Leon Stafford

Local government reporter

Local government reporter Leon Stafford, a Tennessee grad, has been at the AJC since 1997. He covers Atlanta city government.

Latest from Leon Stafford

Victor Hill rival says Clayton sheriff arrested wife to intimidate him
 Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill had the wife of a political rival arrested after she said she penned emails to the department supporting her husband’s campaign. Wednesday evening’s arrest of Gerrian Hawes, which was streamed live on Facebook by her husband, has some questioning whether the arrest was an abuse of Hill&rsquo...

Posted: 3 hours ago

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill had the wife of a political rival arrested after she said she penned emails to the department supporting her husband’s campaign. Wednesday evening’s arrest of Gerrian Hawes, which was streamed live on Facebook by her husband, has some questioning whether the arrest was an abuse of Hill&rsquo...
Elections: Georgia counties respond to hacking, security threats
 As Georgians prepare to cast their ballots in a nationally watched gubernatorial race, the security and reliability of the state’s election system remains a point of concern for many voters and security experts. Polls show that a large percentage of Americans believe there’s a concerted effort underway by foreign entities to undermine...

Posted: 4 hours ago

As Georgians prepare to cast their ballots in a nationally watched gubernatorial race, the security and reliability of the state’s election system remains a point of concern for many voters and security experts. Polls show that a large percentage of Americans believe there’s a concerted effort underway by foreign entities to undermine...
LATEST: Wife of Clayton man running to unseat Victor Hill as sheriff arrested outside home 
 UPDATE: Bond for Gerrian Hawes, the wife of a man planning to run against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill in 2020, was set at $1,500 Thursday morning in Clayton Magistrate Court. Robert Hawes said he expected his wife to be released sometime Thursday afternoon. Story is developing. ORIGINAL STORY: The wife of a Clayton man who said...

Posted: 9 hours ago

UPDATE: Bond for Gerrian Hawes, the wife of a man planning to run against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill in 2020, was set at $1,500 Thursday morning in Clayton Magistrate Court. Robert Hawes said he expected his wife to be released sometime Thursday afternoon. Story is developing. ORIGINAL STORY: The wife of a Clayton man who said...
Henry County sets property tax rates as pay compensation debate eases
 The Henry County Commission on Monday passed a millage rate for property taxes, a little more than a week after the board failed to pass the legislation because of concerns over worker compensation. In a 4-2 vote, the board set the millage rate at 12.73 mills, which the county estimates will bring in about $87.7 million in property taxes...

Posted: 3 days ago

The Henry County Commission on Monday passed a millage rate for property taxes, a little more than a week after the board failed to pass the legislation because of concerns over worker compensation. In a 4-2 vote, the board set the millage rate at 12.73 mills, which the county estimates will bring in about $87.7 million in property taxes...
Clayton’s on-air commission meetings to include public comments again
 The public comments portion of Clayton County Commission meetings once again will be televised. Almost 20 months after pulling the plug on on-air comments by those attending meetings, the board voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve Commissioner Michael Edmondson’s proposal to bring remarks back to CCTV 23 — with a caveat. Residents will...

Posted: 8 days ago

The public comments portion of Clayton County Commission meetings once again will be televised. Almost 20 months after pulling the plug on on-air comments by those attending meetings, the board voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve Commissioner Michael Edmondson’s proposal to bring remarks back to CCTV 23 — with a caveat. Residents will...
Clayton hospital owner to pay $65 million to settle lawsuit alleging fraud
 Prime Healthcare billed itself as capable of turning around failing hospitals, including Southern Regional Medical Center in Clayton County.  But its formula, the federal government alleged, was to systematically defraud Medicare and other government programs. Now, the California-based chain has agreed to pay $65 million to settle...

Posted: 13 days ago

Prime Healthcare billed itself as capable of turning around failing hospitals, including Southern Regional Medical Center in Clayton County.  But its formula, the federal government alleged, was to systematically defraud Medicare and other government programs. Now, the California-based chain has agreed to pay $65 million to settle...
Morrow residents divided on bringing ziplining to failed Olde Towne
 A proposal to turn an abandoned Morrow retail development into an eco-tourism destination — complete with zip lining and canopy experience — got a mixed reception at a recent town hall meeting. Some residents of the Clayton County city said turning Olde Towne Morrow — which has sat fallow since 2010 — and...

Posted: 13 days ago

A proposal to turn an abandoned Morrow retail development into an eco-tourism destination — complete with zip lining and canopy experience — got a mixed reception at a recent town hall meeting. Some residents of the Clayton County city said turning Olde Towne Morrow — which has sat fallow since 2010 — and...
Pay raise dispute upends Henry County attempt to set millage rate
 Henry County residents will have to wait a little while longer to find out what their property tax bills will be next year after the County Commission failed to pass a millage rate because of a dispute over worker raises. The south metro Atlanta community was supposed to set its millage on Tuesday, but the approval failed after the six-member...

Posted: 14 days ago

Henry County residents will have to wait a little while longer to find out what their property tax bills will be next year after the County Commission failed to pass a millage rate because of a dispute over worker raises. The south metro Atlanta community was supposed to set its millage on Tuesday, but the approval failed after the six-member...
Pay raise dispute upends Henry County attempt to set property tax rates
 Henry residents will have to wait a little while longer to find out what their property tax bills may look like next year after the County Commission failed to pass a millage rate because of a dispute over worker raises. The south metro community was supposed to set its millage on Tuesday, but the approval failed after the six-member board...

Posted: 15 days ago

Henry residents will have to wait a little while longer to find out what their property tax bills may look like next year after the County Commission failed to pass a millage rate because of a dispute over worker raises. The south metro community was supposed to set its millage on Tuesday, but the approval failed after the six-member board...
Jonesboro planning trails, shops and coffeehouses to revive downtown
 The city of Jonesboro is taking a page out of the downtown revival playbooks of Duluth, Suwanee and Lawrenceville. The Clayton County seat is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate downtown buildings, build parks and create a more pedestrian-friendly center city to drive resident, business and tourist foot traffic. &ldquo...

Posted: 16 days ago

The city of Jonesboro is taking a page out of the downtown revival playbooks of Duluth, Suwanee and Lawrenceville. The Clayton County seat is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate downtown buildings, build parks and create a more pedestrian-friendly center city to drive resident, business and tourist foot traffic. &ldquo...
Henry County to help citizens understand government with academy
 Henry County is launching a Citizen’s Academy to help residents understand how their county government works. The eight-week program, which begins Sept. 13, will focus on areas such as financial services, public works, safety and the court system.  The meetings, which are free to the public, will be held every Thursday from 6 p...

Posted: 17 days ago

Henry County is launching a Citizen’s Academy to help residents understand how their county government works. The eight-week program, which begins Sept. 13, will focus on areas such as financial services, public works, safety and the court system.  The meetings, which are free to the public, will be held every Thursday from 6 p...