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Investigations


Dancer drops racketeering claims against Cheetah; other suits remain

A former exotic dancer has dropped a racketeering lawsuit against her former club, The Cheetah in midtown Atlanta, a move the club’s attorney says undermines her claims that the club fostered an atmosphere of sexual violence against its dancers. Cheetah attorney Kevin Ward called the lawsuit, filed in February in federal court, “nonsense and unsupportable, both under the law and based...


Hospitals chase lucrative drug discounts

Hospitals chase lucrative drug discounts

At Grady Memorial Hospital, where Atlanta’s poor and uninsured are welcomed, the pharmacy charges most patients $5 or less for outpatient medications that treat everything from diabetes to cancer. One reason Grady can offer patients such a good deal on costly pills and treatments is a little-known federal program called “340B.” That program, which saved Grady $29 million last year...
Ala. cities sue Georgia manufacturers over polluted water

Ala. cities sue Georgia manufacturers over polluted water

Centre, Ala., has become the latest to sue over drinking water allegedly polluted by Georgia’s carpet industry. At issue are the chemical compounds perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluoroctane sulfonate, known as PFOA and PFOS, which were used for decades to make carpets resistant to stains. They also were used in a variety of consumer goods from cookware to fast food...
Watchdog: Toxic chemicals in water prompt lawsuits, health concerns

Watchdog: Toxic chemicals in water prompt lawsuits, health concerns

Odds are that you have never heard of PFOA or PFOS, but you’ve most certainly been exposed to them. The acronyms are short for perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluoroctane sulfonate, chemicals that were widely used for everything from Teflon coating on cookware, grease-resistant fast food wrappers and stain-resistant carpet. PFOA and PFOS were popular chemicals for decades until relatively recent...

Fort Gordon hit by second scandal as Reality Winner case unfolded

As the Reality Winner case was unfolding this week, Fort Gordon found itself in a second controversy. A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Army Col. Anthony Tyrone Roper and his wife, Audra, along with an officer of a large defense contracting company, Dwayne Oswald Fulton. They are accused of taking part in a bribery scheme aimed at obtaining over $20 million in Army and private company contracts....
Why was controversial Georgia lawmaker named to civics committee?

Why was controversial Georgia lawmaker named to civics committee?

Over the past two years, State Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, called African-American slaves “property” and fostered legislation requiring the state to recognize Robert E. Lee’s birthday, Confederate Memorial Day and Confederate History Month. He also said the Ku Klux Klan “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order,” he said. &ldquo...
Watchdog: Benton appointment demeans Georgia House

Watchdog: Benton appointment demeans Georgia House

When House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, considered Rep. Tommy Benton for a seat on a civics education study committee, he apparently saw nothing other than a retired middle school history teacher. That, in itself, says something about the political culture of the Georgia House. For the better part of two years, Benton, R-Jefferson, has made a name for himself with his remarks about the Ku...
Accused leaker’s social posts not enough to shake top secret clearance

Accused leaker’s social posts not enough to shake top secret clearance

Reality Leigh Winner spent months unleashing a tirade of social media posts calling the president of the United States, among other things, an “orange fascist.” But were her political rantings enough to remove her from a position that gave her access to classified National Security Agency material? The answer apparently is no. As the security and intelligence communities try to come to...
Augusta at center of NSA leak investigation

Augusta at center of NSA leak investigation

Before her arrest in the National Security Agency leak investigation drew headlines around the world this week, Reality Leigh Winner worked here, a major hub in the government’s sprawling intelligence-gathering network. Thousands of code breakers, cyber security researchers, intelligence analysts, IT experts and other specialists — military members and private contract employees...
AMA tackles sex abuse — of doctors, by doctors

AMA tackles sex abuse — of doctors, by doctors

The American Medical Association will no longer tolerate sexual misconduct by physicians – at least if their victims are other doctors, and if the abuse occurs at an AMA event. But the association is doing nothing to crack down on predators who violate other victims: their patients. The AMA, the nation’s largest and most influential medical society, convenes its annual meeting...
Woodall meets privately with tea party, rejects demands for town hall

Woodall meets privately with tea party, rejects demands for town hall

Critics of U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall say his decision to meet quietly with a Gwinnett County tea party group Thursday, rather than hold a public town hall, ignores the wishes of a lot of his constituents. “He has an obligation to hear all points of view,” said Ilene Johnson, communications director for the Gwinnett County Democratic Party. “He is obligated to represent everybody...
Georgia medical board can’t touch doctor linked to inmate deaths

Georgia medical board can’t touch doctor linked to inmate deaths

From all appearances, it should have been a layup for the Georgia Composite Medical Board. A report from Augusta University cited one of its doctors working in the state prison system for providing substandard care to female inmates. As a direct result of that poor care, the report said, two women died. The physician should be permanently barred from treating inmates and reported to the medical...
Watchdog: Woodall holds hush-hush forum in district, ducks town hall

Watchdog: Woodall holds hush-hush forum in district, ducks town hall

When U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall took questions at a forum in Lawrenceville Thursday evening, he called most of his questioners by their first names. That’s because there are few regulars at the United Tea Party of Georgia’s monthly meeting the four-term Republican doesn’t know. What was missing was angry commentary about the health care bill passed by House Republicans last month or uncomfortable...
Metro elected official owes thousands in unpaid utility bills

Metro elected official owes thousands in unpaid utility bills

An East Point councilwoman is thousands of dollars behind in her utility bills to the city, but city officials have kept her power on even while hundreds of residents are threatened with losing theirs. Sharon Shropshire, who lives with her parents in the south Fulton city of 35,000, did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but she’s been a vocal critic of East Point’s utility...
Watchdog: Elected official runs thousands in debt to city utility

Watchdog: Elected official runs thousands in debt to city utility

The Shropshires of Delowe Avenue in East Point have not been paying their utility bills. That would hardly be news except one of the residents of the home is East Point City Councilwoman Sharon Shropshire, a longstanding and vocal opponent of how much the city charges residents for electric, water, sewer and garbage services. Despite running up close to $9,000 in unpaid bills by the end of last year...
Georgia contractor sentenced for environmental crime

Georgia contractor sentenced for environmental crime

Crews working for contractor Larry Miller of Palmetto, Georgia, were exposed to asbestos fibers during interior demolition of an historic building in the District of Columbia.
Defunct Kennesaw travel company owes groups throughout U.S.

Defunct Kennesaw travel company owes groups throughout U.S.

On Monday, a New York high school singing group was expecting to be on its way to Cuba. Instead, the students are each out a reported $2,700, the latest left stranded by Kennesaw-based Harmony International. As the AJC reported earlier this month, families of band students at four California high schools said they were out as much as $140,000 they paid for tours to Japan. Now, a New York TV station...
Watchdog: 6th District race puts voting rights groups on the street

Watchdog: 6th District race puts voting rights groups on the street

Record numbers of voters cast their ballots in Georgia last November and volunteers are scurrying around the 6th Congressional District registering scores of new voters ahead of the June 20th runoff. Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, says increased access to the ballot has a lot to do with activist groups pushing against a state more inclined to put limits on registration...
Watchdog: 6th District runoff latest skirmish in voting rights war

Watchdog: 6th District runoff latest skirmish in voting rights war

These past two weeks have been great for shareholders in the clipboard industry as an army of volunteers canvassed Georgia’s 6th Congressional District registering voters ahead of the June 20 runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The last-minute push for new voters came as a result of a federal lawsuit brought against the state by a coalition of civil rights groups...
Trump’s order on churches may have unintended consequences

Trump’s order on churches may have unintended consequences

A lobbyist for Southern Baptists in Georgia is cheering President Donald Trump’s move to roll back a 63-year-old ban on churches’ direct involvement in political campaigns. Mike Griffin, lobbyist for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, the state affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention, said the federal tax law that bars churches and ministers from direct campaigning...
Why is ‘Predator, M.D.’ still practicing? Indian court wants to know

Why is ‘Predator, M.D.’ still practicing? Indian court wants to know

Dr. Narendra Gupta has fallen under scrutiny in his home country, following revelations in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Breakdown” podcast that within months of Georgia banishing him for sexually abusing patients, he resumed practicing in India.
Group suspends campaign for justice in brutal Ga. police shooting

Group suspends campaign for justice in brutal Ga. police shooting

The Justice for Caroline Small group that sought a new grand jury to review the Brunswick mother’s 2010 brutal police shooting death announced this week its plan to scale back efforts to reopen the case. The group’s decision comes after a 20-month campaign failed to persuade Gov. Nathan Deal, Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson and other officials in Georgia to assign a special...
Watchdog: Does Trump executive order free ‘bullied’ pulpits?

Watchdog: Does Trump executive order free ‘bullied’ pulpits?

Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order following up on campaign promises to loosen restrictions on churches’ involvement in politics and chipping away at a 63-year-old federal ban on endorsements from the pulpit. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore,” Trump said the day of the signing, which corresponded with the National...
AJC Watchdog: Hapeville confronts fallout from Ruth Barr conviction

AJC Watchdog: Hapeville confronts fallout from Ruth Barr conviction

Hapeville City Councilwoman Ruth Barr has been suspended from office following her conviction last week on felony theft charges in Gwinnett County, but local residents had been calling for her to be removed for more than a year. “They knew all about Ruth Barr. They knew they could have impeached her,” said George Rogan, a member of the Hapeville Community Coalition. Not...
Georgia, Texas carried out 80 percent of U.S. executions in 2016

Georgia, Texas carried out 80 percent of U.S. executions in 2016

Georgia and Texas carried out 80 percent of the nation’s executions in 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. During 2016, five states executed 20 inmates. That total was the smallest number of executions since 1991, according to the report and eight fewer executions than the number carried out in 2015. Georgia topped the 2016 charts with...
Watchdog: Did small town dysfunction keep Ruth Barr in office?

Watchdog: Did small town dysfunction keep Ruth Barr in office?

Ruth Barr’s empty chair gaped like a missing tooth at Tuesday’s Hapeville City Council meeting, a visual symbol of more than a year of turmoil and division in this south Fulton County city of about 7,000 people. “It’s not a fun time. I’ve known Ms. Barr for most of my adult life,” Mayor Alan Hallman said. “It’s a small town.” A Gwinnett County...
Dark Overlord Netflix hacker attacked Atlanta medical records

Dark Overlord Netflix hacker attacked Atlanta medical records

Before Netflix’s hit Orange is the New Black was stolen and held for ransom, an Atlanta health clinic was the victim of hackers known as The Dark Overlord. That attack put more than half a million patients in five Georgia counties at risk of having their personal information stolen, the AJC reported last year. In that case, the hackers put some batches of stolen data up for sale and threatened...
How a Georgia product was tied to rare case of liver failure

How a Georgia product was tied to rare case of liver failure

Dr. Rohit Satoskar doesn’t know Marcus Joyner or why he needed a liver transplant, but he  knows this: When healthy individuals in their 20s undergo that procedure, it usually means something out of the ordinary has occurred.
Pills and a lie lead to prison, deportation for a Decatur man

Pills and a lie lead to prison, deportation for a Decatur man

The “male enhancement” pills had names like Maxman, Rock Hard Weekend and Stiff Nights and were sold as natural dietary supplements. The hidden ingredient: the same one in prescription drug Viagra. Now, a Decatur man has been sentenced to prison and has lost his U.S. citizenship in connection with the scheme to illegally import and distribute the pills. When the pills came in from China...
AJC Watchdog: DC lawyers, liberal groups push 6th District lawsuit

AJC Watchdog: DC lawyers, liberal groups push 6th District lawsuit

With the nation’s most closely watched congressional race headed to a runoff in June, a D.C.-based voting rights advocacy group is pressing in federal court to reopen voter registration. It is the latest legal maneuver for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law. The non-profit law firm dates back to the Kennedy administration, but it’s been very active in Georgia since...

Tucker company sold defective steel to nuclear waste facility near Augusta

UPDATED: To ensure that a nuclear facility would be safe, the U.S. government paid a premium to Energy & Process Corp. of Tucker to supply top-quality rebar. The company certified that it had made all quality checks. But a third of the steel rebar the company supplied for the nuclear waste plant – about 10,000 tons – was defective, the government said in a lawsuit accusing the company...
Alt-right targeting colleges, experts say. Is Georgia prepared?

Alt-right targeting colleges, experts say. Is Georgia prepared?

In March the Georgia Board of Regents adopted a system-wide “freedom of expression” policy limiting outside speakers and large demonstrations to specifically designated campus areas as a way of handling protests. But it’s unclear if that policy would provide any protection against the type of speech that roiled the Auburn University campus Tuesday when white supremacist Richard...

Safety alert: Doraville company recalls ice cream treats

Thousands of ice cream treats sold by Doraville company La Granja may be contaminated with salmonella, according to an alert from the U.S Food and Drug Administration. The company is recalling 4,000 of the mango-flavored ice cream treats, distributed in Georgia, Alabama and North and South Carolina, FDA says. A routine sampling program by the U.S Department of Agriculture discovered the issue. So...
Are Georgia colleges ready for alt-right rallies?

Are Georgia colleges ready for alt-right rallies?

White supremacist Richard Spencer had rented Foy Hall’s 430-seat auditorium for two hours Tuesday, and when time was up Auburn University officials invited those who remained to leave. For some members of Spencer’s supporters, that meant walking near hundreds of Auburn students and a much smaller number of anti-fascist protesters who had waited through the evening behind police barricades...
Secrecy of public hospital records at issue in Ga. Supreme Court case

Secrecy of public hospital records at issue in Ga. Supreme Court case

The Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a high-profile case that will determine whether Northside Hospital can keep its business secret — even though it operates a hospital that is owned by the public. The case is being closely watched because it could influence the public’s ability to access the records of public hospitals across Georgia that are operated by non-profit organizations...
Opioid doctor finally loses his Georgia license, but order doesn’t say why

Opioid doctor finally loses his Georgia license, but order doesn’t say why

Now that a Georgia doctor is heading to prison, the Georgia Composite Medical Board finally has taken action on his medical license — four years after the raid on the pill-mill clinic where he worked. As of April 12, the board’s website still showed that Dr. Paul Ruble was actively licensed and had not been subjected to any disciplinary actions by Georgia. But April 13, the board signed...
Lobbyists give Georgia lawmakers a $400,000 buffet

Lobbyists give Georgia lawmakers a $400,000 buffet

Lobbyists spent more than $400,000 on group events over three months during the 2017 legislative session which ended in March. Those group expenditures ranged from large, open-invitation buffets at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot across from the Capitol to dinners hosted at some of Atlanta’s best restaurants, where entire committees were feted by special interests. While individual gifts...
What does Georgia’s savings account look like?

What does Georgia’s savings account look like?

Gov. Nathan Deal has been bragging for months about how well Georgia has rebounded since the economic collapse of the Great Recession and with good reason. Georgia surpassed $2 billion in reserve funds last year. But what does that figure mean? A new 50-state study released this week by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that Georgia has 35 days of emergency operating expenses in reserve, down from...
Georgia lobbyists, lawmakers dine out on weak ethics law

Georgia lobbyists, lawmakers dine out on weak ethics law

Asking lawmakers at the State Capitol to give up the freebies they receive from lobbyists is like asking an alcoholic to stop drinking. They first have to admit they have a problem. In 2013, the General Assembly passed a significant lobbying reform bill, answering the loud complaints of voters across the political spectrum. With four years of perspective, I think we can admit that parts of it don&rsquo...
Is Atlanta a segregated community?

Is Atlanta a segregated community?

A new study by the Urban Institute finds that cities where residents are segregated by race and income are less prosperous than more integrated cities. To further its point, the Washington, D.C.,-based public policy center ranked the 100 most populous cities in the nation by degree of segregation. Researchers found that areas with higher levels of racial and economic segregation had negative effects...
Oversight lags as for-profit firms take on caring for the vulnerable

Oversight lags as for-profit firms take on caring for the vulnerable

Christen Gordon became a ward of the state when she was 9 months old. Disabled since birth, she would never walk or talk, never dress herself or eat on her own. She would never live a day without constant assistance. For a decade, she got that support at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. By all accounts, she thrived. But then, in 2012, the state outsourced her care to a for-profit corporation...
AJC investigation wins national recognition

AJC investigation wins national recognition

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has won another national award for its investigation of doctors who sexually abuse their patients. Investigative Reporters and Editors this week honored the “Doctors & Sex Abuse” project as the best investigative work of 2016 by a mid-sized print or online news organization. Judges noted that the Journal-Constitution unveiled system sex abuse of patients...
Here’s what you need to know before playing daily fantasy sports

Here’s what you need to know before playing daily fantasy sports

Georgia lawmakers this year shelved a bill that would have legalized online daily fantasy sports by declaring them games of skill, not chance. But if daily online fantasy sports ever does get Georgia’s OK, players should know this about the skills involved. Most winners are professionals who use automated computer “scripts” and sophisticated statistical and game theory strategies...
How Atlanta can speed up I-85 repairs

How Atlanta can speed up I-85 repairs

In the days after a spectacular tanker truck fire collapsed a busy San Francisco Bay area interchange overpass, the region braced for a traffic nightmare that California officials estimated could last months. Then a tall, brash road builder with a record of working fast stepped in with a bold plan. Eight days after the 2007 bridge collapse, C.C. Myers told the world he would beat the state-set completion...
I-85 collapse exposes vulnerability of congested city

I-85 collapse exposes vulnerability of congested city

In the shadows beneath the interstate, a chain-link fence surrounded long-forgotten construction materials. A bent gate yawned wide, enough to render a padlock securing the site all but useless. This is where two of Atlanta’s most intractable problems – traffic congestion and chronic homelessness – converged late Thursday afternoon. A fire allegedly set by a homeless man engulfed ...

Used car dealers didn’t warn buyers about possible safety recalls, FTC says

In selling used cars, CarMax, Georgia-based Asbury Automotive Group and West-Herr Automotive Group advertised how rigorously they inspected them. But the dealers didn’t adequately disclose that some of the cars needed repairs because of safety recalls, the Federal Trade Commission charged. On Friday, the three companies were ordered to mail notices to customers to let them know that vehicles...
Eminent domain bill opens condemned land to private development

Eminent domain bill opens condemned land to private development

Georgia lawmakers Thursday approved allowinglocal governments to seize blighted property for economic development, altering eminent domain reforms passed more than a decade ago. The changes in House Bill 434 worry those concerned that government officials will abuse the power. “We see this as expanding eminent domain,” said Tochie Blad, a Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods board member...
Bribery probe: Atlanta releases 240,000 more pages of records to prosecutors

Bribery probe: Atlanta releases 240,000 more pages of records to prosecutors

Atlanta City Hall said Tuesday it has provided about 240,000 pages of additional documents to federal prosecutors in response to a subpoena delivered last month in the ongoing federal investigation into municipal contracts. PHOTOS: Who’s who in the Atlanta City Hall bribery probe? The new cache of records relate to the city’s former chief purchasing officer, Adam Smith, who was fired...
Watchdog: Georgia bill lets cities take blighted land for developers

Watchdog: Georgia bill lets cities take blighted land for developers

Georgia voters are not fans of eminent domain — the condemnation of private property by government — especially when government officials do it to fatten their tax base. In 2006, Georgia voters sent as strong a message as you are likely to hear when 83 percent of them said government shouldn’t seize private property for economic development projects. The amendment to the state...

Gwinnett man is 22nd convicted for rigging bids at foreclosure auctions

On the long list of those who profited from the misery of the Atlanta-area foreclosure crisis, you can add the name of Clifford Wayne Hill. For more than four years, Hill, who conducted business through his company SalesForce Inc., conspired with others to rig foreclosure auctions in Gwinnett County, a federal indictment charged. On Friday, Hill pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, the Justice...
Atlanta age bias case being appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

Atlanta age bias case being appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

Can a job applicant sue an employer for discriminating against older workers? The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals here last fall answered a resounding no in a case brought by an Atlanta man who got no response when he applied for a sales job at R.
Serial sex crimes case focus of new ‘Breakdown’ podcast ‘Predator, M.D.’

Serial sex crimes case focus of new ‘Breakdown’ podcast ‘Predator, M.D.’

Vinni Gupta was a serial sexual predator whose spree lasted 14 years, throughout most of the time he lived in the United States. He abused the daughters of his friends and neighbors. He abused co-workers. Some of his own employees accused him of groping and harassing them. A job applicant even accused him of groping her during the interview. “I’m there basically in a room, helpless, by...

Fulton tax chief Ferdinand may finally get a cut in pay

After years of failed attempts, the Georgia legislature has finally approved a bill stopping one of the ways Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand personally profits from his position. If approved by the governor, House Bill 375 would bar the collection of fees for issuing tax executions. Since at least 2010, Ferdinand has been personally collecting 50 cents every time his office sells a...
Brookhaven man hid embezzlement conviction, federal agency says

Brookhaven man hid embezzlement conviction, federal agency says

Not just no, but hell no was the answer a Brookhaven man got from a federal agency that oversees one corner of the financial markets. Ronald Edward Fisher was turned down in his request to register himself and his firm, Zero Chaos Advisors, with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission, which oversees futures and swaps markets. What’s more, Fisher agreed to never to apply for registration...

Georgians on the hook for failure of long-term care insurance firm

A massive insurance company failure could cost Georgia millions of dollars. What’s more, some of the 2,000 Georgia residents who purchased long-term care insurance from the company could eventually be left without enough money to pay nursing home bills. Penn Treaty Network Insurance Company and its subsidiary American Network Insurance Company are short nearly $4 billion needed to cover promised...

Georgia college president paid $9.6 million and gets a free house

Among all the nonprofit colleges in the U.S. – think Emory, Duke, Harvard and many more, including leading research universities – which would you think has paid its president the most? It’s one in Georgia. But not who you might think. According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest available data shows that it’s Savannah College of Art and Design, where compensation for...
AJC Watchdog: Tara Grinstead podcast challenges secrecy in criminal investigations

AJC Watchdog: Tara Grinstead podcast challenges secrecy in criminal investigations

Payne Lindsey, whose “Up and Vanished” podcast quickly became one of the nation’s most popular downloads after he started it last August, said he tried to get the official file into Grinstead’s disappearance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but he had no luck. State open records law allows police to withhold files in pending investigations. Grinstead went missing nearly...
AJC Watchdog: Grinstead murder mystery hampered by Georgia secrecy

AJC Watchdog: Grinstead murder mystery hampered by Georgia secrecy

For years the disappearance of Ocilla school teacher Tara Grinstead was the coldest of cold cases. Grinstead had not been seen since she left a cookout Oct. 22, 2005 and despite years of investigating, law enforcement had yet to make an arrest. It was just the project Atlanta-based documentary filmmaker Payne Lindsey had been looking for when he stumbled across the former beauty queen’s name...

Georgian man convicted of conspiracy in armed takeover of federal facility

A Georgia man is facing up to six years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy in the seizure of a federal wildlife refuge last year in Oregon. The jury didn’t buy defense arguments that Jason Patrick of Bonaire, Ga., and others were staging a political protest, after seeing evidence that included photos of some other occupiers with guns sitting at the desks of federal workers. The occupiers...
AJC Watchdog: Court watchers wary of new rule on cameras

AJC Watchdog: Court watchers wary of new rule on cameras

A proposed revision of the rules governing cameras in Georgia’s courtrooms has some government transparency advocates nervous . But one of the judges tasked with making the changes says the effort is to crack down on abusive broadcasting using smart phones, rather than closing the courts to the media. “The mainstream media has never been the issue,” said...
AJC Watchdog: Will rule change make Georgia courts less public?

AJC Watchdog: Will rule change make Georgia courts less public?

When it comes to government transparency, Georgia has a spotty track record. Take, for example, the Georgia General Assembly, which writes the open meetings and open records laws but conveniently exempts itself from both. But the state’s courts are a different animal. Georgia’s record for openness in its court system is pretty good, especially when it comes to allowing the media in with...
AJC Watchdog: Ricin arrest nets federal charges for Georgia man

AJC Watchdog: Ricin arrest nets federal charges for Georgia man

Federal prosecutors have charged a Fannin County man with illegal possession of a biological agent, a crime which carries a five-year prison sentence. William Christopher Gibbs, Morganton, was arrested Feb. 2 after he drove himself to a local hospital in Fannin County, reportedly to seek help for exposure to the ricin, a deadly poison obtained from castor seeds. It is unclear why Gibbs, 27, had...

Lawsuits accuse medical companies of exploiting diabetic and kidney patients

Medical companies schemed to take advantage of patients’ chronic illnesses to pump up profits, according to two unrelated lawsuits filed on behalf of Georgians. One suit, filed by a retirement fund for Georgia law enforcement officers, accuses DaVita of targeting low-income and elderly kidney dialysis patients in a strategy to boost stock prices. It worked like this, the suit says: DaVita steered...
AJC Watchdog: North Ga. man arrested for ricin radicalized online

AJC Watchdog: North Ga. man arrested for ricin radicalized online

It’s a nightmare scenario. A disaffected, disturbed young man with a criminal history becomes radicalized by online extremist propaganda and is discovered with a weapon of mass destruction. Fortunately, he is caught by federal authorities before he could hurt anyone. Such is the case of William Christopher Gibbs, a 27-year-old north Georgia man arrested earlier this month when authorities say...
Cancer hospital wants new deal from state lawmakers

Cancer hospital wants new deal from state lawmakers

With a new wave of advertising and a new bill at the Georgia General Assembly, Cancer Treatment Centers of America has re-ignited its ongoing turf war with the rest of Georgia’s hospitals. The “destination cancer hospital” is again seeking to change the terms of a 2008 legislative deal that permitted the cancer-only hospital to come to Georgia, arguing that more in-state patients...
Latest Atlanta bribery news tough to interpret, former prosecutor says

Latest Atlanta bribery news tough to interpret, former prosecutor says

The FBI’s seizure of a computer from the office of Atlanta’s chief procurement officer, shortly after the officer was fired on Tuesday, doesn’t necessarily mean that Adam Smith is implicated in the government’s bribery investigation, says a former prosecutor.

Loganville firm warned that supposed cancer-cure products could be seized

A Loganville company seems to be in the miracle business. For $300, it has been selling a cancer treatment kit with a product said to be “an effective tool in shrinking tumor size and mass, reversing illness and increasing health and vitality of patients.

911 call hinted at prison’s dysfunction after inmate’s hanging

Confusion reigned inside the isolation-segregation unit at Smith State Prison when inmate Richard Tavera hanged himself in his cell, and it didn’t end when guards finally summoned paramedics. For more than a minute,  a prison official — a woman who didn’t identify herself by name — struggled to tell the Tattnall County dispatcher why EMS was needed at the Glennville facility...
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