Lindsey, a Buckhead Republican hoping to succeed U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey as 11th District Congressman next year when Gingrey runs to succeed the retiring Chambliss, sent out a press release on Monday urging Isakson and Chambliss to vote against the measure. Lindsey noted he successfully co-sponsored Georgia’s tough anti-illegal immigration bill (HB 87) in 2011 and said there are numerous flaws in the Schumer-Rubio plan.
“The remedies offered in the proposed bill are inadequate to assure that our borders will be truly sealed and protected from unlawful entry,” he said. “No nation can long survive and guarantee the safety of its people without properly regulating who enters its territory.”
Lindsey said he is opposed to a pathway to citizenship for those who enter the country illegally.
“Amnesty is contrary to the rule of law, fundamentally unfair to those who play by the rules and wait to immigrate legally, and will only encourage more illegal immigration,” he said.
He also complains there has been no cost estimate on what such a bill might cost Georgia, and said that the various components of immigration reform should be voted on separately, rather than as a package.
Isakson — who does not have to face voters again until 2016 — has given little indication of how he might vote on the immigration bill, which is vociferously opposed by many rank-and-file Republicans but supported by Georgia’s growers and many big businesses.
Also running to succeed Gingrey are former Rep. Bob Barr of Smyrna, businesswoman Tricia Pridemore of Marietta and freshman state Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cartersville, all Republicans.
MORE POLITICS: Barr has signed up well-known Buckhead restaurateur Dante Stephensen (proprietor of “Dante’s Down the Hatch” jazz/supper club) to serve as his Fulton County campaign chairman.
LONGTIME Marietta School Board member Irene Berens tells Around Town she plans to seek another term in this fall’s city elections. Georgia Tech grad Berens teaches ballet at the Georgia Dance Conservatory and has served on the board since 2001. She and husband, Bob, are the parents of two Marietta High grads.
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RETIRED Georgia Supreme Court Justice Conley Ingram now has a permanent seat right where he wants to be — on “the 50 yard line” of that body’s courtroom in Atlanta. Although the Marietta jurist was on hand for the official unveiling of the portrait in December, he had not seen it “on the wall” until his visit to the Judicial Building in Atlanta Friday.
“It’s in a great place in the courtroom and I’m really pleased. It’s right on what I call ‘the 50-yard line,’” along the wall close to the dividing line between the spectator section and the “bench” area, he said.
He was accompanied on his visit by wife Sylvia and the MDJ’s Jay Whorton and wife Laura.
Ingram’s portrait is fourth in line on the left wall of the courtroom as one looks out from the bench, he said, behind former Chief Justices Harold Clarke, Charles Weltner and Tom Marshall (all now deceased). Ingram, who was appointed to the High Court by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter and served from 1973 to 1978, noted that he is the only one of the four who was not a chief justice.
“It’s like being on a rich man’s board — they want one poor man to be on there just so they can say it’s not just for rich folks,” he joked of his portrait’s placement.
The portrait by Cherokee County artist James Joseph Williams was commissioned and paid for by his family, not taxpayers, the judge added.
“It would look better if the subject looked better, but you do what you can,” he joked.
PEOPLE: State Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb) presented the Cobb EMC Board with a copy of Senate Resolution 619 at its May 29 board meeting, commending the new board and management for the steps they’ve taken to increase transparency, accountability and communication with the utility’s members. ... Cobb County Juvenile Court Judge Juanita Stedman is recipient of the inaugural Hero Award for service to Georgia’s 93 accountability courts. The award was presented last week on behalf of the Georgia Superior Court Judicial Council and the statewide Administrative Office of Courts. The accountability courts offer an alternative to incarceration for some non-violent offenders. ... Retired KSU history prof Dr. Tom Scott will present “An Introduction to Cobb County History” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Anderson House, 65 Whitlock Ave., in Marietta, headquarters of the Cobb Landmarks Society. The event is free and open to the public.
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THE LAWYER for the woman suing Waffle House CEO Joseph Rogers Jr. for sexual harassment has been ordered by a Fulton County judge to pay more than $140,000 in attorney fees and expenses to Rogers’ attorneys for, in other words, “letting it all hang out” by unsealing documents that had been ordered sealed.
Fulton State Court Judge Susan B. Forsling awarded the $142,656 judgment to Rogers’ lawyers, Robert Ingram and Jeffrey Daxe of Marietta, to cover the expenses they incurred after David M. Cohen, the Marietta lawyer representing Mye Brooke Brindle of Acworth in the case, filed documents related to the case in the open after she had ordered them sealed.
Brindle, who is Rogers’ former personal assistant, is accusing him of sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Rogers has filed a countersuit in Cobb Superior Court claiming she is attempting to blackmail him. Rogers and Brindle engaged in a reported 80-plus sexual encounters during her years as his assistant. Rogers (who was both married and single at various points during the time in question) contends the sex was consensual and that she initiated some of it.
Forsling had ordered the documents (which contain at least one video and graphic descriptions of sex acts involving the two) sealed in October 2012. Cohen later filed an application to appeal that order to the state Supreme Court, and attached the documents — but without sealing them.
Cohen told the judge at a hearing in mid-May that he had been unable to figure out how to file sealed documents via the Supreme Court’s electronic filing system. And he further claimed that a Supreme Court clerk refused to help him.
According to the Fulton County Daily Report, Judge Forsling was so skeptical of Cohen’s account that she directed her law clerk to call the Supreme Court during the hearing, and was told that there is in fact a way to file documents either electronically and/or manually and keep them sealed.
The judge also determined Cohen filed the papers “for harassment to again get that information out there,” according to the Report.
“The only discernable purpose of the filing of this suit and opposing sealing the record was to cause great inconvenience, harassment and embarrassment to Defendant Rogers” and to make good on the explicit threats made to him in a July 2012 letter from Brindle that she would go public with covertly made video and audio recordings of their activity, the judge wrote.
Ingram, of Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele, told the court his firm had spent $142,000 contesting the sealing issue. He also spent three hours on the stand during the May 19 hearing in Forsling’s court, during which he fielded questions from Cohen’s attorney Emmett Bondurant about his $260 hourly rate and Daxe’s $230 rate.
Emmett told the court that Ingram’s request for attorney fees was “wrong on the law and wrong on the facts.”
Cobb Superior Court Judge Rob Leonard has yet to rule on Rogers’ request, which is aimed at trying to determine whether Cohen was involved in making the video or videos in question.