Scott Henry has been a writer, editor and sometime photographer with Creative Loafing for 10 damn years. He’s covered the Gold Club trial, City Hall,…
Is it fair to judge a judge on the basis of a single court case? Well, when that judge has spent a solid four years making a mess of a case and is scarcely any farther along than when he began, then maybe so. Having worked a court beat for a year or so and covered a number of trials, big and small, in several jurisdictions, I'd have to say Judge Schwall is as lousy a jurist as I've encountered. Whereas most Superior Court judges are, by temperament, dispassionate and methodical, Schwall comes across as impatient and irritable -- frankly, more than a bit of a d-bag. And throughout the whole Peachtree-Pine case, he's been given to snap judgments -- first that PP was the victim of a city-wide conspiracy, then that PP had betrayed his trust by welcoming in those Occupy hippies. And when he does finally make a decision, namely that PP should close because it serves the homeless poorly, his ruling is so flawed that it's quickly rejected by a higher court. After that embarrassment, he wasted another year by appointing a special master in an effort to pass the buck. Now he's issued another kick-the-can ruling that includes no deadlines or eviction dates. Perhaps Schwall should be evicted from the bench.
Those who prefer their feature stories a bit whiter are welcome to travel back a dozen years to read my earlier gay adoption cover story: http://clatl.com/atlanta/austin-has-two-da…
Any talk of clarifying the city ethics code is a smokescreen for the benefit of Archibong's apologists. The rules are very clear and, frankly, pretty intuitive: 1. Officials are not allowed to steer city business to their families and, 2. Officials are required to disclose if a family member is getting paid for work done for the city. The news articles don't explain how Archibong's brother got the work in the first place (although it apparently came through her council office), but Archibong has no credible excuse for not disclosing the $11K in taxpayers funds she authorized to be paid to her brother's company. Here's why Archibong's claim of ignorance doesn't hold water: She's served three terms on the Council; she's seen Council colleagues get caught for similar violations; she herself has been caught for a similar violation involving another family member; and she's a damn lawyer!
Fabulous choice for video, Wyatt. God, I love that movie. Need to dig out the DVD and rewatch.
Great post, Stefan, but I'm surprised by the reaction among some commenters that the RICO charges are somehow prosecutorial overreaching. If the indictment is to be believed — and, sadly, I think it is — then Hall was overseeing one of the largest criminal enterprises in Georgia. Remember, RICO covers "corrupt organizations," which is what the APS allegedly was, with each individual member conspiring to do his or her part: the teachers and test coordinators handing out correct answers or changing the wrong ones; the principals applying pressure on the teachers; the administrators applying pressure on the principals; and Hall, at the top, firing whistle-blowers and educators who wouldn't play ball, rewarding those who did, and attacking anyone on the outside who questioned her incredible claims of testing gains. Recall that Bill Campbell also was prosecuted under RICO for turning City Hall into a pay-for-play cesspool of corruption. The fact that he beat the RICO rap shows that juries don't always follow along in connecting the dots, so Paul Howard has his work cut out for him. He doesn't have a great track record with the biggest cases (Ray Lewis, Brian Nichols), so I hope he does his homework on Hall.
I've met your cat, Gwynedd, and he's a total a-hole! But I must admit he's moderately handsome.
@JC — Yes, that thought had occurred to me, but somehow I'd rather not see those stats for Georgia.
@Cathy — This isn't about a difference of viewpoint. The president's religion isn't a matter of opinion. Instead, it's about ignorance — partly willful, partly the apparent cultural heritage of a particularly backwards part of the country. Oh, and, because the president's a black guy, with a healthy dose of racism mixed in. To me, that qualifies as — and I use the term in its most informal, juvenile sense — retarded.
All Comments »
Atlanta City Guide
Powered by Foundation
Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation