ATLANTA – The Franklin County District Lawyer needs his county commissioners to resolve whether or not he must take a boundary dispute involving a robust native sheriff to a grand jury.
Our I-Team raised questions about whether Banks County Sheriff Carlton Speed, who’s president of the Georgia Sheriff’s Affiliation truly lives in Banks County.
Below Georgia regulation, a grand jury can request an official survey to resolve any county boundary dispute.
“This dispute appears largely to be the product of political squabbling between the 2 events,” says Franklin County District Lawyer Parks White.
White, says a long-simmering political controversy over whether or not Banks County Sheriff Carlton Velocity truly lives in Banks county may quickly be settled.
“I am going to have to carry it to the eye of the County Commissioners of Franklin County and see in the event that they want to have the Franklin County grand jury request a survey to find out the place the county line needs to be and whether or not or not they imagine there’s a dispute that must be resolved,” stated White.
Two years in the past, throughout an election loss courtroom problem, then State Consultant Dan Gasaway argued Sheriff Velocity should not have voted in Banks county as a result of he truly lived in Franklin County.
Sheriff Velocity’s key proof was a survey exhibiting the county line bending round his home. It was drawn by his spouse’s uncle, who has since handed away.
Karen Burry, head of the Banks County GIS division, backed the sheriff up. She testified she created this map when the Sheriff’s residency was questioned in 2015. It exhibits the boundary line curving round Sheriff Velocity’s dwelling. She known as it a kink within the line.
The decide dominated proof within the case confirmed Sheriff Velocity lived in Banks county. In the end, Gasaway gained in courtroom however misplaced his re-election. However, he did not hand over.
Gasaway employed a licensed surveyor, who used the Banks county description written into Georgia regulation in 1858 to map the world round Sheriff Velocity’s dwelling.
That curved line across the Sheriff’s home is gone. The survey exhibits a wonderfully straight boundary line and Sheriff Velocity’s property fully in Franklin County.
“I actually imagine a center college child on his laptop can join these dots and see what we’re saying is true,” says Gasaway.
“The road has been set by an individual who was paid by Mr. Gasaway to drag the road. So, he is by no means improper?” Sheriff Velocity requested.
However, there may be extra. The I-Group examined Banks County’s official maps through the years. We discovered the Banks County official map from 2016. There’s the straight boundary line west of the Sheriff’s dwelling. In truth, you possibly can see his home is clearly in Franklin County. However, then the map modified. In 2019 the boundary line moved, it now wraps across the Sheriff’s dwelling – placing him in Banks county.
When did the map change? In response to the Web Archives, lower than two weeks earlier than Dan Gasaway walked right into a courtroom of regulation to legally problem the place Sheriff Carlton Velocity lived and voted.
Banks County GIS Analyst Karen Burry first wrote us “I’ve made no modifications to the Boundary Knowledge within the referenced space.”
After we despatched her the maps, she immediately remembered there have been two totally different maps. She wrote that “variations have been discovered” in her information information and that she used Sheriff Velocity’s personal survey accomplished by his spouse’s member of the family and earlier tax maps to “validate the right information.”
She couldn’t keep in mind when she put the maps on the web.
(Are you saying if it is an issue it is a Banks County downside?) “Completely,” stated Franklin County DA Parks White.
White says he cannot start to think about a county boundary can be modified simply to profit a candidate. For one motive, it could possibly be unlawful to take action.
“Improperly altering official paperwork and submitting them could be a legal act, sure,” stated White
White says that’s a difficulty for Banks County.
As for the boundary line dispute, White says the sitting grand jury can request an official survey be drawn to place the difficulty to relaxation. However, he needs Franklin county commissioners to first decide if Franklin County is harm by the boundary dispute.
For instance, is Franklin County shedding property tax income if the Sherriff and different owners are paying Banks County taxes when they’re truly situated in Franklin county.
“It could be as much as them to make a dedication of whatnot, whether it is within the curiosity of the county do even conduct any further investigations,” stated White.
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