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Memo To: Cherokee County DA Shannon Wallace

by Bill Simon


Shannon Wallace
Cherokee County District Attorney

Bill Simon

RE: Your Office’s “Mission Statement”

Date: October 7, 2013

On the Cherokee County website, the DA’s page has the following 3-bullet points under “Our Mission”:

To seek justice.
To act with integrity.
To protect the citizens of Georgia.

Based on former prosecutors I have spoken with, you have a key point missing from this list, and it should be the first one listed: To seek the truth.

Because without actually knowing the “truth” about a matter, you cannot possibly “seek justice” of any matter. You cannot “act with integrity” either if you don’t know that the primary purpose of a DA’s office is to “seek truth,” as opposed to “seeking justice” first.

To merely ‘seek justice’ means to assume that the facts presented are true, and the DA’s job is to then ‘seek justice’ based on “facts” that may or may not actually be “factual.”

It will be a bit difficult to truly ‘seek justice’ and ‘protect the citizens of Georgia’ if you are discovered to be prosecuting a case based on falsehoods, wouldn’t you think?

Rather than talk in esoteric terms, let’s examine the case you are grappling with: the case of the Canton Police Department vs. Barbara Knowles, Kelly Marlow, and Robert Trim.

In deciding whether or not your office is qualified to be the entity to fairly investigate and discover the truth, you might wish to consider the following three pieces of information to mull over:

1) You are married to Kyle Wallace, General Counsel for the Cherokee County Republican Party (“CCRP”). One of the accused, Barbara Knowles, is the Secretary of the CCRP. Even if you are not a part of the actual investigation and prosecution of the case against Knowles, regardless of the outcome, it will be suspect because of this direct political relationship.

2) The Canton PD investigator for this case, Rodney Campbell, has a documented history of not playing according to accepted police procedures. He was cited back in 2008 for conduct unbecoming an officer for his role in roughing-up a Shell convenience store owner who was trying to get the videotape he (and other police officers on the scene) demanded the store owner retrieve. You can read about that case here.

Coupled with that Shell convenience store incident is the fact that Campbell’s current partner on the Canton PD, Dan Combs (who, coincidentally enough, was also involved in the roughing-up of the Shell convenience store owner, and is listed on the lawsuit against the City of Canton), just happens to be the ex-husband of Nicole Ebbeskotte, who is currently a candidate for state senate.

Ebbeskotte also just happens to be recently divorced from Robert Trim. According to my sources, Combs and Ebbeskotte have…”rekindled” a relationship of some sort after Trim and Ebbeskottee divorced. Wonder what kind of “ex-wife stuff” Ebbeskotte has whispered in Combs’ ear for him to relay to Campbell about Trim “deserving whatever he gets, how ever he gets it?”

Could the “interpretation” of the “evidence” have gone beyond normal police protocol? Could the evidence itself have been tampered with? You’d be amazed at what goes on in the minds of people who are hell-bent on “payback,” either for themselves, or for people close to them…and, police officers are no different.

And, I will repeat: Rodney Campbell has a documented history of not following the rules.

3) Information from your office about this case is leaking like a sieve to the point where it demonstrates a failure of your personnel to adhere to one of your “Guiding Principles” to “provide ethical, competent and professional service.”

Investigators, prosecutors, and cops who can’t keep their mouths shut about an investigation of a felonious nature of three people that has NOT gone to the grand jury is a demonstration of,at minimum, a massive lack of professionalism among members of this “team concept,” as well as, perhaps, some degree of a lack of ethical behavior within your District Attorney office.

Let me relate to you a little story that may help you extricate yourself from the situation you currently have yourself in, District Attorney Wallace: Several years back, a politico in Cobb County was accused of a felony relating to that part of the voter law where if you sign that you live at “X” address, and you actually don’t live there, or it’s been over 30 days since you lived at “X” address, you have committed a felony under Georgia law.

Open records were filed to obtain copies of the signed certificates from the Board of Elections, copies of the warranty and security deeds of the new owners of the house he claimed he lived in were obtained, and all this clear and convincing evidence was brought to the county DA.

Despite the clear evidence brought, the DA contemplated the fact that the accused politico had been an opponent in the past of someone he supported for a party office, and he was concerned that regardless of the evidence and the law, if the politico was convicted in his circuit (even if he did not actually touch the case itself), he could be accused of playing politics in the issue on appeal, etc.

So, the Cobb County DA went through whatever process it is to notify the Attorney General’s office of the political relationship, and the potential, perceived conflict of interest involved, and requested a DA in another circuit to be the one to investigate.

What happened was that the AG’s office assigned the GBI to do the fact-finding and full investigation, and, upon completion of that investigation, another DA in another circuit was given the responsibility to take the GBI’s report and present the case to the Cobb County grand jury.

The Cobb DA at that time kicked the case to the AG’s office because of an extremely minor political relationship. That Cobb DA was concerned about his reputation on the basis of the tiniest sliver of potential “impropriety.”

Your current matter has a major political relationship, a very intricate personal/police personnel relationship issue, and information leakage from entities on the law enforcement side of this case to “civilians.”

This option to allow the case to be investigated by the GBI and assigned to another DA’s jurisdiction is a legit option for you to choose, DA Wallace. With a GBI investigation into the matter, all potential appearances of personal and political conflicts of interest are completely eliminated.

Because, the GBI simply does not care who is sleeping with whom, who is the partner of whom, who has been politically-disagreeing with whom, who hates whom or who loves whom. All that interpersonal and political crap goes out the door when someone is sitting across the table from an investigator with the GBI.

This would be a smart route for you to choose to take for these cases. It would show you to be a professional, ethically-minded District Attorney.

Or, you can risk them blowing-up in your face if your office continues to investigate them. There’s always that option…

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Today's Deep Thought

If I was the head of a country that lost a war, and I had to sign a peace treaty, just as I was signing, I'd glance over the treaty and then suddenly act surprised. 'Wait a minute! I thought we won!'


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