sure who you are, but I know one thing and that is you are a coward that hides behind a moniker. Are you really that afraid to let people know who you are?

Mike has done an excellent job and I strongly support him. Mike has stood for integrity on the BOC and I am proud that he is my Commissioner.

As for Briscoe Airport, I think it should be put to a vote on the general election ballot and let the residents decide on whether or not it should be privatized. This affects all citizens of Gwinnett and we should decide the issue, not 4 people on the BOC.

Brett June 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I too know Mike Beaudreau to be one of the good guys. Don’t always agree with him, but I have always found him to be honest and forthright with his opinions and positions.

Jimmie June 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I didn’t say Mike B was guilty of wrongdoing. It’s more of several bad apples ruining the whole bunch effect. How much longer can Gwinnett afford this crooked nonsense? It’s great that some of you like Mike. I, for one, find him condescending and kinda obnoxious in his professional realm. I’ve seen, heard, and read many times where he outright ignores his constituents when they have asked for information on issues. Especially ones where he is in opposition to. The airport mess WILL have an effect on the thousands that live near Briscoe. So Debbie are you calling for the majority to instill tyranny upon the minority that absolutely DO NOT WANT Commercial jets flying over the the top of their houses?

Calypso May 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm

As an ashamed Gwinnett resident, please consider the remainder of this post a long string of loudly shouted expletives.

#$&@ ^&%((& % (@^*” {)!&^!$ *$@^^ing %&$(@$ &*$##)^y78 %&@%$ing *)_$@#$ @$*)^_# &% $@^^ing %&$(@$ &*$##)^y78 %&@%$ #)^y78 %&@ing *)_$@#$ %&@%$ #)^y78 %&@ing @$*)^_# ((& %(@^*” {)!&^!$ *$@^^ing %&$(@$ &*$# #)^y78 %&@%$ing *)_$@#$ &^!$ *$@ @$*)^_#

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Unfortunately, the only way that the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners will ever comprehend what you are saying is if you attach that statement to a bribe or kickback.

Either that or a prison commissary…

rrrrr June 1, 2012 at 1:37 am

But what will the Gwinnett Grassroots GOP do in light of this?

Nary a word was heard the last time Gwinnett was known as “Indictments are Us”.

Now with those former commissioner lawsuits bringing back such fond memories and the newest here, should some requirements be added somewhere to the Republican Franchise agreement before November? Maybe those “Paulettes” weren’t as far off as some originally thought, at least with regard to linking grassroot party monetary support to real world actions and ramifications.
I’m not sock puppet or a Paulbot, nor do I play one on TV – but I CAN see good in a logical idea, just put it in the oven and bake it a bit more.

I expect no reply here, BUT I know it will get some of the important minds going in the background…

Jane June 1, 2012 at 8:24 am

Mike B is a good guy and one of the few who is fighting the corruption in Gwinnett as well as those who wish to corrupt the county for their own gain.

Calypso June 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

I have known Commissioner Beaudreau for more than 10 years, before and since he came to the Gwinnett BOC. I agree that he is one of the good guys. You may not always agree with his stance on an issue (he and I disagreed on the garbage plan), but he is not one of the crooks.

John Konop June 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

As an area becomes more partisan via gerrymandering it looks like we see an increase in corruption. Do you think the gerrymandering is creating the increase in corruption we are seeing or is it just being reported more?

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