• Did DA Fani Willis And Fulton Sheriff Patrick Labat Attempt To Bloc Grand Jury Inspection Of Fulton County Jail?

    By Staff
    May 30, 2024
    No Comments

    Please Follow us on GabMindsTelegramRumbleGETTR, Truth Social, Twitter 


    By Guest Autor / Contributor

    Georgia law requires grand juries to inspect jails on an annual basis:

    Citing Georgia law, members of a Fulton County Grand Jury proceeded to request such an inspection of the Fulton County Jail in 2023. Members of the jury have noted their eagerness to inspect the Fulton Jail since they had read concerning reports of its conditions. Representatives of Fulton County Fani Willis’ office assured the jury members that they would be conducting an in-person inspection of the jail and would be able to issue a report of their findings and recommendations in accordance with this Georgia law. 

    On September 5, 2023 a grand jury of the Superior Court of Fulton County filed a report detailing their experience working with the offices of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Sheriff Labat as they tried to investigate the Fulton County Jail. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24136631-fulton-jail-report-grand-jury (as contributed by Brad Schrade)

    The jail report document details that during initial discussions with Fani Willis’ Fulton County DA Office, jury members asked about inspecting certain documents and other pertinent jail information. According to the jury report, the initial response from Willis’ office was no. The report then goes on to state that a liaison from Fani Willis’ office told the jury they would only be taking a “field trip” to the jail after which they would “receive a draft report for its review and the Foreperson’ s signature.” Would such a process be complaint with Georgia law? Who would be compiling and writing that cited draft report? The details are not clear in the jury document. 

    Seemingly confused by this response, the grand jury members independently researched and communicated to Willis’ office that they had the legal authority to not only examine any jail documentation, but to also hear evidence from witnesses. When presented with this information, the jury report states that again a liaison from Fani Willis’ office said that the grand jury had no power to issue subpoenas and that their trip to the Fulton County Jail would only be a “field trip.”

    The grand jury members again questioned this directive from Willis’ liaison and according to their account, a senior member of Willis’ staff said the office would need to research whether the grand jury had the power to subpoena information regarding the Fulton County Jail.

    The report states this response surprised the jurors since in the initial weeks of their jury term, Willis’ office had asked them to issue a subpoena to the jail for certain medical records pertaining to an injured Fulton County inmate. 

    The juror report continues that two weeks went by and no sufficient answer on the jury subpoena authority was given. It also notes that the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office had at this point canceled their inspection of the jail citing two reasons: the booking of former President Donald Trump and co-defendants at the Fulton County Jail on RICO charges and the federal investigation that the Department of Justice had launched regarding the county jail. The juror report noted that the sheriff’s office said it would provide “potential availability” to a future grand jury panel. 

    Aware of their limited time at this point, the grand jury went on to subpoena a smaller scope of documentation from the jail. The jurors did note that the sheriff’s office “refused or was unable to produce certain documents and information” requested by the subpoena. The jury also stated that they had subpoenaed a November/December 2022 grand jury inspection report of the jail, but the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office did not provide this subpoenaed report. 

    The jurors did note that the sheriff’s office “refused or was unable to produce certain documents and information” requested by the subpoena.

    One of the reports the jury did receive was a list of malfunctioning or non-compliant jail equipment totaling close to $13 million dollars to repair. The costliest item was $4 million in jail door repairs. 

    This is a curious expense since just seven years ago in 2016, it was reported that the Fulton County Jail spent more than $1 billion of taxpayer money on jail repairs, including locks on the cell doors, in order to end a mult-year court ordered Federal oversight program. https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2016/oct/3/federal-court-finally-ends-oversight-fulton-county-jail/

    It was also widely reported in April of 2023, three months before this grand jury’s proceedings, that the Fulton County Commissioners approved $5 million in emergency taxpayer funding to improve the conditions of the jail, including security and sanitation. Was this money being spent on these improvements? Since the grand jury in-person inspection was canceled by Sheriff Labat’s office, the jury could not complete their mandated investigation of the jail’s condition. 

    In summarizing their work, the jurors provided recommendations for future grand juries. A number of recommendations focused on ensuring that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office provide proper and timely counsel on the legal authority of a Georgia Grand Jury. It also recommended that two other Fulton County offices, other than the sheriff’s office, assure adherence to the Georgia law requiring yearly grand jury jail inspections (note: the Georgia law that the grand jury refers to in their document also requires grand jury inspections of District Attorney Offices). 

    The report concluded with the suggestion of providing funding to fix the jail equipment malfunctions but also noted that spending an additional $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars on a new jail building was not prudent. It also requested that the Fulton County Sheriff’s office be required to retain all pertinent grand jury documentation for future inspections. 

    Fulton County voters….take note this coming November. 

    ‘NO AD’ subscription for CDM!  Sign up here and support real investigative journalism and help save the republic!



    The latest


    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    Follow Us

  • magnifier