Gwinnett County grand jury investigates public corruption allegations involving land purchases

The District Attorney for Gwinnett County has impaneled a special grand jury to investigate four land purchases made by county officials. The reason for the investigation centers on the purchase price of the parcels of land and possible political connections between county commissioners and land developers.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story.

Closed door hearings began last Friday. At the conclusion of the investigation, the special grand jury is expected to issue a report stating its findings as well as whether any individuals should be indicted. The judges who makeup the Superior Court of Gwinnett County will then vote as to whether any further actions should be taken.

At Friday’s hearing, Jock Connell, Phil Hoskins, Steve North and Chuck Warbington appeared before the panel. Connell, a former county administrator, worked for the county for 20 years before retiring in December. Hoskins, the director of community service, oversees the county’s park department. North heads the department which supervises land purchases, and Warbington is a representative on the county planning commission.

Gwinnett County saw a similar investigation 1989 when a former DA impaneled a special grand jury to look into allegations of price-fixing on school milk contracts.

Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented several local, state and federal officials who have been charged with corruption offenses. Public corruption cases can be quite difficult due to intense media exposure and political pressures. In addition to fighting any criminal charges, a good defense attorney will work to ensure that allegations of corruption do not lead to false media reports, discipline, or any other actions which could potentially damage one’s reputation.

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