Bill Torpy

Columnist

Bill Torpy, who writes about metro Atlanta for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, joined the newspaper in 1990. He has covered politics, government and countless stories about police, courts and the justice system. The Chicago native graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., and previously worked for the Daily Southtown in Chicago

Latest from Bill Torpy

Torpy at Large: Too bad Atlanta’s immigration hypocrisy isn’t illegal
 Earlier this month, Mayor Kasim Reed boasted on his very active Twitter account that his town is immigrant friendly. “Atlanta is proud to be a welcoming city,” he wrote. “Pleased to be a part of the Safe Cities Network offering legal representation for those individuals facing deportation.” Fighting for the rights...

Posted: 18 hours ago

Earlier this month, Mayor Kasim Reed boasted on his very active Twitter account that his town is immigrant friendly. “Atlanta is proud to be a welcoming city,” he wrote. “Pleased to be a part of the Safe Cities Network offering legal representation for those individuals facing deportation.” Fighting for the rights...
Torpy at Large: Why Atlanta’s runoff race can’t simply run on race
 In the 2009 Atlanta mayoral race, a group called the Black Leadership Forum circulated a position paper calling for African-American voters to unite around the most viable black candidate to stave off a challenge by a strong white contender, Mary Norwood. It should be noted that Kasim Reed, then a state senator running for mayor, strongly...

Posted: 5 days ago

In the 2009 Atlanta mayoral race, a group called the Black Leadership Forum circulated a position paper calling for African-American voters to unite around the most viable black candidate to stave off a challenge by a strong white contender, Mary Norwood. It should be noted that Kasim Reed, then a state senator running for mayor, strongly...
Torpy at Large: Reed rhetoric hints at a racial runoff strategy
 As we head to a mayoral runoff next month between Atlanta councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood, the question often asked is, “Will things get untidy?” The campaign’s homestretch is set up to reveal the division lines in The City Too Busy to Hate — north/south, white/black, although you’ll likely...

Posted: 10 days ago

As we head to a mayoral runoff next month between Atlanta councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood, the question often asked is, “Will things get untidy?” The campaign’s homestretch is set up to reveal the division lines in The City Too Busy to Hate — north/south, white/black, although you’ll likely...
Torpy at Large: The real reason Casey Cagle is on Decatur’s case
 Lt. Governor Casey Cagle this week again tore into Decatur, alleging that the liberal bastion is a hideaway — no, more like a sanctuary — for immigrants who have entered this country without legal permission. Cagle filed a complaint with something called the Immigration Enforcement Review Board, a kangaroo court...

Posted: 11 days ago

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle this week again tore into Decatur, alleging that the liberal bastion is a hideaway — no, more like a sanctuary — for immigrants who have entered this country without legal permission. Cagle filed a complaint with something called the Immigration Enforcement Review Board, a kangaroo court...
Torpy at Large: Status quo is the Bottoms line in Atlanta mayor’s race
 As Atlanta voters shuffle to the polls Tuesday to pick a new mayor, some might desire a candidate who wants to clean up City Hall. For two years, the feds have investigated bribery in the city’s contracting process. Two contractors have already ‘fessed up, as did city procurement director Adam Smith, which is a worrisome thing...

Posted: 14 days ago

As Atlanta voters shuffle to the polls Tuesday to pick a new mayor, some might desire a candidate who wants to clean up City Hall. For two years, the feds have investigated bribery in the city’s contracting process. Two contractors have already ‘fessed up, as did city procurement director Adam Smith, which is a worrisome thing...
Torpy at Large: Will religious liberty bill cast out Amazon?
 The Great Amazon Sweepstakes is raging across North America. Some two dozen cities are waging intense campaigns to snag the White Whale of commercial development, the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters. But in this hunt (as opposed to Captain Ahab’s pursuit) one city will actually capture the beast, which is the company&rsquo...

Posted: 24 days ago

The Great Amazon Sweepstakes is raging across North America. Some two dozen cities are waging intense campaigns to snag the White Whale of commercial development, the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters. But in this hunt (as opposed to Captain Ahab’s pursuit) one city will actually capture the beast, which is the company&rsquo...
Torpy at Large: Another lonely night on the Ghost Train, er, Streetcar
 Every now and again, I’ll jump on the Atlanta Streetcar and ride the 2.7-mile loop around downtown. Usually, I’m a lonely boy. Terms like “fiasco” and “boondoggle” follow Atlanta’s $100 million loopty loo, but I’ve always rooted for it to work. My gramps worked on streetcars a century...

Posted: 26 days ago

Every now and again, I’ll jump on the Atlanta Streetcar and ride the 2.7-mile loop around downtown. Usually, I’m a lonely boy. Terms like “fiasco” and “boondoggle” follow Atlanta’s $100 million loopty loo, but I’ve always rooted for it to work. My gramps worked on streetcars a century...
Another case near Atlanta shows thieves still get guns from cars
 This week in Cartersville, police reported that thieves have been entering vehicles and stealing items, most notably several handguns. It’s the continuation of a crime that has become common across metro Atlanta — and the nation. As more people carry guns to protect themselves from crime, more folks carry their weapons in their...

Posted: 30 days ago

This week in Cartersville, police reported that thieves have been entering vehicles and stealing items, most notably several handguns. It’s the continuation of a crime that has become common across metro Atlanta — and the nation. As more people carry guns to protect themselves from crime, more folks carry their weapons in their...
Torpy at Large: Mayor’s race heats up as bribery probe keeps cookin’
 As the election comes to its final weeks, and as the corruption scandal dumps a new load of fertilizer at City Hall, Mayor Kasim Reed has moved to ensure he’ll have as close to a third term in office as possible. Hizzoner is term-limited, but he wants to keep his hand in his pet project — running Atlanta. So last week...

10:00 AM Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

As the election comes to its final weeks, and as the corruption scandal dumps a new load of fertilizer at City Hall, Mayor Kasim Reed has moved to ensure he’ll have as close to a third term in office as possible. Hizzoner is term-limited, but he wants to keep his hand in his pet project — running Atlanta. So last week...
Torpy at Large: Knock, knock! The HOA is here for an inside inspection
 If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you live under the vigilant eye of a homeowners association. Estimates say one-fifth to a quarter of Americans live in situations where a gaggle of neighbors have the right — no, the duty — to make sure you keep up your part of the bargain and not let your home...

10:00 AM Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you live under the vigilant eye of a homeowners association. Estimates say one-fifth to a quarter of Americans live in situations where a gaggle of neighbors have the right — no, the duty — to make sure you keep up your part of the bargain and not let your home...
Torpy at Large: Of mice and men, and rats and stool pigeons
 Years ago, when I was still working in Chicago, my lawyer friend, Gary, was bragging on a client who wouldn’t give up his cohorts in a drug case. The defendant was an Italian-American fellow, but he wasn’t necessarily a made guy. He was just a fan of Mafia movies and believed in the whole deal about omerta, which is Italian for...

10:00 AM Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

Years ago, when I was still working in Chicago, my lawyer friend, Gary, was bragging on a client who wouldn’t give up his cohorts in a drug case. The defendant was an Italian-American fellow, but he wasn’t necessarily a made guy. He was just a fan of Mafia movies and believed in the whole deal about omerta, which is Italian for...