Some Clayton County elected officials and the people they hire to run county agencies are “irresponsible,” abuse their powers and use their positions to help themselves, their relatives and their friends, according to a report from a special grand jury that is to be released Tuesday.
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Two years of digging
How the special-purpose grand jury report into possible Clayton County corruption has unfolded.
April 26, 2011: Special Purpose Grand Jury is convened.
June 2011: Based on information from the special grand jury, former Morrow city manager John Lampl II is indicted on 16 felony charges that he circumvented state building laws to create the $13 million, now defunct Olde Towne Morrow complex. His case is pending.
Oct. 14, 2011: Lovejoy Mayor Joe Murphy resigns and promises to never again seek political office to avoid voter fraud charges against himself and his family.
Jan. 18, 2012: Former Sheriff Victor Hill is indicted on charges he used county credit cards and vehicles for personal reasons his first term in office. The charges were based on the special grand jury’s recommendations.
Jan. 31, 2012: Former Clayton County Water Authority department manager Herbert Etheridge Jr., is sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to lying to a grand jury, making false statements and conspiracy when asked about a company awarded a contract to landscape water authority property. His son worked for the company.
April 11, 2012: Investigators seize county finance department records and equipment as part of an ongoing probe.
September 2012: Former County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell, former Vice Chairman Wole Ralph and current commissioners Gail Hambrick and Sonna Singleton are subpoenaed to appear before the special purpose grand jury. Bell said he was called as a witness.
Aug 15, 2013: Sheriff Victor Hill is acquitted of 27 felony charges.
Aug. 16, 2013: Special purpose grand jury ends.
Oct. 1, 2013: Final report of the special purpose grand jury is to be released.
About the special purpose grand jury
Convened: April 26, 2011 to Aug. 16, 2013
Special purpose grand jury members: 23
Areas of focus: Sheriff’s Department employees 2005-2008; The Olde Towne Morrow project; Lovejoy elections; Sheriff Victor Hill; The Clayton County Water Authority and the Clayton County Board of Commissioners and Finance Department.