GEORGIA HAS A REAL PROBLEM WITH PUBLIC CORRUPTION
BY PAUL J. MARINO, EDITORIAL WRITER
THIS IS PART 1 OF A 5 PART SERIES
Georgia and many of its public officials are no strangers to public corruption. The Center For Public Integrity gives the State of Georgia a “D-“ on a scale that judges the level of public corruption, and the number of elected officials who have been indicted by a federal grand jury throughout the state, but specifically in DeKalb and Fulton counties.
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, including metro Atlanta, working with the FBI has been kept very busy with identifying and prosecuting public officials who believe that they can line their pockets and get away with it. When in reality it is not a question of if they get caught taking bribes or stealing from the public coffers, but only a question of when they get caught.
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office recently concluded a major undercover operation in the Georgia State Department of Corrections with the arrest of 47 current and former DOC officers that were charged with smuggling contraband into prisons and with accepting bribes in exchange for providing protection for drug deals. Among the contraband items smuggled into the prison were cell phones used by inmates to commit wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft and drug trafficking. Before the operation was completed approximately 130 employees, inmates and non-incarcerated co-conspirators were changed by federal officials.