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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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RICO Violations by Corrupt Georgia Government Enterprises

by Bill Simon

Prelude

Over in DeKalb County, in the indictment process of former county CEO Burrell Ellis, some intriguing developments have made their way to the public eye via this article.

What is of significance to this post is the following statement made by Don Geary, DeKalb County’s former chief assistant district attorney, in response to the question to him while he was on the witness stand of why he resigned from the DeKalb DA’s office: “Because I didn’t want to be arrested.”

I know nothing about Mr. Geary…but, I conclude from a statement like this that he felt something was very wrong and illegal about the investigation by the DeKalb DA’s office into Burrell Ellis…enough to actually have the courage to resign. It is too bad that this state does not have enough public servants like Mr. Geary working at all levels of government in this state.

Instead, what we have is a bunch of “go alongs to get alongs” in public service. Whether in the state legislature, state government, county government, city government, higher (sic) education, or, as this story will be mostly focused on, the Georgia State Attorney General’s office…what we have are a majority of people who don’t give a rat’s ass about right and wrong, illegal or legal. All this majority cares about is their own self-promotion and their own self-interests.

Introduction

OCGA Section 16-4-2 specifies why the Georgia General Assembly is so concerned with “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations” (“RICO”) as follows:

“a) The General Assembly finds that a severe problem is posed in this state by the increasing sophistication of various criminal elements and the increasing extent to which the state and its citizens are harmed as a result of the activities of these elements.

(b) The General Assembly declares that the intent of this chapter is to impose sanctions against those who violate this chapter and to provide compensation to persons injured or aggrieved by such violations. It is not the intent of the General Assembly that isolated incidents of misdemeanor conduct or acts of civil disobedience be prosecuted under this chapter. It is the intent of the General Assembly, however, that this chapter apply to an interrelated pattern of criminal activity motivated by or the effect of which is pecuniary gain or economic or physical threat or injury. This chapter shall be liberally construed to effectuate the remedial purposes embodied in its operative provisions.”

You should pay particular attention to the concept of “Corrupt Organizations”…a “corrupt organization” does not exclusively mean a “business enterprise” of people engaged in drug distribution, human trafficking, car theft, or whatever. A “corrupt organization” could, conceivably, entail an organization of a government department, or individuals who are employed in one government organization who are engaged in violations of the law.

OCGA 16-14-3 has a lengthy list of definitions and specified acts that the General Assembly has determined to be illegal under RICO. A couple of definitions are in order to ensure that the readers of this article understand that I’m not discussing what my opinion is…but what the law states:

OCGA 16-14-3(6-7): (6) “Enterprise” means any person, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business trust, union chartered under the laws of this state, or other legal entity; or any unchartered union, association, or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity; and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental as well as other entities.

(7) “Investigative agency” means the Department of Law or the office of any district attorney.

For clarification to some of the readers, the “Department of Law” is the State Attorney General’s Office (“SAG”). So, what happens when the SAG itself is engaging in corrupt RICO acts? Well…it says right there in state law that it is the “office of any district attorney” that is the entity designated to investigate.


Let’s continue to OCGA 16-14-3(9)(A): “Racketeering activity” means to commit, to attempt to commit, or to solicit, coerce, or intimidate another person to commit any crime which is chargeable by indictment under the following laws of this state:

….(ix) Article 1 of Chapter 8 of this title, relating to theft;
….(xv) Article 4 of Chapter 10 of this title and Code Sections 16-10-20, 16-10-20.1, 16-10-23, and 16-10-91, relating to perjury and other falsifications;

Of key import to this discussion of racketeering activity by individuals in government enterprises is the definition of one of these aforementioned code sections:

OCGA 16-10-20. False statements and writings, concealment of facts, and fraudulent documents in matters within jurisdiction of state or political subdivisions: “A person who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government or of the government of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.”

This PV post will assert and prove the following: That the Georgia State Attorney General’s Office (both the AG himself and his employees) have deliberately engaged in multiple violations of OCGA 16-10-20 in order to cover-up theft from the state treasury by personnel at Macon State College.

Aside from this RICO-related section of the code, there is also another applicable section with regards to the actions by the AG’s office:

OCGA 16-10-8. False official certificates or writings by officers or employees of state and political subdivisions: An officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof or other person authorized by law to make or give a certificate or other writing who knowingly makes and delivers such a certificate or writing containing any statement which he knows to be false shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

Macon State College

Last November, CBS Atlanta’s Jeff Chirico broadcast a story about a woman named Denise Caldon, and her experience in getting fired by Macon State College after she reached a point in which she refused to continue to falsify Leave Reports at the direction of her boss, then-college president David Bell.

This is that news broadcast: Whistle Blower

A “Leave Report” is how state employees with the University System of Georgia document their sick days and their vacation days (it may also be a similarly named document in other state departments and agencies; I’m not sure).

A Leave Report helps document the true time that someone has actually been employed in the University System of Georgia, and computes the amount of money the state pays people who retire from the University System of Georgia.

So…if someone (like Macon State College President David Bell) takes a bunch of sick days/sick time off every year due to…say…a mental illness, but, he does not document those days correctly on his Leave Reports…then the state computes an erroneous dollar amount in which to pay him in his retirement years.

That “erroneous dollar amount” is a LOT MORE MONEY than he deserves to receive had he correctly accounted for the time away from the office in which he was visiting multiple doctors to help him with his deteriorating mental condition.

Denise Caldon worked for David Bell and, at his direction (and, under duress as his employee), falsified Bell’s Leave Reports for a number of years…until she reached a point in which she decided she no longer could. Nine days after she stopped covering David Bell’s ass, she was fired.

Here is a link to some of the documentation Caldon has with regards to missed days and times in which Bell’s Leave Reports did not account for his time away from the office on sick leave.

So…when someone’s leave attendance is falsified at his own direction…and he receives thousands of dollars more in his retirement than he actually earned…that seems to me to be a case of theft by the former Macon State College President. Theft by Deception or Theft by Conversion, it is still theft from the state treasury.

The firing of Caldon by Macon State College set-off a whirlwind of legal activities, not the least of which was a Whistleblower lawsuit filed against the Board of Regents. She lost because, apparently, it is more important to the State of Georgia to cover-up illegal activities by personnel with the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia than it is to investigate criminal theft of state treasury funds.

THAT and to ensure (I suspect) that no one ever finds out to the extent other personnel in other colleges in the USG and/or the Board of Regents, are all engaged in the very same series of dishonest acts of falsifying their own leave reports/expense reports, etc. to steal money from the state employee retirement system.

Violations of OCGA 16-10-20 and OCGA 16-10-8 by the State Attorney General’s Office

Whether or not you believe all I have previously asserted to be true or not with regard to the Leave Reports, it does not matter when it comes to specific, illegal acts perpetrated by lawyers with the State Attorney General’s Office. I could completely omit the discussion about Denise Caldon, the leave reports of David Bell, and all that…and still directly assert what I will now assert about the AG’s office, and their conspiracy to plan and engage in acts of racketeering.

Though Denise Caldon lost her case in front of Fulton Superior Court Judge Doris Downs, through her process of discovery, she collected quite a bit of evidence via depositions. The depositions were from various personnel with Macon State College, the Board of Regents, Denise Caldon herself, David Bell himself, etc.

All these depositions were from people unconnected to any doctor that David Bell visited while being on unreported sick leave.

In 2010, this case was decided against Caldon in summary judgement. In that proceeding, whoever the attorney(s) with the AG’s office were, they made an oral argument to the judge to have ALL the depositions sealed with a protective order due to…”HIPPA Law.”

The attorneys for the AG’s office, at that time, in 2010, worked for then-Attorney General Thurbert Baker. I will tell you this right now, without actually seeing a transcript of the oral arguments to seal the evidence: Those attorneys lied to the Court if they claimed the deposition and related evidence should be sealed due to “federal HIPPA law.”

Fortunately for the citizens of the State of Georgia, when AG Sam Olens took over the office in January 2011, he (and his fellow attorneys in the AG’s office) proceeded to document for us, over several times, their multiple,and deliberate, violations of OCGA 16-10-20, the False statements and writings statute, and OCGA 16-10-8.

The “HIPPA law” claim was used as a feint to ensure that the depositions (like Denise Caldon’s deposition, or like Regent Doreen Stiles Poitevint’s deposition) were sealed to hide evidence of the Leave Report falsifying because several of the depositions contained eyewitness observations of the behavior and mental state of Macon State College President David Bell. All of these observations were on a non-physician, non-medical basis, non-HIPPA-protected basis.

After the judge sealed the depositions, there were 4 attempts (4 written motions) by Denise Caldon to unseal those depositions. I came in on the scene to help Denise for the 3rd Motion to Lift Protective Orders.

In order to understand the validity of my accusations against AG Sam Olens and his office, I am going to fast-forward to this 3rd Motion for a moment. I researched the federal HIPPA law, as well as federal district cases in which HIPPA law was involved, and this motion demolishes any claim the AG’s office/State wants to claim about HIPPA law and deposition evidence.

HIPPA Law Discussion

This 3rd Motion was filed back in May 2012…and, it cites the applicable law, the applicable interpretation of the HIPPA law, and proves that the State is in the wrong to cite “HIPPA” to cover-up and seal all the depositions that point to a massive conspiracy of criminal wrongdoing by Macon State College personnel, the Board of Regents, personnel with the Board of Regents, and…of course, the State Attorney General’s office and their personnel: Plaintiff Denise Caldon’s 3rd Motion

The crucial point about HIPPA is that unless you are a “Covered Entity” (a legal term defined in the federal law), you are not bound to seal ANY documents.

The only “Covered Entity” in this whole case is the University System of Georgia…and, as Sam Olens himself (last paragraph on Page 2 of this document) states in his first foray into writing responses to Caldon’s motions: “…Although Plaintiff unsuccessfully sought Dr. Bell’s medical records…”, Olens admits that David Bell’s HIPPA-related medical records, as covered under HIPPA, are all still sealed because she “unsuccessfully” sought the records. She sought the records, but was not granted the HIPPA-protected records.

Therefore, none of the records in evidence that are sealed by Judge Doris Downs are “HIPPA-protected medical records.” Every time Olens and his fellow attorneys in the Department of Law assert that, they are lying in written documents, in violation of both OCGA statutes, as well as violating State Bar Rules.

All the State AG’s other arguments with regard to any information contained in ANY of those depositions from Denise Caldon’s case are not “Covered Entities.”

Therefore, the Georgia AG’s office is engaging in making written false statements every single time they claim “medical records” or “HIPPA law” to continue to seal depositions and affidavits that would expose a lot of people to a lot of wrongdoing against state law.

Those depositions are evidence of a conspiracy by several people at Macon State College to cover-up the extensive cheating by former MSC President David Bell of his Leave Reports (including David Bell himself), along with personnel like Vice-Chancellor of Legal Affairs J. Burns Newsome at the Board of Regents, and whoever else may be involved.

And, thus, in the AG’s office, when you have AG Olens himself, along with multiple other lawyers in that State Office signing the responses to Denise Caldon’s motions to lift protective orders, claiming this bullshit about “HIPPA-protected medical records,” the citizens of Georgia have State Attorneys deliberately committing multiple acts of felonies to cover-up a conspiracy to cover-up theft by University System of Georgia personnel.

[Gee...I dunno...is that racketeering or not? And, whether or not it is, violations of OCGA 16-10-8 should be applicable when it comes to "An officer or employee of the state" knowingly issuing a false statement or certificate.]

The AG’s Written Responses in Opposition To Unseal Records

Here are each of the AG’s office written (and signed) responses to each of Denise Caldon’s motions to lift protective orders, along with the names and Georgia State Bar License#s of the attorneys engaged in making written false statements:

AG’s Response to Caldon’s First Motion

Attorneys of Record for False Statements in Response to 1st Motion:

Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General (Bar License# 551540)
Dennis R. Dunn, Deputy Attorney General (Bar License# 234098)
Annette M. Cowart, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 191199)
Kathleen T. Gosden, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 712705)
Laura W. McDonald, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 681655)

AG’s Response to Caldon’s 2nd Motion

Attorneys of Record for False Statements in Response to 2nd Motion:

Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General (Bar License# 551540)
Dennis R. Dunn, Deputy Attorney General (Bar License# 234098)
Annette M. Cowart, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 191199)
Christopher A. McGraw, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 493177)

AG’s Response to Caldon’s Third Motion

Attorneys of Record for Statements AG’s Response to 3rd Motion:

Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General (Bar License# 551540)
Dennis R. Dunn, Deputy Attorney General (Bar License# 234098)
Annette M. Cowart, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 191199)

NOTE on AG’s Response to the 3rd Motion: See where the AG’s office held back and did not state a “HIPPA” defense here? And, I do not accuse them of making false statements in this Response. But, as you will see in their Response to the 4th Motion, they reverted right back to making false statements in writing about HIPPA.

AG’s Response to Caldon’s 4th Motion to Unseal Records

Attorneys of Record for False Statements in Response to 4th Motion:

Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General (Bar License# 551540)
Dennis R. Dunn, Deputy Attorney General (Bar License# 234098)
Annette M. Cowart, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Bar License# 191199)

Had AG Olens, DAG Dennis Dunn, & SAAG Cowart NOT repeated the HIPPA-defense in their Response to Caldon’s 4th Motion to unseal records, they might have had an “out” to any accusation of “knowingly making a false statement.”

But…they knew after the 3rd Motion was filed, that detailed what the HIPPA law was ALL about, exactly what they were doing in the 4th Motion…and they knowingly AND willingly, chose to make the false statement that the depositions had to remain sealed due to “HIPPA.” One can only assume from their continued flagrant disregard of the facts that they also knowingly made false statements in the State’s Responses to Caldon’s 1st and 2nd Motions to unseal depositions that should have NEVER been sealed.

Amicus Brief

Along with helping Denise Caldon research and write her 3rd Motion last year, I also wrote an Amicus Brief that detailed allegations against J. Burns Newsome of multiple instances of making false statements in violation of OCGA 16-10-8 & OCGA 16-10-20. This brief was submitted to the Court at the same time as the 3rd Motion.

Was it read and was action taken on it? Nahhh…’cause, the Fulton County Superior Court, and judges like Doris Downs, are all about protecting THE STATE, and all employees thereof, from facing any consequences of their possible wrongdoing.

Here is that Amicus Brief that was filed in May 2012 (Denise has the original stamped, “RECEIVED” copy)

Here are the Exhibits that back-up that Brief

The GBI

For several of the past weeks, Denise Caldon has been searching for a way to get someone’s notice to investigate this matter with Macon State College, the Board of Regents, and the AG’s office.

On January 8, 2013, Denise received an email from GBI agent J.T. Ricketson in response to her inquiry through an intermediary as to whether the GBI would be willing to open an investigation into these matters concerning the AG and the Board of Regents. This is Ricketson’s abbreviated response:

Denise,
…Although I appreciate that you have legitimate issues that need looking in to, by Georgia law the GBI cannot be requested to investigate a criminal matter by an individual citizen. Basically, the GBI must be requested by a Sheriff, a Police Chief, a District Attorney, a Superior Court Judge, a Mayor (city population over 100,000), the Attorney General, or the Governor.

Fulton County District Attorney

So…what happens if it is the Attorney General’s office who needs to be investigated? Well…as I excerpted the RICO law at the very beginning of this discussion, a District Attorney would have jurisdiction over this matter. In this case, at least for the AG’s office, the D.A. of jurisdiction would be Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard’s office.

Now, Fulton County has a specified Public Integrity Division. As I read their description in this link, it states as follows: “The Public Integrity Unit is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of cases involving public officials, corruption in County or City government, and law enforcement officers.”

Will the Public Integrity Division of Paul Howard’s office have the guts to investigate the Attorney General’s Office, or, will their attorneys seek to look the other way and cover-up the crap that the AG’s office has been engaged in? We shall soon see…

Ultimately though, it will be up to the Georgia General Assembly to initiate, under the Georgia Constitution, impeachment proceedings to get Olens out of office, which is why this piece has been laid-out in excruciating detail with applicable OCGA legal cites and documents. The Legislature is given a detailed road-map on the law, the allegations, and the evidence. They do not have to wait for the Fulton County DA’s office before they take action.

2 Responses to “RICO Violations by Corrupt Georgia Government Enterprises”

  1. clint smith Says:

    Bill,
    Good job. Thanks for remaining vigilant in uncovering corruption. You are in my prayers. I am working on confronting corruption in Dawson County. I will brief you in the future.
    Clint Smith
    Former State Representative
    Former Chairman, Dawson County Republican Party

  2. Jerry Wyatt Says:

    Bill,
    I continue to be impressed with your efforts in keeping the people of Georgia informed. I commend your bravery, and what I believe to be your honest attempt in exposing wrong in our government and by our elected officials.

    Please never give up for if you do who shall we turn to.

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