Gordon’s Mayor Mary Ann Whipple Lue is still on the job after a tumultuous two years as the town’s first woman and African American mayor. Also, a new law in Georgia is changing the way police appear before a grand jury. Each week journalists Charles Richardon of The Telegraph and I talk about the hot topics on the minds of Middle Georgians.
HOT TOPIC #1:
The embattled mayor of Gordon Mary Ann Whipple-Lue is still on the job. In June a judge ruled she can remain in office. A group of citizens tried to have her removed from office accusing her of violating the state's open meetings law and malfeasance.
The judge said in his decision that he believed Whipple-Lue did violate the state’s open meeting law and has been arrogant, but did not act with evil intent therefore cannot be removed from office. Whipple-Lue has argued that she’s been treated badly because she is Gordon’s first African American and female mayor.
What's next for Gordon?
HOT TOPIC #2:
Early voting is underway in some runoff elections that will take place later this month. There are still a few local races in Macon to be decided including Macon-Bibb County Commissioner District 6 seat and two Board of Education seats in districts 5 and 6.
Who will get out to vote this summer?
HOT TOPIC #3
Dozens of new laws went into effect in Georgia last week (July 1) including one that changes the procedure for police facing a grand jury.
Law enforcement officers are no longer allowed to be present during the entire grand jury hearing, listen to all the evidence against them and then make a final statement that cannot be challenged or questioned.
Officers are still allowed to make a statement to the grand jury, but they are now subject to cross-examination by prosecutors. The law also allows for more public scrutiny of what happens inside the grand jury room. A transcript will be created by a court reporter and the public will be able to read what was said and know the evidence it considered.
Does this change the game for policing and race in our state?