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

Paper ballots pass Election Day test in Georgia
 The results are in from this month’s test run of a voting system that could bring paper ballots back to Georgia: It was easy to use and fast, but it would come with a high cost to taxpayers. The trial of the touch screen-plus-paper ballot voting system “came off without a hitch” when it was tried during the Nov...

Posted: 2 days ago

The results are in from this month’s test run of a voting system that could bring paper ballots back to Georgia: It was easy to use and fast, but it would come with a high cost to taxpayers. The trial of the touch screen-plus-paper ballot voting system “came off without a hitch” when it was tried during the Nov...
Lawsuit seeks to end Georgia’s restrictions on third-party candidates
 Georgia’s restrictions on third-party candidates trying to run for the U.S. House of Representatives should be declared unconstitutional, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday by the Libertarian Party of Georgia. No third-party candidate in Georgia has ever collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot for...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia’s restrictions on third-party candidates trying to run for the U.S. House of Representatives should be declared unconstitutional, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday by the Libertarian Party of Georgia. No third-party candidate in Georgia has ever collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot for...
DeKalb official sanctioned for private work on county time
 A DeKalb County department director who collected government pay for the same day that he received a $500 fee from a private organization is being sanctioned by the county. DeKalb Beautification Director Marcus Kellum, whose government salary was $104,676 last year, was charged for one day of annual leave time, according to...

Posted: 3 days ago

A DeKalb County department director who collected government pay for the same day that he received a $500 fee from a private organization is being sanctioned by the county. DeKalb Beautification Director Marcus Kellum, whose government salary was $104,676 last year, was charged for one day of annual leave time, according to...
Georgia attorney general warns holiday shoppers to protect themselves
 Before shopping for the holidays, Georgia customers should take precautions against fraud, rip-offs and identity theft. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says the prevalence of online gift buying makes it more important than ever for customers to safeguard their wallets and identities. He provided several tips: Shoppers should...

Posted: 3 days ago

Before shopping for the holidays, Georgia customers should take precautions against fraud, rip-offs and identity theft. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says the prevalence of online gift buying makes it more important than ever for customers to safeguard their wallets and identities. He provided several tips: Shoppers should...
First American title pawn pays $225K for alleged violations against Georgia customers
 A Georgia title pawn company is paying about $225,000 to settle allegations that it sued customers who defaulted on loans, threatened customers with arrest warrants and misrepresented itself in advertisements. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced last week that First American Title Lending of Georgia will make the payment...

Posted: 4 days ago

A Georgia title pawn company is paying about $225,000 to settle allegations that it sued customers who defaulted on loans, threatened customers with arrest warrants and misrepresented itself in advertisements. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced last week that First American Title Lending of Georgia will make the payment...
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s election video under investigation
 The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is investigating a Facebook video in which Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed encourages people to vote and says he voted Tuesday for Keisha Lance Bottoms for mayor. Channel 2 Action News reported Wednesday that state law prohibits solicitation of votes within 150 feet of a polling place. In the...

Posted: 15 days ago

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is investigating a Facebook video in which Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed encourages people to vote and says he voted Tuesday for Keisha Lance Bottoms for mayor. Channel 2 Action News reported Wednesday that state law prohibits solicitation of votes within 150 feet of a polling place. In the...
DeKalb voters approve sales tax hike for roads and infrastructure
 A decisive vote approving a new sales tax increase in DeKalb should be seen as a “transformative moment” for a county government trying to recover from years of crisis and controversy, county CEO Mike Thurmond said Wednesday. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, won with 70 percent of the vote, sending the government...

Posted: 15 days ago

A decisive vote approving a new sales tax increase in DeKalb should be seen as a “transformative moment” for a county government trying to recover from years of crisis and controversy, county CEO Mike Thurmond said Wednesday. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, won with 70 percent of the vote, sending the government...
Election 2017: DeKalb passes sales tax hike and property tax break
 DeKalb voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved raising the county’s sales tax rate to 8 percent, which will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to fix crumbling roads and make infrastructure improvements. The special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) was part of a broad tax referendum that will also lower property...

Posted: 16 days ago

DeKalb voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved raising the county’s sales tax rate to 8 percent, which will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to fix crumbling roads and make infrastructure improvements. The special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) was part of a broad tax referendum that will also lower property...
Election 2017: DeKalb sales tax increase approved
 DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase and property tax reduction, according to final ballot counts. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, will bring in more than $100 million annually for road repaving, fire station repairs, police vehicles and other infrastructure through a special purpose...

Posted: 16 days ago

DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase and property tax reduction, according to final ballot counts. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, will bring in more than $100 million annually for road repaving, fire station repairs, police vehicles and other infrastructure through a special purpose...
Pastor Lee May starts home-grown church after quitting DeKalb politics
 He’s now known simply as Pastor Lee, presiding over his start-up church from the stage of a high school auditorium. In his last career, as CEO of DeKalb County’s beleaguered government, Lee May once touted park improvements and pothole patching as avenues for improving the quality of life. Now, he hopes to help others change...

Posted: 22 days ago

He’s now known simply as Pastor Lee, presiding over his start-up church from the stage of a high school auditorium. In his last career, as CEO of DeKalb County’s beleaguered government, Lee May once touted park improvements and pothole patching as avenues for improving the quality of life. Now, he hopes to help others change...
Investigation results: DeKalb commissioner sexually harassed assistant
 Audio recordings and text messages validate allegations that DeKalb County Commissioner Greg Adams sexually harassed an assistant, according to an investigative report prepared for the county. The report said Adams called his assistant “sexy, beautiful and intelligent,” sent her a late-night text message inviting...

Posted: 23 days ago

Audio recordings and text messages validate allegations that DeKalb County Commissioner Greg Adams sexually harassed an assistant, according to an investigative report prepared for the county. The report said Adams called his assistant “sexy, beautiful and intelligent,” sent her a late-night text message inviting...