[Excerpt from a letter to Georgia Senator Jessie Stone, of the 23rd.]
I should point out that during the time frame of the proposed “forgiveness” legislation, I, too, ran for public office, twice. If you will research the records, you will find that in those times, I missed one timely filing and I paid the penalty. One of the positions for which I ran was Chief Magistrate for this County. Many years ago I had served my community as a Justice of the Peace.
I should further point out that “forgiving” individuals for even one miss, for which they still have not filed or paid, and especially multiple misses, would be a legislative violation of the equal protection clause of both Constitutions. Any legislator voting for the passage of such legislation would be in violation of his Official Oath of Office, O.C.G.A. 16-10-1, as would a Governor with little enough sense to sign it into law.
Now that is not the end of this matter. Wondering how many folks might have “missed” a filing and the amount of fines have not been paid, I did a little research. Imagine my surprise when I found the names of two judges in a list of misses and fines not paid. Jason Deal, Superior Court of Hall County and, if I’m not mistaken, son of our Governor, has an arrearage going back to 7/1/12 and his amount is $250.00. Another is Justice Robert Benham of the Georgia Supreme Court with an arrearage of $125.00 going back to 3/10/14.
I should not have to point out that any Judge who has not remitted a legal payment to the State of Georgia, and who has filled out the necessary forms to run for reelection, has, as a matter of law, falsified an official government document, committed a false verification in alleging that he/she is not the holder of any monies belonging to the State, and violated his official oath of office, just to reference a few of the criminal statutes of this State. Any one of those would have disqualified any person seeking election to a public office in this State and that does not even consider their Ethics as attorneys or the Canon of Ethics for judges.
By the way, do you know the last time a sitting judge was impeached in the Georgia Legislature? It was Judge Osborne from Chatham County in 1798. This legislature has been too long in neglecting its check and balance power.
I believe it is time for the legislature to convene an Impeachment Inquiry. And, it is with eager anticipation that I now commence a more detailed and thorough search through the State’s database to ferret-out more names of illegal office holders. Perhaps this legislature would better perform its duty as a servant of the people to search out those in public office who should not be there and dispose of them, preferably in one of Georgia’s plushly appointed state facilities. Should this legislature be not inclined to initiate impeachment, rest assured I shall be able to find a local grand jury to handle the matter.
Do not think that calling these errant politicians to get them to pay-up quickly shall relieve them of their prior violations … it shall not. Their “intent” is now a matter of public record.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email, but HB 370 needs to be filed in the trash.