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

AJC Watchdog: Little sunlight on local campaign donations
 Four years ago, the Georgia General Assembly passed a little-noticed change in state law that has resulted in dramatically less sunlight on who is paying to elect candidates in local races. The legislation — House Bill 143 — said candidates for county or city offices no longer had to file their campaign contribution and financial...

Posted: 4 days ago

Four years ago, the Georgia General Assembly passed a little-noticed change in state law that has resulted in dramatically less sunlight on who is paying to elect candidates in local races. The legislation — House Bill 143 — said candidates for county or city offices no longer had to file their campaign contribution and financial...
Ga. Supreme Court ruling baffles open government advocates
 When is a record of court not a “court record?” When the Georgia Supreme Court 
               says so. In a recent decision, the justices ruled that the public has 
               no right to access audio from inside the state’s courtrooms.
             “Disclosure,” a popular legal affairs podcast, had sought...

Posted: 9 days ago

When is a record of court not a “court record?” When the Georgia Supreme Court says so. In a recent decision, the justices ruled that the public has no right to access audio from inside the state’s courtrooms. “Disclosure,” a popular legal affairs podcast, had sought...
Watchdog: What do Georgia judges have to hide?
 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s podcast “Breakdown” is a good listen, but it’s more than just that. Just ask Justin Chapman. In its first season, “Breakdown” focused on the case of Chapman, a Bremen man serving a long sentence for killing his neighbor in an intentionally set fire. The podcast made...

Posted: 11 days ago

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s podcast “Breakdown” is a good listen, but it’s more than just that. Just ask Justin Chapman. In its first season, “Breakdown” focused on the case of Chapman, a Bremen man serving a long sentence for killing his neighbor in an intentionally set fire. The podcast made...
Gwinnett residents move to keep massive QuikTrip off their street
 Everybody likes QuikTrip — unless they want to put one in your front yard. Norcross residents are crying foul over plans to site a massive new QuikTrip gas station on Jimmy Carter Boulevard at the entrance to their 300-home neighborhood. The diverse, middle-income neighborhood of mostly ranch-style homes is a pocket of tranquility...

Posted: 17 days ago

Everybody likes QuikTrip — unless they want to put one in your front yard. Norcross residents are crying foul over plans to site a massive new QuikTrip gas station on Jimmy Carter Boulevard at the entrance to their 300-home neighborhood. The diverse, middle-income neighborhood of mostly ranch-style homes is a pocket of tranquility...
Neighborhood fights proposed QuikTrip and asks, ‘Why here?’
 If you travel down Jimmy Carter Boulevard near the I-85 interchange, a gas station isn’t hard to find. In fact, it’s a heavily traveled thoroughfare, complete with convenience stores, strip malls, banks and fast-food restaurants. And it’s jam-packed with Gwinnett County commuters making their way to Atlanta. That’s...

Posted: 18 days ago

If you travel down Jimmy Carter Boulevard near the I-85 interchange, a gas station isn’t hard to find. In fact, it’s a heavily traveled thoroughfare, complete with convenience stores, strip malls, banks and fast-food restaurants. And it’s jam-packed with Gwinnett County commuters making their way to Atlanta. That’s...
Local booting laws are confusing. Will Ga. lawmakers do anything?
 Booting of improperly parked cars is allowed by ordinance in Marietta but outlawed in Cobb County. Atlanta allows it by ordinances, while Alpharetta allows it by neglect. As a result, Georgia is a patchwork of laws and lawlessness when it comes to the booting of cars on private property, which can leave drivers feeling confused. State...

Posted: 24 days ago

Booting of improperly parked cars is allowed by ordinance in Marietta but outlawed in Cobb County. Atlanta allows it by ordinances, while Alpharetta allows it by neglect. As a result, Georgia is a patchwork of laws and lawlessness when it comes to the booting of cars on private property, which can leave drivers feeling confused. State...
DeKalb works to fix water line break on LaVista Road
 That river of muddy water streaming across LaVista Road near Briarlake Elementary Thursday was the result of a water line break causing low pressure for nearby residents. A DeKalb County crew worked for hours in shoulder-deep water Thursday afternoon to repair a break in a 6-inch residental water line on Chesterfield Drive at LaVista. DeKalb...

Posted: 24 days ago

That river of muddy water streaming across LaVista Road near Briarlake Elementary Thursday was the result of a water line break causing low pressure for nearby residents. A DeKalb County crew worked for hours in shoulder-deep water Thursday afternoon to repair a break in a 6-inch residental water line on Chesterfield Drive at LaVista. DeKalb...
AJC readers speak: Booting cars in Georgia needs legislative solution
 Sarah Saltzman drove to the Avalon shopping center in Alpharetta a few weeks ago to return a pair of shoes in one of the development’s many shops. She found a relatively close parking space, walked to the store and returned in short order to find a big, yellow boot on her tire and a note on her windshield with a number to call to have...

Posted: 25 days ago

Sarah Saltzman drove to the Avalon shopping center in Alpharetta a few weeks ago to return a pair of shoes in one of the development’s many shops. She found a relatively close parking space, walked to the store and returned in short order to find a big, yellow boot on her tire and a note on her windshield with a number to call to have...
Why booting your car might be illegal in Georgia
 A team of Atlanta attorneys is gathering clients for a possible class action lawsuit that could make them heroes with metro drivers. They claim that immobilizing improperly parked cars using a tire clamp or “boot” is not allowed under state law. But the practice goes on in private parking lots all over the state. Georgia...

Posted: 31 days ago

A team of Atlanta attorneys is gathering clients for a possible class action lawsuit that could make them heroes with metro drivers. They claim that immobilizing improperly parked cars using a tire clamp or “boot” is not allowed under state law. But the practice goes on in private parking lots all over the state. Georgia...
Suit: Booting cars in Georgia isn’t legal
 It’s the worst. You park in a big retail lot somewhere in metro Atlanta, do your chores, eat lunch, stop at the drug store and return to find a bright yellow boot on your car placed there by some unknown parking lot ranger who saw you (or thought he saw you) wander off property. To get it off, you have to pay a fine on the spot that...

10:51 AM Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

It’s the worst. You park in a big retail lot somewhere in metro Atlanta, do your chores, eat lunch, stop at the drug store and return to find a bright yellow boot on your car placed there by some unknown parking lot ranger who saw you (or thought he saw you) wander off property. To get it off, you have to pay a fine on the spot that...
Readers react to release of notorious juvenile now charged with murder
 The arrest of 17-year-old Delvin Gates on murder charges last month in DeKalb County appalled residents across town in West End because they thought he would be in prison for years. “I was so pissed when I heard he was back out,” said resident John Pavlin. “Then this. I’m disgusted.” Residents in West End and...

11:36 AM Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

The arrest of 17-year-old Delvin Gates on murder charges last month in DeKalb County appalled residents across town in West End because they thought he would be in prison for years. “I was so pissed when I heard he was back out,” said resident John Pavlin. “Then this. I’m disgusted.” Residents in West End and...