Willoughby Mariano

Willoughby Mariano is on the AJC's watchdog team and an expert on housing and criminal justice issues. Contact her at wmariano@ajc.com.

Latest from Willoughby Mariano

Atlanta VA fined $13,600 after hazardous waste storage violations
 The Atlanta VA Medical Center suffered another setback after inspectors discovered more than one ton of hazardous waste packed floor to ceiling in unsafe conditions, recently-released records show. A portable building was stuffed so full of the hazardous waste that there was no room for inspectors to enter, much less firefighters or emergency...

Posted: 13 days ago

The Atlanta VA Medical Center suffered another setback after inspectors discovered more than one ton of hazardous waste packed floor to ceiling in unsafe conditions, recently-released records show. A portable building was stuffed so full of the hazardous waste that there was no room for inspectors to enter, much less firefighters or emergency...
Atlanta VA quality drops to one of the worst in the nation
 Atlanta’s VA Medical Center now ranks as one of the worst in the nation after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs latest national assessment of hospital quality, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News have learned. The Decatur-area hospital’s overall quality rating fell from three stars to one &mdash...

Posted: 17 days ago

Atlanta’s VA Medical Center now ranks as one of the worst in the nation after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs latest national assessment of hospital quality, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News have learned. The Decatur-area hospital’s overall quality rating fell from three stars to one &mdash...
Johns Creek woman, 97, snared in annuity’s fine print
 Two decades ago, the concept seemed simple enough to Rosalind Davidson: Put all of your life savings into an account that will provide guaranteed returns. But Davidson, now 97, found the deal was no bargain for her. When her family checked her finances, they discovered that except for small quarterly payments, her $80,000 was locked away...

Posted: 18 days ago

Two decades ago, the concept seemed simple enough to Rosalind Davidson: Put all of your life savings into an account that will provide guaranteed returns. But Davidson, now 97, found the deal was no bargain for her. When her family checked her finances, they discovered that except for small quarterly payments, her $80,000 was locked away...
Ex-Rockdale sheriffs sergeant booked in stolen guns, cash case
 A former Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office sergeant under investigation on suspicions that he stole guns from his agency’s evidence unit now faces 43 counts of felony theft. Dan Lang, 37, stole more than $40,000 in cash in addition to the guns, the GBI said Thursday. The bureau launched its investigation April 10, after a...

Posted: 25 days ago

A former Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office sergeant under investigation on suspicions that he stole guns from his agency’s evidence unit now faces 43 counts of felony theft. Dan Lang, 37, stole more than $40,000 in cash in addition to the guns, the GBI said Thursday. The bureau launched its investigation April 10, after a...
Sgt. in Rockdale jail death also being investigated for gun sales
 The former Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office sergeant accused of falsifying records in a jail inmate’s death is the same officer under investigation for accusations he took guns from the agency’s evidence unit to sell for cash, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. Sgt. Dan Lang, 37, was an evidence unit supervisor...

9:20 PM Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018

The former Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office sergeant accused of falsifying records in a jail inmate’s death is the same officer under investigation for accusations he took guns from the agency’s evidence unit to sell for cash, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. Sgt. Dan Lang, 37, was an evidence unit supervisor...
Ga. prisons shorted 1,200 officers on overtime pay
 The Georgia Department of Corrections violated federal labor laws by shorting more than 1,200 of its corrections officers on overtime pay, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found. These widespread problems emerged after a 2017 complaint by a state prison worker to the U.S. Department of Labor. That complaint was unfounded, but the federal...

7:20 PM Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018

The Georgia Department of Corrections violated federal labor laws by shorting more than 1,200 of its corrections officers on overtime pay, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found. These widespread problems emerged after a 2017 complaint by a state prison worker to the U.S. Department of Labor. That complaint was unfounded, but the federal...
Troubled inmate ignored for hours before jailers found him dead
 A mentally-ill inmate whose March death sparked community protest was ignored for more than three hours before he was found dead inside his Rockdale County cell, even though deputies were required to check his condition every 15 minutes, documents reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show. The shift was slow and there was little to...

11:00 AM Friday, Sep. 07, 2018

A mentally-ill inmate whose March death sparked community protest was ignored for more than three hours before he was found dead inside his Rockdale County cell, even though deputies were required to check his condition every 15 minutes, documents reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show. The shift was slow and there was little to...
State day care regulator fires back at federal audit on criminal checks
 The state’s day care regulator fired back at a federal report released Friday that said Georgia will miss a key deadline requiring that it conduct national criminal background checks on child care workers. Difficulties with staffing, funding and coordination with other states will keep the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning...

9:14 PM Friday, Aug. 03, 2018

The state’s day care regulator fired back at a federal report released Friday that said Georgia will miss a key deadline requiring that it conduct national criminal background checks on child care workers. Difficulties with staffing, funding and coordination with other states will keep the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning...
Evictions: landlord says tough love helps tenants stay put
 The owners of Smoke Creek say they created an oasis in the quiet hills south of Snellville. Children now shout in a swimming pool that was once filled with murky water. A small fountain in the manufactured housing park churns in a clear pond once described as “mosquito alley.” Working-class renters can have all this, plus access...

10:00 AM Friday, Aug. 03, 2018

The owners of Smoke Creek say they created an oasis in the quiet hills south of Snellville. Children now shout in a swimming pool that was once filled with murky water. A small fountain in the manufactured housing park churns in a clear pond once described as “mosquito alley.” Working-class renters can have all this, plus access...
Eviction tactics squeeze renters: AJC analysis shows landlords increasingly use filings to collect late rent
 Angela Claxton lived at the Lilburn apartment complex The Columns at Paxton Lane for six years, but it was never easy. A single mother, Claxton worked multiple jobs to keep her son in Shiloh High’s school zone, but the rent rose year after year. Inevitably, she fell behind, and the management filed to have her evicted. It happened 32...

6:00 PM Friday, Jun. 22, 2018

Angela Claxton lived at the Lilburn apartment complex The Columns at Paxton Lane for six years, but it was never easy. A single mother, Claxton worked multiple jobs to keep her son in Shiloh High’s school zone, but the rent rose year after year. Inevitably, she fell behind, and the management filed to have her evicted. It happened 32...
Metro holiday events catch a break from slow-moving Alberto
 Memorial Day tributes dodged the worst of predicted thunderstorms, flash floods and wind gusts Monday as the heaviest rain bands from a powerful Gulf of Mexico storm stayed south and west of metro Atlanta. While holiday cookouts survived the threat, we may not be so lucky the rest of the week. Rain is forecast for the next few days as Subtropical...

8:57 PM Monday, May. 28, 2018

Memorial Day tributes dodged the worst of predicted thunderstorms, flash floods and wind gusts Monday as the heaviest rain bands from a powerful Gulf of Mexico storm stayed south and west of metro Atlanta. While holiday cookouts survived the threat, we may not be so lucky the rest of the week. Rain is forecast for the next few days as Subtropical...