The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on November 20, 1980 · 50
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 50

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 20, 1980
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2-C.. THE ATLANTA COMSTITUTION, Thuw., Nov. 20. 1980 , Peek Influenced Selection Of Prosecutor, Court Is Tol4 By Sharon J. Salyer Constitution Stall Writ According to statements made in U.S. District Court Wednesday, DeKalb-Rock-daU District Attorney Randall Peek apparently played a key role in last month's selection of a special prosecutor to prosecute two cases of attempted bribery against him. Outgoing state Rep. Joe Johnston and FBI undercover agent Terry Wayne Bar-dill were indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury In September and charged with attempting to bribe Peek. Because the alleged bribe attempt involved the district attorney, officials decided to appoint a special prosecutor. The appointment of Jack Martin as special prosecutor was formally made by DeKalb-Rockdale Superior Court Judge EX Hendon. At the time of his appointment, is was not clear why Hendon bad selected Martin, an Atlanta attorney who, had never before prosecuted a case. Martin, a Harvard Law School graduate, previously worked as a deputy director of the federal defender program. However, Martin told U.S. Magistrate Joel Feldman Wednesday morning that witch Fulton Makes S On Affirmative Action By George Rodrigae Constitution Staff Writ By a 4-3 majority, the Fulton County Commission approved a controversial affirmative-action resolution Wednesday that supporters said was necessary, opponents said was dangerous, and the county attorney belatedly said was ille-' gaL The resolution stipulates that the county's affirmative-action officer should be appointed by and responsible to the commissioners instead of County Manager Sam Brownlee, who oversees all other county department heads except for the county attorney and commission clerk. That would place Affirmative Action Director Clarence Reid in the same position as County Attorney Robert G. Young and County Commission Clerk Albert Johnson. State law specifically says people in those two positions work directly for the commission, not for the county manager. Supporting the measure were Commissioners A. Reginald Eaves, Michael Lomax, Lee J. Roach and Chuck Williams. They said Reid needs the strength and prestige of the commission behind him if be is to bring about any fundamental changes in Fulton's way of doing business. Fulton's upper-level work force is almost entirely white. Williams noted that affirmative-action directors in other large agencies, including MARTA, are responsible directly to their boards of directors. ' Opposing the resolution were Commission Chairman Milton G. Farris and Commissioners Bruce Bannister and Tom Lowe. Lowe was the most vociferous critic . of the change, arguing that it undercut Brownlee's authority, that it was bad management to have an employee saddled with seven bosses, and that the firoblems cited by Eaves and his col-eagues could be solved without "destroying the county manager form of government as we know it" . Other commissioners opined that by taking affirmative action from under Brownlee's wing the board was inviting employees to ignore his authority and come straight to the commission. Alleged attempted "power grabs'! by the commissioners have drawn fire for years from Farris and Lowe. Eaves attempted last year to gain passage of a similar resolution, but Lomax said be was not convinced the county needed such a change at the time. On Wednesday, Lomax said events especially stubborn and rude department heads ' had since convinced him. , Before the resolution passed,' Young warned that it did not comply with state laws which say the county manager has the power to appoint and fire all county employees. Admitting that he was "rusty" on the law in question, Young said he would try to reword the resolution to keep it both legal and in the spirit the commissioners intended. After further research, however, Young told a reporter that state law makes the county manager the "appointing authority" for all county employees. That, he added, means the commissioners cannot tread on Brownlee's right to hire and fire employees though the commissioners could fire Brownlee if his performance displeased them. Eaves noted that one of Young's assistants drafted the original resolution for him. He said state law, under Young's interpretation, would prevent any rewording of his resolution that would keep it in the proper spirit ' , In other action, the board: Asked state legislators to approve a call for a countywide referendum in hopes that the voters would choose to have the county school board members elected, rather than appointed by the county grand jury. Requested that an Emergency Medical Services study committee investigate bow the county fire department could best be equipped and funded for "first responder" rescue calls In emergency cases. The term "first responder" applies to persons answering EMS calls before ambulance crews. Geared up a longstanding series of arguments about property rights at the county airport by approving a new lease arrangement Tax Reform Panel Is Cool To Busbee's Revision Plan Busbee Asks Statewide Public TV By Fru Hester Comlltmion Staff Wrttor GAINESVILLE - Gov. George Bus-bee said Wednesday he will recommend that the 1981 General Assembly create a new Georgia Public Telecommunication Commission to oversee and coordinate public television stations across the state. , ... ; Adhering to advice contained In the final report of the 15-member Public Telecommunications Task Force created by the 1980 General Assembly, the governor called for the state to negotiate . with the Atlanta Board of Education to include its educational television station, WETV, in 1 new statewide system. Busbee made his recommendations at Gainesville's new Georgia Mountain Center during his 14th stop on a tour of the state with Georgia 1st District Congressman Bo Ginn. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce sponsors the pre-legislative forums. The governor said advances in telecommunications technology, such as the use of coaxial cable and satellites for transmission and use of low-cost videotape recorder!, have made it possible for public television stations to offer far-reaching services to the public. For instance, Busbee said, South Carolina enables viewers to earn credit for more than 70 college-level courses taught over closed-circuit television. South Carolina also broadcasts training programs to hospital staffs and physicians around the state. The South Carolina system is a statewide network. In Georgia, public and educational television stations are run by three different agencies the state Board of Regents, which operates WGTV, Channel I, covering an area from Athens to Atlanta; the Atlanta Board of Education, which operates WETV, Channel 10 in the Atlanta area; and the state Board of Education, which is the license holder for an eight-station network serving the rest of the state with the exception of the far northeast and southeast corners. - Busbee said the "fragmentation of public television ownership has created duplications In program service areas and duplication of equipment and studios, personnel and facilities." By V AimcWM Prm Gov. George Busbee sent his (231 million income tax revision plan to the state Tax Reform Commission on Wednesday but drew a less-than-enthusiastlc response for the proposal The tax advisory panel had no objection to revising income tax laws, but . several members of the commission indicated they Remain committed to a separate proposal they advanced last year against the governor's wishes. . Busbee's plan, outlined in detail to the . tax panel by his budget officer and economic forecaster, calls for increased exemptions, allowances and deductions for taxpayers over a three-year period. Among other things, the governor's plan increases personal exemptions for married couples or heads of households from 13,000 to $4,000, and raises exemptions for dependents from $700 to $1,100. ' The commission's plan, passed by the Georgia House last year out stalled in the Senate at Busbee's request, called for widening the state's tax brackets so that' the maximum tax of 6 percent applied , only to net taxable Incomes of more than $18,000. The maximum now kicks in at $10,000. Busbee warned that the economic consequences of that plan were unknown. He said It needed more time for study. Clark Stevens, director of the Office of Planning and Budget told members of the commission that Busbee's plan is tilted toward low- and middle-income taxpayers, while the commission's plan gives the most tax relief to those in the highest tax brackets. The commission took no Immediate action on either plan, but individual members made it clear they favor their own tax-reduction proposal. "It doesn't make sense to continue a bracket system that's been in effect for . II yearv said Rep. Al Burruss, D-Mari-etta, the newly elected House majority whip. Peek had "suggested" his appointment , . Feldman scheduled evidentiary hearings next week to decide several issues in the Johnston-Bardill case, including the reasons why Martin was appointed special prosecutor. ' The question of why Martin was appointed was raised by Bardill's attorney, Guy Davis. Davis has filed a motion requesting that Martin be disqualified from acting as special prosecutor, and is requesting the state attorney general's office be brought in to assist in the prosecution of Bardill and Johnston. Davis' motion states that Martin should be disqualified as special prosecutor because Peek suggested Martin's appointment "perpetuating a conflict of interest (in the case)." In explaining his motion, Davis said during Wednesday's pre-trial conference, "Mr. Peek named his successor. . . Because of the association between Mr. Peek selecting Mr. Martin, It differs little from Mr. Peek being involved in the case himself ." Asked to respond to the request for his office to become involved in the prosecution of the case, Robert Stubbs of the attorney general's office said, "We have not been ordered into the case by the court We do not displace DA's as a matter of course. " Also during Wednesday's courtroom conference, Martin indicated that he would hold off making any decision on whether he would try to have the DeKalb grand jury re-indict the Johnston-Bardill case. . Martin had earlier argued that if a special prosecuter was needed in the case, then the special prosecutor should also make the indictments. The evidence which led to the September indictment of Johnston and Bardill was taken to the ' 1 At i-;43 ; . Y; ""t ill - :- -ffiiii to -vtt- a Four students from The Levett School of Atlanta (left to right), Merrill Earnest, Shannon Reese, Clare Hall and David Williams, peer through the flap of a tepee pitched in- 6 Fla. Men Arrested In Drug 'Sting' Operation . SAVANNAH (AP) - Federal authorities say a "sting" operation in which an undercover agent offered to sell 450,-000 tablets of the illegal drug methaqualone led. to the arrest of six Florida men on drug conspiracy charges. Gordon Rayner, special agent in charge of the US. Drug Enforcement Administration's Savannah office, said , the arrests Wednesday climaxed a three-month investigation." -. . ' Charged with conspiracy to distribute methaqualone were Robert J. Tedder, 28, and Robert L Lippner, 29, both of Fort Pierce, Fla; James E. Polk, 43, of Belle Glade, Fla; and Leonard Dewitt Mills, 43, James "Buddy" Williams, 41, and Clarnie Randolph Williams, 19, all of Barberville, Fla, Raynorsaid. , All six men were held in the Chatham County jail overnight with a bond bearing scheduled Thursday before US. Magistrate Spence Grayson. ' . Atlantan Convicted In Delta Hijack GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - An Atlanta man was found guilty here Wednesday of hijacking a Delta Air Lines jet to Cuba earlier this year, but sentencing was delayed untllDecll. . - , A US. Middle District Court jury deliberated about 30 minutes before finding 30-year-old Samnel Ingram Jr. guilty as charged. Ingram's sentence could range from a minimum . of 20 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison. The airliner was traveling from Atlanta to New York when it was hijacked over Greensboro the night of Jan. 23. The pilot, Capt Donald Vickers, and crew were threatened with a handgun smuggled aboard in a child's clothing. .- Man Sues Atlanta Over School Sale An Atlanta businessman filed suit against the city of Atlanta Wednesday, charging that the sale of an empty school building to the Center for Puppetry Arts is in violation of state bidding laws. Fulton County Superior Court granted a temporary injunction against finalization of the sale. E. Paul Rogers of Atlanta is asking Fulton Superior Court to prevent the dty and the Atlanta Board of Education from selling the surplus school building at 1404 Spring Street to the Center for Puppetry Arts for $500,000 a price negotiated by the board and tbe center last summer. According to court records, Rogers states that be offered to purchase the building for $560,000, and a third prospective purchaser, Simon Selk offered to buy it for $530,000. -Linda Field side Georgia's Capitol Wednesday. The Indian tepee was part of a display for Georgia Indian Week. (Staff Photo Lanna Swindler) - r Two Atlanta Police Officers Suspended Two Atlanta police officers nave been suspended without pay in connection with a burglary last week at Brown High School, authorities said Wednesday. Authorities 'refuse to comment on whether the pair, Lt J.W. Doherty and officer D.C Cole, are suspects in the case. They were suspended last Friday pending an Investigation of their "failing to properly safeguard items in a burglary," according to Atlanta Police Chief George Napper. Brown High Principal William Cleveland said an undetermined amount of "meat and meatstuffs" was taken from the school on Nov. 11 after 11:30 pjn, when the janitorial crew left the building. Power Outage Blacks Out 10,000 Approximately 10,000 residential and commercial customers of the Georgia Power Co. In DeKalb and Gwinnett counties temporarily lost electricity Wednesday evening due to equipment failure in a substation, a spokeswoman for the utility said Equipment designed to prevent harm from lightning failed at the Scottdale Boulevard substation in De-' Kalb, even though no lightning struck, said Kathy Harber of Georgia Power. Service on a 113,000-volt transmission line was interrupted at 6:50 p.m. . Dewald Offered Post As Maloof Aide Gretta Dewald, who now heads the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee, has been offered the position of executive assistant to incoming DeKalb County Commission Chairman Manuel Maloof. Mrs. Dewald, who confirmed Maloof s offer' Wednesday, said she will accept the job if ber appointment is approved by tbe County Commission. Her appointment must be submitted to the commission in January, when. Maloofs term begins, and OK'd by at least four of the seven commissioners. Maloof was out of town Wednesday and could not be reached for comment -Sharon Salyer .4 Attorneys Bill DeKalb County A team of four attorneys has submitted a "compromise" bill of $133,000 to DeKalb County government to cover their fees and expenses for representing black lawmen In lawsuits charging that DeKalb's police and sheriffs departments discriminated racially in hiring and promotions. The suits were settled in August and the settlements call in part for tbe county to pay the fees and expenses of tbe attorneys representing the officers who filed tbe actions. Tbe question of just how much the attorneys will receive will ultimately be decided by a US. District Court judge who will hear the matter next Wednesday. -Sharon Salyer foyth Chang i - grand jury by one of Peek's assistant prosecutors. On Oct 16, Martin also raised the question of whether FBI agent Robert Balcom and GBI agent Bert Davis, who supervised Bardill's activities, might also ; be Indicted. Bardill was working as an undercover agent for the law enforcement agencies at the time of the alleged bribe attempt of Peek. Johnston and Bardill were indicted on charges of trying to pay Peek $1,000 to dispose of a burglary case. The FBI and GBI had been investigating Peek for alleged misconduct in office since January. ress Seeks Some ;es In Voting Laws By William CottereU UnIM Prtu InttrnttiontI Secretary of State David Poythress, smarting from the legal fight over John Anderson's spot on the Georgia ballot Wednesday recommended a 30-day extension of the time allowed for certifying the petitions of independent presidential candidates. Poythress also told legislative panels from the state House and Senate he would like to see some tightening of restrictions on campaigning near tbe polls and handling of absentee ballots. He said the Nov. 4 elections underscored a need for clarifying identification procedures in voter registration and assisting illiterate or handicapped voters, "Timing becomes very Important with a person filing by petition, like Congressman Anderson," said Poythress. "I'd like to move up the deadline 30 days, from the second Wednesday in July to the second Wednesday in June." He emphasized that non-party presidential candidates would still have the same 180 days to collect petition signatures equal to 2.5 percent of the voters registered in the previous presidential election- Poythress said almost all the stricken' names were those of persons not registered to vote. Anderson's supporters filed suit lost in the Georgia Supreme Court, but won an order from US. District Judge Newell Edenfield forcing placement of Anderson's name on the ballot Poythress appealed the ruling on technical grounds but due to the deadline for printing and distributing the ballot included Anderson's name. He also put Libertarian Party nominee Ed Clark on the ballot saying Clark supporters had met the petition requirement School Bus Drivers May Stage Strike By Linda Field and Tyrone D. Terry Contntuilon Staff Wrltart A "minority" of Atlanta school bus drivers Wednesday threatened to go on strike Thursday morning, according to the division manager of the bus service. However, National Transportation Service Division Manager Mike Mosley advised Atlanta parents to send their children to the school bus stops Thursday morning despite the possibility that disgruntled new drivers employed by the service might stage a walkout And Atlanta Board of Education Superintendent Alonzo Crira said Wednesday night that if the drivers did strike, a team of 50 or 60 reserve drivers would be called in, and the school system probably would not be affected. . . Mosley said that a few rookie drivers Jtad met Wednesday afternoon and were advocating a strike. He said no formal demands had been presented to him, but that the main issue undoubtedly was money. "We don't know if there will be a strike or not" Mosley sail "We will have to play it by ear. We won't know what will happen until 6 ajn. (Thursday) when the drivers report" Miami Law Center Director Removed From His Post By Tyrone D. Terry ComtitijikM Ml wmw The director of the University of Miami's Law and Economics Center, which is scheduled to transfer operations to Emory University next year, has been removed from his post for reportedly soliciting funds for Emory on University of Miami stationery. Professor Henry Manne was removed as center director by Miami President Henry Kins Stanford last week after a Intercepted before It was mailed. Manne could not be reached for comment Wednesday. An Emory spokesman declined comment on Manne's removal, saying it is a University of Miami matter. Manne is expected to remain at the University of Miami as a law professor until the center moves to Emory. Over one-third of the center's $1.5 million annual budget comes from businesses, with donors including such corporate giants as International Business Ma- tetter soliciting funds for Emory was - chines Corp, Exxon Corp, United States Steel Corp, and foundations representing Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. Tbe University of Miami plans to operate its own Law and Economics Center after Manne leaves. Tbe center sponsors economics seminars for government officials, Judges and law professors, as well as similar sessions on law for economists. Emory officials announced last August that Manne would move the center to .Atlanta by next summer. That decision was' made because center officials felt that Emory would offer them a better opportunity to expand center staff than would be available if they remained at the University of MiamL Faculty members from Emory's schools of law and business are expected to work part time with the center's staff. Students in both schools will be eligible for enrollment In joint law and economics degree programs administered by the center. Editor Raps Methods Used By Press To Cover Presidential Race By Bill Kneger Comtltutio SUM Nwt lonricf ATHENS - Tbe biggest mistake the press made in covering the recent presidential campaign was to "cover it as If it were a horserace" instead of trying to educate the public about the issues, New ' York Tunes Associate Editor Tom ' Wicker said at the University of Georgia Wednesday. "The press spent a great deal of time Eredictlng, poll-taking, pulse-taking, ead-shrinking, soul-searching and omen-watching," Wicker told a crowd of stu- 1 dents and faculty members at tbe second annual Ralph McGlll Lecture sponsored by the university's journalism school i Wicker agreed that most major newspapers did stories on the Issues of the campaign, but questioned whether the majority of the public read them. , "I doubt If many people bothered to read those large blocks of gray copy. I don't think we have tried to educate the public. We need to put forth the same amount of effort on educating the public as we do covering the horserace." The liberal political writer sld that V the "horserace" mentality possibly hurt the candidacy . of Independent John Anderson. "It Is likely the polls ruined whatever chance Anderson ever bad. Without these weekly showings (of Anderson dropping in the polls), Anderson might just might have done better." "The polls told us how we ought to re- (ard Anderson as a minor candidate," esaid. Wicker also criticized the media coverage of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. The press overblew these events became it I was "horses breaking at the polls. Tbe press is making nominees out of early results. Before you say Dr. Gallup, the front runners have been born." Wicker also said the practice of covering the horserace has caused the press to fall to report what is going on behind events. "For Instance, the press reported that Kennedy was virtually unbeatable. They Ignored the fact that he had never run outside of Massachusetts," he said. Wicker was also highly critical of the change that television has brought to presidential politics. "We now have media politics, rather than party politics. The press is an essential Ingredient of politics today. "Tbe kind of media politics we have today is the result of television, the national nervous system. In politics today, if it does not happen on television, it is a pseudo-event Everything politicians do today is centered around television," Wicker said. Wicker suggested having .the polls open for 24 hours prior to a national closing hour as a way to prevent the early predictions bvHhe networks.

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