DA challenger Hayes has big problem with facts: He doesn’t have all of them

Tue, 06/10/2008 - 3:23pm
By: Letters to the ...

My opponent seeks to convince the voters that the men and women of the district attorney’s office aren’t as aggressive as we should be in defending our families, especially from child molesters.

It is never clear when he lashes out in these tirades what motive these men and women who have chosen to work in a prosecutor’s office could possibly have to help child molesters. The truth is that they very zealously work in partnership with our law enforcement to protect all citizens.

I’m proud to be associated with devoted public servants like these and am almost amused by the silly efforts of the challenger to question that zeal.

It would appear that my challenger combs through newspapers and court documents looking for isolated incidents to criticize. As he does so, he is hindered by a significant obstacle — he doesn’t have all of the facts. He doesn’t know all of the factors that prompted the decisions our skilled prosecutors made with regard to certain cases.

In many of those matters factors that are quite personal to the crime victim drove decisions regarding the disposition of the case. It would be wrong to air those matters in a public forum and my opponent isn’t going to goad me into betraying those victims and their privacy. Some of the factors that led to our decisions involve evidentiary issues that I won’t discuss here either; that would just help the criminals.

All you have to do is consider our record. Ask crime victims if they are pleased with our services. Ask law enforcement. Ask court personnel.

Ask Julian Pipkins. He’s the molester that faked his death to try to avoid trial. We searched from Texas to Florida for him, yanked him out of a homeless shelter in Miami and convicted him. I personally tried his case.

Ask Michael Northern. He molested his girlfriend’s daughter. The girl’s own mother didn’t believe her. We did and Michael Northern is doing 20 years. I tried that case, too.

In fact, my zeal for protecting our families from perverts is such that I have personally tried and convicted five child molesters in the three and a half years I’ve been privileged to serve you. How many other elected district attorneys try child molestation cases at that rate?

Of course, the other prosecutors in the four offices try the vast majority of the cases. That’s why I hired some of the finest prosecutors in the state. You can be very proud of them and the secretaries, investigators, victim advocates, and the law enforcement liaison we employ.

What really exposes my opponent’s rants as the self-serving, misleading half-truths that they are happened in May of 2007.

The challenger, who had been a trusted employee until he quit (as it turns out, to run against me), timed his departure so that he left just days before the grand jury was to meet. I went to his office and was alarmed to discover the large number of child molestation cases that were not ready to be indicted.

I worked day and night to prepare them, including a 100-count indictment against a man who possessed disgusting child pornography. Then, I interviewed over a dozen children who were victims of molestation scheduled for trial in June to assure them that we would be ready for their cases and that my opponent’s resignation would not result in freedom for the men that had molested them.

Who was aggressive in protecting our families in May of 2007?

Of course, our responsibilities go far beyond prosecuting perverts. I think the DA’s office should partner with the rest of government to make the community as great as it can be. That’s why we are working with school authorities to clamp down on those who lie on affidavits about residency to get their children into our schools. The Fayette County School System has reported that we have already saved the taxpayers around $2 million by our cooperative effort. And we’re getting better at rooting them out all the time.

That’s why, when other jurisdictions slap the wrists of gang members, we hit them hard, drawing shocked protesters to the courthouse. We began preparing as soon as I took office in 2005 for gangs and, when they started to try to establish themselves here, we and our law enforcement were ready. I think they now know that we will stand our ground; gangs can’t have Fayette County.

It’s still a long time until the election. Be prepared to hear more of the same from my challenger. When the dust settles and the fur quits flying, we can continue our partnership and “Guard What’s Ours.”

Scott Ballard, District Attorney

Fayetteville, Ga.

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Submitted by happynottobeasnob on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 9:54am.

Not only does Rudjard Hayes not have all the information, he is spreading misinformation on his website. In the section of his website that mentions he has not had any cases overturned yet lists six Scott Ballard cases being overturned, we should clear up some of this misinformation. Directly from the Hayes website:
Middlebrooks v. State, 277 Ga. App. 551 (2006) – failed to prove charge of identity fraud beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was tried under the McBroom watch as District Attorney. The appeal was handled by Ballard's office, which of course his office must do. Misinformation spread.
Johnson v. State, 637 SE 2d 775 (2006) – methamphetamine and marijuana possession conviction reversed based on fact that State failed to link evidence to defendant.
This case was tried by one of Ballard's ADA's and this defendant was convicted by a jury. How can you put this blame on Scott Ballard when a jury convicted this guy. Misinformation spread.
Gresham v. State, 281 Ga. App. 116 (2006) – child molestation conviction reversed. This case was tried on McBroom's watch as District Attorney. Plus, this case was not a case of attorney error. Misinformation spread.
Bibbins v. State, 280 Ga. 283 (2006) – drug case; issues appealed before properly argued before the court. This case was tried during McBroom's watch as District Attorney. Of course if the appeal came through during Ballard's term, he must do the appeal. Misinformation spread.
In life and especially in politics, there will be people who just don't like other people, for one reason or another. The problem with this, a lot of these "dislikes" are just based on "crappy information". The people who bash Scott Ballard really need to get to know the man. As far as Hayes is concerned, he really needs to stop spreading misinformation.
P.S. I think that Hayes should think before he wants to get into this not being prepared mode of politicing. What goes around can come back around.

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