Following Fulton County's decision to rescind Talitrix' contract, noted author and researcher Hank Sullivan issued an article via substack covering some of the many moving parts in this story.
Mr. Sullivan's substack may be accessed directly HERE.
The article is also reprinted with permission below:
Yesterday, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners heard startling revelations from fellow Commissioner Bob Ellis. Ellis, the commissioner from North Fulton, issued his remarks to provide context for an ensuing discussion relating to a much-reported contract between the Fulton County Sheriff’s office, headed by Sheriff Patrick Labat, and Talitrix, LLC, an Alpharetta security/monitoring firm that provides wearable biometric wrist bands and technology used in tracking individuals as authorized by law.
If you followed my Substack last winter, you know of certain serious conflicts-of-interest charges I alleged regarding Georgia House Representative Todd Jones in view of legislation he has sponsored over the last two General Assembly sessions. Those conflicts are due to the fact that Jones is the founder of Talitrix and one of the patent holders of the Talitrix technology, which is the same technology I allege his legislation would require the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to purchase. Last Spring I filed an ethics complaint against Jones for sponsoring legislation his firm could, and very likely would, profit from.
Beginning his discussion, according to Commissioner Ellis, on April 19, 2023 the Fulton County Commission approved an emergency funding request brought by Sheriff Labat in the amount of $5.3 million dollars. That money was to be spent to install Talitrix technology, including monitoring devices in one of the Fulton County jails, a move which, later in the sheriff’s words, was designed to “save lives.” Of that figure, $2.1 million would be spent to purchase Talitrix wearable devices, the kind referred above. According to the contract, the work would be completed and devices provided to jail inmates by July. By September, no wearables had been furnished and very few are furnished and working as of yesterday, according to Ellis.
That is where the story got interesting. By way of context, Commissioner Ellis informed the members that when the April emergency funding request was approved, the sheriff had not disclosed that he had previously entered into certain no-bid contracts with Talitrix, dating back to September of 2021. Ellis expressed concern that knowledge of those contracts had not been shared at the time of the emergency request. Commissioner Ellis then startled his fellow commissioners, revealing that since his last election, Sheriff Labat had received a total of $78,100 in campaign contributions from Talitrix, its employees, spouses or related entities, questioning whether the Sheriff’s decisions to contract with Talitrix and the April emergency request might have been “clouded by the magnitude of those contributions.”
Commissioner Ellis continued, sharing that late in the evening of October 9, he received a text sent by an individual claiming to be the CEO of Talitrix, “basically suggesting that I be quiet in a fairly threatening message.”
The North Fulton commissioner then related a subsequent experience arriving home to find political fliers had been placed by hand into his mailbox, those fliers displaying various derogatory statements about him, also messaging that Commissioner Ellis had “sold out Fulton County.” Ellis thought it odd to receive those kinds of fliers, reminding the commission members that 2023 is a non-election year, when neither he nor anyone else is running for local office. The campaign-style literature had been placed by hand in his mailbox, as apparently it bore no postage.
According to the North Fulton Commissioner, at the bottom of the fliers was printed, “Paid for by Americans for Protecting the Public.” Curious to know more about that entity, Ellis went online to the Georgia Ethics website, discovering Americans for Protecting the Public is a PAC originally formed on March 31, 2023 by an individual of the name of Justin Hawkins, who, incidentally, is the CEO of the Talitrix, LLC, and would be the same individual who allegedly sent the threatening message in the recent late-night text, if, of course, the text was authentic.
Ellis expressed interest in the timing of the text and the delivery of the mailbox fliers, which happened to coincide with the publicized upcoming discussions scheduled for yesterday’s commissioner’s meeting, having to do with Sheriff Labat’s emergency request for money going to Talitrix, and the company’s seeming failure to live up to its obligations.
The commissioner concluded his contextual remarks referencing a $232,000 contribution to the Americans for Protecting the Public PAC, given it from an organization by the name of “Tailtrix,” either misspelled but meaning Talitrix, or perhaps an entity of a similar name.
Commissioner Ellis’ remarks led me to follow that same path of investigation to learn more about Americans for Protecting the Public, “Tailtrix” and to discover what a $232,000 PAC contribution might have been used for. I discovered that, of the $232,000 contributed by “Tailtrix,” at least $188,125.52 had been contributed either to the primary, or the runoff campaign of Clayton County Sheriff Levon Allen, who won re-election last April by a scant 266 votes. Doing the math, it appears to have cost “Tailtrix” about $707/vote to help the embattled sheriff to win his runoff.
I also discovered that the present Chairman of Americans for Protecting the Public is one, William M. (Marc) Morris, former Georgia House Rep from Forsyth County’s 26th District, and apparent present “Chief People Officer” at Talitrix.
Thus, yesterday, in the few short minutes while Commissioner Ellis spoke, we learned that Talitrix, LLC spent over $78k supporting Fulton County candidate for sheriff, Patrick Labat, with whom the company would subsequently contract for over $5 million in business having elicited emergency funding from the county commission in April. We also discovered the same company, Talitrix (Tailtrix), founded by Georgia House Rep Todd Jones, funded the campaign of Clayton County Sheriff, Levon Allen, through the Americans for Protecting the Public PAC, to the tune of over $188K. Doing that math, and assuming the same return on investment, apparently we could expect a little over $12 million in Talitrix contracts from Clayton County, should the same “emergencies” arise.
At the end of the meeting, obviously “fed up” with all he heard, commission chair, Rob Pitts, motioned the Talitrix contract be rescinded. The motion passed 4-1 with one voting present.