ELLIJAY, Ga. – Once again returning to conversations of an election board in Gilmer County, the Board of Commissioners is putting the agenda item to create a board on hold.
According to Commission Chairman Charlie Paris, the BOC will not host the agenda item on every meeting as previously planned. The decision came among the board’s agreement after Paris reported that he thought it best to seek an alternative path due to his investigations and considerations of the board’s make-up.
Paris said, “When I got to looking around some at Elections Boards, what I found is that yeah almost all counties have them, but a lot of counties are having a lot of problems with them.”
Paris noted Fulton County specifically whose election board is denying legal requests for documents. He also noted reported problems in Fannin County where board members won’t speak to each other.
Paris said, “I don’t believe the two parties can hold civil conversation between themselves nowadays.” Though he noted that he previously believed Gilmer might be one of the few places it could occur, he no longer felt that way.
Acknowledging that elections have grown, Paris said he understood that elections are so minutely watched and that the work is substantially larger than it used to be.
The discussion continued with Post Commissioner Hubert Parker saying he agreed with not moving forward on an election board until the alternative has been studied.
That alternative that the Board of Commissioners agreed to pursue and the Probate Judge Scott Chastain is currently looking into, involves reconfiguring the Probate Office to possibly include some extra staff to “offload” some of that work.
What the Probate Office would use this staff for in off years without elections is yet to be discussed. However, the concept is in very early stages as both entities continue to look for a path forward.
Post Commissioner Karleen Ferguson said, “I think that’s fantastic because that group has done a fantastic job with our elections.”
Paris echoed the sentiment saying Gilmer is among the few counties, in his opinion, that had a flawless election.
With a solid path forward for the commissioners, Paris made a final note that he told Judge Chastain that if there was a push in state legislation to force a Board of Elections, Gilmer would “fight it tooth and nail.”
However, Paris was also quick to note that while he shared this with Judge Chastain, it was not as a threat. Rather he wanted him to know the county’s stance. Paris said the conversation was “not contentious.” He went on to add that Chastain has been very civil in all conversations considering the county’s path forward for elections.
JASPER, Ga. – Official records from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed the arrest of one Rosemary Wigington and booking into the Pickens County Adult Detention Center.
Arrested earlier today on two counts of Theft by Taking, Rosemary Wigington was incarcerated, according to the warrant placed for her arrest, with a $50,000 bond. Today also saw proceedings for official indictment of former Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington, Allen was arrested in January of this year for Theft and Violation of Oath of Office. At the time, he was also given a $50,000 bond.
Rosemary faces one misdemeanor count of Theft by Taking and one felony count of Theft by Taking according to records.
According to the arresting records, Rosemary’s workphone was listed as that of Pickens High School. According to Pickens County Schools’ website, she teaches World History and is a part of the LPSCS (Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security Career) Pathway. Some of the pathway classes listed under her pathway courses include Introduction to Law, Corrections, and Security, Criminal Justice Essentials, and Criminal Investigations.
The same website confirms that Rosemary has been a part of the faculty for more than 20 years where she has previously taught Civics, Geography, World History, US History, AP European History, and Criminal Justice.
According to documents from the District Attorney’s Office, Allen Wigington’s indictment listed 57 counts of criminal activity including 42 counts of “Unauthorized Use of a Financial Transaction Card,” 11 counts of “Theft by Taking,” 3 counts of “Forgery in the Fourth Degree,” and 1 count of “Violation of Oath by Public Officer.”
The counts reached all the way back to January of 2017 and some were as recent as January of 2020. With the Theft by Taking counts totaling over $2,666 in just the specified amounts of six of those counts. The other counts only specified more than or less than $1,500. Some held named people as those he allegedly took the money from, others named the Magistrate Court of Pickens County, Pickens County Government, and Pickens County Law Library as the alleged victims of the theft. Then, each of the three indictments of “Forgery in the Fourth Degree” for checks less than $1,500.
The extra counts of “Unauthorized Use of a Financial Transaction Card” included
Count 11. goods and services Hampton Inn Canton, Georgia
Count 12. goods and services at Hilton New Orleans, Riverside
Count 13. goods and services at Doubletree by Hilton Bonnet Creek Hotel Orlando, Florida
Count 14. goods and services at Doubletree by Hilton Atlanta Airport Atlanta, Georgia
Count 15. goods and services at Hampton Inn Kingsland, Ga
Count 16. Apple iWatch
Count 17. AC plus Watch Series 4-PAIOS
Count 18. Chick-Fil-A Food
Count 19. K&G Atlanta
Count 20. K&G Marietta
Count 21. Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandals
Count 22. Tonka Mighty Motorized Garbage FFP Truck, Battat-Dump Truck with Working Moveable Parts and 1 Driver, Women’s Merry Christmas Reindeer/Santa Claus Printed Tunic Tops, VTech Go! Go! Smart Spin Wheel Spinning Spiral Tower Playset, and Toy State Caterpillar Tough Tracks 3 Piece Set
Count 23. Old Glory Christmas FA LA Llama Men’s Long Sleeve T Shirt
Count 24. No PRobllama Llama Ugly Sweater Funny Women Sweatshirt T-shirt Irish Green 2XL
Count 25. True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 Headset
Count 26. Borescope Inspection Ear Wax Remover Tool
Count 27. Amazon Prime Membership
Count 28. Nintendo Switch, Airpods, and Airpods case
Count 29. Probiotic Capsules
Count 30. Probiotic Capsules
Count 31. Boy’s Long Sleeve Contrast Color Cute Bunny Casual T-Shirt
Count 32. Set of 5 Reading Glasses
Count 33. Probiotic Capsules
Count 34. Probiotic Capsules
Count 35. True Wireless Earbuds 5.0 Headset
Count 36. Crew Socks and Reading Glasses
Count 37. 3 piece personalized toddler firefighter outfit
Count 38. Polo cologne, detangling brush, makeup primer and pore minimizer, children’s lab coat, kids scrubs, and nasal care essentials bundle
Count 39. Magnetic tiles with storage case, magnetic block set, and magnetic cars
Count 40. Maxliner floor mats
Count 41. Condor jacket and a shave suction razor stand holder kit
Count 42. Apple watch bands
Count 43. VIGO Zurich kitchen sink faucet
Count 44. Rozin bathroom shower faucet set, Votamuta floor mounted faucets, Rozin rainfall shower faucet set, and LOCOA Chandelier
Count 45. Oriental rug and box spring
Count 46. Mattress, KitchenAid stand mixer, rug pad, area rug, wooden bed slats, and a slow cooker
Count 47. Robot vacuum cleaner, accessory kit for a robot vacuum cleaner, and ECOVACS Dry-Wet Mop replacement
Count 48. Umbrella, stroller umbrella, and three travel mugs
Count 49. Stick-on LED lights, roll up shooting mat, bronze IGLOO cooler, and a black IGLOO cooler
Count 50. Vehicle emergency lights and home security hardware
Count 51. Drafting chair
Count 52. Reading Glasses
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County’s Probate Office has recognized achievements for two of its clerks as they have reached 90 hours of state training to become “Certified Probate Clerks.”
Probate Judge Scott Chastain presented both Jennifer Carney and Jennifer West with certificates for their state certification at a ceremony this week.
Chastain said, “Carney is a deputy probate clerk who focuses most of her time on probate matters, but is also very capable of doing just about anything that needs to be done in the office. West is a deputy probate clerk who focuses most of her time assisting citizens with general questions, marriage licenses, weapon carry licenses, paying traffic citations, death and birth certificates and many other duties at the front window.”
The training is administered and approved by the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education and the Council of Probate Judges. Chastain noted last year that these programs offer a recognition for 30 hours and 60 hours of training for the program.
Speaking to both Carney and West, Chastain said, “I am extremely proud of these ladies and their tremendous accomplishment.”
While this week celebrated and recognized these two clerks for their accomplishments, this day also represents another step for the Probate Office. In April 2019, Judge Chastain stated a goal that he wanted to have all five staff members state certified.
Now, with the completion of the 90-hour certification program, Gilmer County now has all five of the probate clerks state certified. This is includes Jennifer Carney, Jana Grno, Lyndsay Hightower, Tracy Teague, and Jennifer West. The previous three, Jana Grno, Tracy Teague, and Lyndsay Hightower, were recognized last April.
With this, according to Chastain, there are currently 12 Probate Offices in the state of Georgia that have all of their clerk’s state certified. However, Chastain added, “I believe Gilmer County is the only county in Georgia that has a staff of five and all of them are certified.”
GILMER, Ga. – An order declaring a Judicial Emergency has been released from Chief Judge Brenda Weaver was filed today in Gilmer County regarding civil and/or criminal court proceedings in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit (Gilmer, Fannin, Pickens counties).
The order states, “The nature of this emergency is the continued transmission of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the State of Georgia and the potential infection of those who are required to appear in our courts and interact with large groups due to jury service, including grand jury service, or other large, non-essential calendars.”
As for the cases slated for next week, the order states, “It is the order of the Court that jury trials are CONTINUED, and no jurors or grand jurors shall report, and no jury trials shall be held for a period of 30 days from the date of the entry of this order.”
The order charges all parties and attorneys in specially-set hearings between March 13, 2020, and April 11, 2020, to contact the assigned judge for directions.
The order provides this list of the Amended 2020 Superior Court Calendar in that same time frame:
Additionally, the order calls for attorneys and clients to report and notify each other of any sign or showing of symptoms of illness, even mild ones, prior to or after court as well as any contact or exposure to a Coronavirus positive individual. The attorneys should then contact the judge’s office if this occurs.
The order also states a list of people that “shall not enter Pickens, Gilmer, or Fannin Courthouse or any probation office Pickens, Gilmer, or Fannin Counties, without prior permission from the Chief Judge.” Those people include:
Persons who have been in any of the following countries or regions within the last 14 days:
STATE OF WASHINGTON
NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK
Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has been in one of the countries listed above within the last 14 days;
Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency;
Persons who have been diagnosed within, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19);
The order charges Sheriff’s offices in these counties to deny entry to those in violation of this order. It also gives guidance to those under this order’s restrictions on the steps to take. Read the full Judicial Order below:
ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Probate Court honored three of its clerks for their state certifications this week.
A process that began with former Probate Judge Anita Mullins, these employees have served for years in the court system and have completed training programs within the system under Judge Scott Chastain.
The three girls recognize are Jana Grno, Tracy Teague, and Lyndsay Hightower. Chastain says that recognition is given for 30 hours and 60 hours of training for the program, but he wanted to do something special as each of these girls now have 90 hours, the final stage of the program and actual certification.
Jana Grno will have been with the Gilmer Probate for five years next week on April 21. Focusing on the vital records and weapons permits now, Chastain says there is very little she cannot do in the Probate Court as she also assists in traffic court. She is also the longest running employee in the Probate Office in Gilmer County.
Tracy Teague will reach her 5 years with the Probate Court this September. Chastain calls Teague a “lifesaver” as he transitioned in the office. He says she was and is constantly there every time he calls for anything the office needs.
Teague has recently been announced as Judge Chastain’s Chief Clerk. Teague had already served as Chief Clerk under Judge Mullins and continues this service now that Chastain has asked her as well. She handles much of the requirements in traffic court, and Chastain says he uses her as Chief Clerk for certain administration needs when he is out of the office.
Lyndsay Hightower was hired into the Probate Court on August 30, 2016. She serves in the front window of the Probate Office, she is the main probate clerk of the office according to Chastain. He noted that he has basically asked her to take on the work of two clerks and she continues to work hard under the stress. With previous experience in law enforcement, he says Hightower brings a different view to the office alongside her coworkers.
Mullins was also present at the celebration for her former employees. She offered a few words on the occasion as she stated, “They worked so hard for me. They were such a blessing because I was going through, at the end, a lot of family issues with my parents. If it hadn’t have been for these girls, I don’t know what I would have done. They are so smart, and they are so capable. I know that they are going to continue on and do great things.”
Both Mullins and Chastain made comments about how little the public gets to see just how much work goes on in the office behind the public sight. Accomplishing the vast amount of work necessary for the office to operate efficiently is next to impossible without the proper staff.
Chastain went on to say that with two other employees in the office, he hopes to become one of the few Probate Offices in the state of Georgia with every clerk state certified in the coming years.
Northampton County Republican Committee Chairman Lee Snover and BKP expose Pennsylvania Supreme Court gives eight congressional districts to Democrats. Any questions? Give Northampton County Republican Committee a call: (610)438-3319
BKP talks “Obama’s Presidential Campaign” for Hillary and the Court Plea of “Clinton Conspirators.”
Appalachian Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver has resigned as Chairperson and member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Judge Weaver gave her resignation today August 12, 2016. She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to serve and thanked the other members saying,
I sincerely appreciate the opportunity I was given to serve as a member and as the Chairperson of this commission. The work of this commission is extremely important and nothing and no one should distract from its duties and responsibilities. As a member, each of you spend a lot of time each month, reading materials and preparing for each meeting. Thank you.
Arrests and Headlines, Fraud and Conspiracy.