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Chris Joyner

Joyner’s column, AJC Watchdog, investigates topics in your community and Georgia. Contact Chris at cjoyner@ajc.com to send him tips.

Latest from Chris Joyner

Capitol scorecard: Ga. ethics reform five years later
 Five years ago, state lawmakers convened in Atlanta and set about the task of ethics reform with the enthusiasm of teenagers told to clean their rooms. For years, lobbyists were allowed to give unlimited gifts of any value to public officials as long as they reported them. But a prolonged pressure campaign by “good government&rdquo...

Posted: 5 days ago

Five years ago, state lawmakers convened in Atlanta and set about the task of ethics reform with the enthusiasm of teenagers told to clean their rooms. For years, lobbyists were allowed to give unlimited gifts of any value to public officials as long as they reported them. But a prolonged pressure campaign by “good government&rdquo...
Watchdog: New tax bill bad for Georgia’s film workers
 Union officials are warning that the Republican tax overhaul rewards the rich while soaking the working class. Yeah, we’ve heard it before, but the union I’m talking about represents a fast-growing part of the state economy: the entertainment industry. “There is a lot of anxiety going on right now,” said Chuck...

Posted: 12 days ago

Union officials are warning that the Republican tax overhaul rewards the rich while soaking the working class. Yeah, we’ve heard it before, but the union I’m talking about represents a fast-growing part of the state economy: the entertainment industry. “There is a lot of anxiety going on right now,” said Chuck...
Convicted citizen-journalist fights for ‘the democratic process’
 Earlier this month, Nydia Tisdale stood before a judge in a Dawsonville courtroom to receive her sentence for obstructing the police officer who hauled her out of a campaign rally three years ago. The next day she was in a roomful of judges. This time she was an invited guest from judges who solicited her opinion as they attempt...

Posted: 19 days ago

Earlier this month, Nydia Tisdale stood before a judge in a Dawsonville courtroom to receive her sentence for obstructing the police officer who hauled her out of a campaign rally three years ago. The next day she was in a roomful of judges. This time she was an invited guest from judges who solicited her opinion as they attempt...
Judges pressured to deny disability appeals, one judge tells the AJC
 Last week, I wrote about Acworth resident Mary Ann Statler and her devastating, ruinous trek through the Social Security disability process. Statler is one of more than 1 million Americans who wait an average of nearly two years to get a ruling on their disability claim. In the meantime, many of these workers face terrible financial...

Posted: 26 days ago

Last week, I wrote about Acworth resident Mary Ann Statler and her devastating, ruinous trek through the Social Security disability process. Statler is one of more than 1 million Americans who wait an average of nearly two years to get a ruling on their disability claim. In the meantime, many of these workers face terrible financial...
This Atlanta woman lost her home waiting for disability
 Mary Ann Statler, an accountant from Acworth, had battled depression and anxiety for years, but in the summer of 2015 her condition worsened dramatically. In June of that year, she went to an urgent care center complaining of a heavy feeling in her chest she associated with a panic attack. After a few tests, the center rushed her to a hospital...

5:00 AM Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

Mary Ann Statler, an accountant from Acworth, had battled depression and anxiety for years, but in the summer of 2015 her condition worsened dramatically. In June of that year, she went to an urgent care center complaining of a heavy feeling in her chest she associated with a panic attack. After a few tests, the center rushed her to a hospital...
Journalist’s conviction reveals deep mistrust of media in Trump era
 This week, a Dawson County jury acquitted citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale of felony charges of obstruction of an officer three years after she was dragged screaming from a GOP political rally at a local pumpkin farm. Tisdale was convicted on misdemeanor obstruction charges and still faces the prospect of jail time or a fine, but the...

6:23 PM Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2017

This week, a Dawson County jury acquitted citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale of felony charges of obstruction of an officer three years after she was dragged screaming from a GOP political rally at a local pumpkin farm. Tisdale was convicted on misdemeanor obstruction charges and still faces the prospect of jail time or a fine, but the...
Citizen journalist describes ‘pain and terror’ during forceful arrest
 The jurors have heard all the evidence in the trial of citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale. Now, court will be in recess until Monday morning, when closing arguments are expected to begin. If convicted of felony obstruction of an officer and two misdemeanors, Tisdale could be sentenced to prison for a 2014 incident at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm...

8:36 PM Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

The jurors have heard all the evidence in the trial of citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale. Now, court will be in recess until Monday morning, when closing arguments are expected to begin. If convicted of felony obstruction of an officer and two misdemeanors, Tisdale could be sentenced to prison for a 2014 incident at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm...
Citizen journalist: I felt ‘pain and terror’ during arrest
 Citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale testified on Friday she felt “pain and terror” as a Dawson County sheriff’s captain hauled her from the Republican rally she had been filming and pinned her against a nearby counter. “With him pushing his groin against my buttocks I felt like I was being raped with my clothes on,&rdquo...

5:01 PM Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

Citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale testified on Friday she felt “pain and terror” as a Dawson County sheriff’s captain hauled her from the Republican rally she had been filming and pinned her against a nearby counter. “With him pushing his groin against my buttocks I felt like I was being raped with my clothes on,&rdquo...
Citizen journalist trial: Top Republicans testify, criticize arrest
 The former chairman of the Dawson County Republican Party testified Thursday that she “was mortified” as she watched a citizen journalist’s arrest during a 2014 GOP rally. “It was shocking,” Linda Umberger said. “And I can’t believe no one else has a problem with this.” Umberger and several...

1:23 AM Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

The former chairman of the Dawson County Republican Party testified Thursday that she “was mortified” as she watched a citizen journalist’s arrest during a 2014 GOP rally. “It was shocking,” Linda Umberger said. “And I can’t believe no one else has a problem with this.” Umberger and several...
Tisdale’s camera pits free speech against property rights
 Citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale is in the fight of her life. For most of this decade, Tisdale has been a fixture in Georgia’s civic life, largely a silent fixture. An open government purist, Tisdale attends public meetings, press conferences and various community event and points her video camera at them. Then she puts them on her...

2:21 PM Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

Citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale is in the fight of her life. For most of this decade, Tisdale has been a fixture in Georgia’s civic life, largely a silent fixture. An open government purist, Tisdale attends public meetings, press conferences and various community event and points her video camera at them. Then she puts them on her...
BREAKING: Deal may testify in citizen-journalist trial
 Gov. Nathan Deal may testify in the trial of a citizen journalist who was arrested after videotaping a Republican rally in 2014 at a North Georgia pumpkin farm, a judge ruled Wednesday. Senior Judge Martha Christian refused to quash a subpoena from Nydia Tisdale’s defense team of the governor and ordered lawyers to coordinate with Deal's...

12:40 AM Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

Gov. Nathan Deal may testify in the trial of a citizen journalist who was arrested after videotaping a Republican rally in 2014 at a North Georgia pumpkin farm, a judge ruled Wednesday. Senior Judge Martha Christian refused to quash a subpoena from Nydia Tisdale’s defense team of the governor and ordered lawyers to coordinate with Deal's...