Your story goes to great lengths to imply that Deputy [Sabrina] Callaway is out of compliance with rules and regulations governing her certification. She is not. I have attached a copy of Deputy Callaway's transcript from POST [Peace Officers Standards and Training Council] that shows her in full compliance for the questioned year of 1999. In conversation with Mr. Ryan Powell [of POST], he acknowledges that there is no clear explanation as to why her training hours were not a part of her history when you examined it. Nonetheless, Deputy Callaway has provided proof of her compliance. Mr. Powell's letter, as you quote it, says, "If POST records are correct, Ms. Callaway lost her arrest powers ..."
The truth is that POST records were not correct at the time of your review. They have now been updated. POST staff cannot definitively say that they are not the cause of the problem.
I hope these documents put to rest your concern. In my opinion, you, Deputy Neel Berry and Larry Geisz owe Deputy Callaway an apology for dragging her good name through your particular brand of mud.
-- Jacquelyn H. Barrett, Sheriff, Fulton County
Editor's note: CL's "unfavorable" expose of abuses of power by sheriff's deputies resulted earlier this year in the termination of at least two deputies, the transfer of the department's internal affairs chief and a probe of deputies by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. If such a public service was "half-cocked," we'll try to be half-cocked more often.
As for last week's story on Callaway, CL obtained a copy of her training record -- as well as a letter from POST to the sheriff's department -- indicating Callaway had not received sufficient training. No evidence of further training was raised by the sheriff's representatives at a Nov. 7 hearing on the matter. POST's records on Callaway were updated after the story went to press. They now indicate that she has undergone the proper level of training.
Dem's fightin' words
John Sugg: Typical Democrat. Here I was hoping for an evenhanded analysis of the Democratic Party. Instead I get a one-sided, hate-filled attack by a representative of an irrelevant party ("Democrats: the new third party," Nov. 13).
What's so shocking is that you're the editor. How can an editor of a respected periodical be so one-sided? Is this some type of sensationalist strategy designed to pump up readership? Your ridiculous ramblings about Bush being the cause of the recession, the rescinding of Roe v. Wade and Democrats' desire to return wealth to the middle class (when they really want to overturn the tax cut) is laughable. Of course, I recognize it for what it is: a fear-based, incoherent diatribe by a soundly defeated Democrat. Normally, I would find it interesting. Now it's just pathetic.
The only thing you got right is that the Democrats are going down the drain. Hopefully, they will take you with them. Maybe then we can get some expert political analysis.
-- Jeff Roberts, Atlanta
Editor's note: John Sugg is actually CL's senior editor.
Man of the people?
The Georgians who voted for Saxby Chambliss should be ashamed of themselves. Max Cleland literally gave his body to defend this country. Chambliss avoided military service, citing "bad knees." But he is healthy enough to hunt and fish. He's just not healthy enough or brave enough to serve in the military. But he is brave enough to send others to fight for him.
The Georgians who voted for Chambliss have made it clear. It is OK to avoid service to your country; we will vote for you anyway. It is OK to not stand up and protect your country; we will vote for you anyway. And Max, the hero, well that is too bad.
Chambliss has shown us what to expect in the coming years from his recent actions with regard to the owners of the quail-hunting estates in South Georgia. These owners broke the law by placing poisoned eggs on their estates in an effort to kill quail predators.
All of the owners are either very wealthy or well connected -- or both. According to news sources, Chambliss intervened with the Department of Natural Resources at the owners' request. Amazingly, the investigations and prosecutions were stopped, nominal fines of $500 to $5,500 were imposed, and the cases were dropped. So much for equal justice for all.
The Georgians that voted for this reprehensible politician got exactly what they deserve.
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