Mark Niesse

Local government reporter

Mark Niesse covers DeKalb government. He previously covered Atlanta schools and worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann pleads guilty but keeps job
 Now that DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann has pleaded guilty to charges arising from a late-night rendezvous with the law, he’s free to go back to his job of keeping other criminals locked up. Mann, accused of exposing himself to a stranger who turned out to be a cop and then fleeing, was initially booked with charges of indecency and...

Posted: 10 hours ago

Now that DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann has pleaded guilty to charges arising from a late-night rendezvous with the law, he’s free to go back to his job of keeping other criminals locked up. Mann, accused of exposing himself to a stranger who turned out to be a cop and then fleeing, was initially booked with charges of indecency and...
DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann pleads guilty after park arrest
 DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of obstruction and prohibited conduct stemming from his arrest in Piedmont Park. Mann was sentenced to pay fines of $2,000 and serve 80 hours of community service. He was also banished from city of Atlanta parks for six months. Mann allegedly exposed himself and ran from...

Posted: 17 hours ago

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of obstruction and prohibited conduct stemming from his arrest in Piedmont Park. Mann was sentenced to pay fines of $2,000 and serve 80 hours of community service. He was also banished from city of Atlanta parks for six months. Mann allegedly exposed himself and ran from...
Audit calls for broad changes to fix high DeKalb water bills
 An outside review of DeKalb County’s problem with excessively high water bills comes to the conclusion that the government needs to make changes on multiple fronts, from upgrading technology to improving oversight. The 127-page, $275,000 audit provides many recommendations for fixing the county’s long-running problem...

Posted: 18 hours ago

An outside review of DeKalb County’s problem with excessively high water bills comes to the conclusion that the government needs to make changes on multiple fronts, from upgrading technology to improving oversight. The 127-page, $275,000 audit provides many recommendations for fixing the county’s long-running problem...
DeKalb water bill audit blames flawed technology and oversight
 DeKalb County’s inability to fix its chronic problems with water billing is due, in part, to a muddled management structure and an outdated reliance on paper instead of technology, according to a highly anticipated outside audit. The 127-page draft audit, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday through an open...

Posted: a day ago

DeKalb County’s inability to fix its chronic problems with water billing is due, in part, to a muddled management structure and an outdated reliance on paper instead of technology, according to a highly anticipated outside audit. The 127-page draft audit, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday through an open...
DeKalb replaces ‘chamber of horrors’ animal shelter
 Hundreds of playful puppies and purring kittens will finally have a safe and clean place to stay in DeKalb County until they find a home. A $12 million DeKalb animal shelter opened Wednesday, replacing a run-down facility that a citizen task force labeled a “chamber of horrors,” where many animals didn’t make...

Posted: a day ago

Hundreds of playful puppies and purring kittens will finally have a safe and clean place to stay in DeKalb County until they find a home. A $12 million DeKalb animal shelter opened Wednesday, replacing a run-down facility that a citizen task force labeled a “chamber of horrors,” where many animals didn’t make...
DeKalb trying to clean up sewer mess and reduce spills
 The problems beneath DeKalb County’s streets may not be the crisis that everyone feared, says DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond. The county previously overestimated its sewer limitations, which raised concerns that new construction would increase the risk of spills, he said. New estimates will give a more accurate picture that won’t constrain...

Posted: 2 days ago

The problems beneath DeKalb County’s streets may not be the crisis that everyone feared, says DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond. The county previously overestimated its sewer limitations, which raised concerns that new construction would increase the risk of spills, he said. New estimates will give a more accurate picture that won’t constrain...
Sewage spills spike in DeKalb but officials say county is on track
 The good news is that DeKalb County’s problems with its sewer system might have been exaggerated. The bad news is that a mess of raw waste is still spewing from county manholes at unprecedented levels. DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond says the county’s sewers can handle more new construction than previously thought...

Posted: 3 days ago

The good news is that DeKalb County’s problems with its sewer system might have been exaggerated. The bad news is that a mess of raw waste is still spewing from county manholes at unprecedented levels. DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond says the county’s sewers can handle more new construction than previously thought...
DeKalb official blows whistle on Chamblee Mercy Care clinic’s approval
 Soon after Mercy Care opened a health clinic serving the poor and uninsured in Chamblee, a government official sounded the alarm: The clinic could lead to more sewage spills and put DeKalb County in violation of federal law. DeKalb Department of Watershed Management Director Scott Towler wrote in a June 1 email to his boss that Mercy...

Posted: 3 days ago

Soon after Mercy Care opened a health clinic serving the poor and uninsured in Chamblee, a government official sounded the alarm: The clinic could lead to more sewage spills and put DeKalb County in violation of federal law. DeKalb Department of Watershed Management Director Scott Towler wrote in a June 1 email to his boss that Mercy...
DeKalb sheriff back at work after 40-day suspension; trial scheduled for Thursday
 DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann is back at work, more than two months after police said he exposed himself at a public park and ran away from an officer. <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Spokeswoman:DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann is back...

Posted: 3 days ago

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann is back at work, more than two months after police said he exposed himself at a public park and ran away from an officer. <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Spokeswoman:DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann is back...
DeKalb tries again to pass sales tax for road repairs
 This time around, DeKalb County commissioners say they’ll avoid the problems that doomed last year’s effort to raise sales taxes to repair crumbling roads. The DeKalb Commission on Thursday moved closer to putting the issue on November’s ballot as they began to coalesce around a list of transportation, public safety and...

Posted: 7 days ago

This time around, DeKalb County commissioners say they’ll avoid the problems that doomed last year’s effort to raise sales taxes to repair crumbling roads. The DeKalb Commission on Thursday moved closer to putting the issue on November’s ballot as they began to coalesce around a list of transportation, public safety and...
DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann asks judge to drop indecency case
 DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann is asking a judge to acquit him of indecency and obstruction charges because Gov. Nathan Deal already punished him with a 40-day suspension. Mann’s attorney, Noah Pines, wrote in a court filing that Mann can’t be prosecuted twice for the same offense. Mann was arrested at Piedmont Park...

Posted: 8 days ago

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann is asking a judge to acquit him of indecency and obstruction charges because Gov. Nathan Deal already punished him with a 40-day suspension. Mann’s attorney, Noah Pines, wrote in a court filing that Mann can’t be prosecuted twice for the same offense. Mann was arrested at Piedmont Park...