6/15/09 Two Fayette County residents have filed a Code of Ethics complaint with the Board of Commissioners against Commissioner Robert Horgan. Additionally and independently, Fayette Citizens for Open Government has issued a press release stating they will initiate a recall petition if Horgan has not resigned prior to July 15th. (Click here to read release)
Horgan was arrested for possession of marijuana and cited for driving a vehicle with an expired tag on May 23. When pulled over he first denied having anything illegal in his truck, then gave permission for a search in which a pill bottle was discovered under his car seat containing marijuana (under one ounce). Horgan admitted to smoking marijuana while driving. After being arrested Horgan asked one of the Deputies "Is there anything that we could do to resolve this right here, right now?". (Click here to read arrest report)
David Cree and Patrick Hinchey filed the Ethics complaint earlier today. In the official complaint they focus on three areas: 1) Horgan violated Georgia State Law by being in possession of an unlawful substance, he used an unlawful substance and he lied to the Sheriff's Deputy; 2) he solicited treatment that would "place his personal interests ahead of the public's right to know" and 3) he breached the public trust by 'conducting himself in a manner that was unbecoming to an official of the County".
After receiving the complaint the County should appoint a county attorney from outside Fayette County to investigate the facts. If he / she deems that there are violations of the ethics ordinance he / she will recommend that the County Commission pursue it further. The Commission would then appoint three attorney's in the region to hear the case and determine appropriate punishment, if any. The hearing would be public. At most the Board of Commissioners may give a written reprimand or public censure and impose a fine not to exceed $1,000. Click here to read the Code of Ethics.
Ethics Complaint filed by Patrick Hinchey and David Cree:
Clerk of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners
140 Stonewall Avenue, Suite 100
Fayetteville, GA 30214
To: Carol Chandler:
We Patrick J. Hinchey and David W. Cree, residents of Fayette County, GA, do hereby submit a complaint that Fayette County Commissioner Robert E. Horgan did knowingly violate the Fayette County Code of Ethics.
Complaint 1. In that Robert E. Horgan did, on or about May 23, 2009, in Fayette County, GA, violate Article VIII, Section 2-209 (1) of the Code:
Specification 1: In that Robert E. Horgan did possess an unlawful substance, to wit: less than one ounce of marijuana, in violation of Georgia state law.
Specification 2: In that Robert E. Horgan did use an unlawful substance, to wit: smoke marijuana while operating a motor vehicle, in violation of Georgia State law.
Specification 3: In that Robert Horgan lied to Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Storm’s question if there was anthing illegal inside his (Horgan’s) vehicle, Horgan replied that there was not.
Complaint 2: In that Robert E. Horgan, on or about May 23, 2009, in Fayette County, GA, solicit treatment that would place his personal interests ahead of the public’s right to know, to wit: ask Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputies J. Davidson and Justin Storm “Is there anything that we could do to resolve this right here, right now?” or words to that effect. This is a violation of Article VIII, Section 2-209 (6).
Complaint 3: In that Robert E. Horgan did, on or about May 23, 2009, in Fayette County, GA, breach the public trust by conducting himself in a manner that was unbecoming to an official of the County, to wit: possess an unlawful substance, use an unlawful substance while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, lie to a law enforcement officer, and solicit special treatment that would place his personal situation ahead of the public’s right to know. This is a violation of Article VIII, Section 2-209 (8).
Patrick J. Hinchey David Cree
Fayette County Sheriff’s Department “Fayette County Supplemental Report, case number 0904859
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