After Court was called to order, the following persons were selected as Grand Jurors for the June Term, 2012: Gary S. Beisser, Foreperson; Thomas Joshua Townsend, Joyce S. Puckett, Donald Allen Holsomback, Nathan Allen Holsomback, Nathan Tyrone Serritt, Justin M. Carnes, Bobby R. Carter, JR., David A. Gomez, Richard Dwayne Spiva, Pam B. Stokes, Angie R. Vandyke Childers, and Iva Lanelle Haynes.
The following persons were elected to serve as officers for this Grand Jury: Gary S. Beisser, Foreperson; Bobby R. Carter, Jr. Vice Foreperson; Joyce S. Puckett, Clerk; Donald Allen Holsomback, Doorperson; and Cliff Roberts, Bailiff.
Judge David K. Smith charged and instructed the Grand Jury, which followed T. Joseph Campbell, District Attorney, administering the statutory oath to both the Foreperson and then to all other members of this Grand Jury, as well, as the required oaths to this grand jury’s bailiff, and some of the traverse jury bailiffs for this term of court.
We thank T. Joseph Campbell, District Attorney, and his Assistant District Attorneys for their legal opinions and the whole staff for the assistance in the proceedings as to criminal cases presented to this Grand Jury.
Also, we commend our law enforcement personnel for the excellent job they do and also commend the officers who appeared before this body from all the different local agencies for their efficiency, appearance and professionalism.
We also thank and appreciate the District Attorney’s Office for presenting the “Crystal Death” video concerning the methamphetamine problem and found it very informative.
Finally, we thank our Bailiff, Mr. Cliff Roberts for his service and courtesy to this body. We recommend that Mr. Roberts be paid an additional day’s pay for his performance and all extra duties and services that he provided this body.
We express our appreciation to Hon. Brian Brannon, Clerk of Court for providing sausage and biscuits and orange juice on Thursday.
District Attorney’s office
We have examined all criminal cases presented by the District Attorney’s Office and reported 87 True Bills and 14 No Bills.
Further, this Grand Jury has been advised by the Office of the District Attorney of this Circuit, that simultaneously, with the return of the above referenced indictments said office has preferred and had filed a total of 60 accusations of which four are felonies with the remainder being misdemeanors, which are preferred and filed in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 17-7-70.1(a).
In accordance with our statutory duties (O.C.G.A. § 36-1-7) on the first day of this term, this body received the written financial reports of the following county officials with a majority also voluntarily appeared and reviewed each report: Hon. Mitch Ralston, Sheriff of Gordon County along with Chief Deputy Robert L. Paris; Hon. Scott Clements, Tax Commissioner; Hon. John R. (Richie) Parker, Judge of Probate Court; Hon. Brian Brannon, Clerk of Court; and Hon. Judy Bailey, Chairman Gordon County Board of Commissioners.
All financial reports have been examined and all are accepted as submitted. Additionally, the other reports required by law, were submitted by the Sheriff and County Administrator. We appreciate and thank these officials for the job each is doing.
Gordon County Tax Commissioners Office
The Tax Execution Docket committee consisting of Joyce Puckett, Gary Beisser, Gentery Sebastian and Jason R. Richardson inspected our tax commissioner’s Execution Docket and issued the following report: While the Tax Execution Docket indicated that there are tax bills owed from the years 1990 through 2010, Tax Commissioner Clements was optimistic about his office’s progress and future plans for collecting past due taxes.
He indicated that some of the property owners had filed bankruptcy and some had made a payment plan to bring amounts owed up to date.
He stated that second tax notices had been mailed for taxes unpaid for 2011. 97.5% per cent of 2008 taxes have been collected, 96.34% per cent of 2009 taxes have been collected, 95.09% per cent of 2010 have been collected, and 91.73% of 2011 have been collected.
Further, there are appeals are still being processed from 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2011 his office collected $54,106.90 in interest owed and $20,716.24 in penalties.
Gordon County Jail
In accordance with O.C.G.A. § 15-12-71(b)(1), this Grand Jury was designated as the one to conduct the annual inspection of the conditions and operations of the Gordon County Jail. We conducted this inspection as a committee of the whole.
Our report is as follows: We found the facility to be in excellent condition, staffed and run professionally and we observed that all the prisoners are appropriately maintained. Additionally, we thank Sheriff Mitch Ralston and his officers and staff for the tour of the new jail and offices and also for the Sheriff’s Auxiliary in providing a lunch following the tour.
The Grand Jury specifically thanks Sheriff Mitch Ralston and his department for their work to be good stewards of the tax payer’s money. The sheriff is operating the jail and the department in a fiscally conservative manner.
We authorize our Foreperson to call this Grand Jury back into session any time during our appointed term, if he warrants it to be necessary.
We recommend these presentments be spread upon the minutes of the Court and be published in the legal organ of Gordon County. This 7th day June, 2012.