The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) - DeKalb County's police chief and the head of the Georgia Bureau
of Investigation met Thursday to discuss plans to investigate whether DeKalb police
made unauthorized background checks of news reporters and political candidates.
The meeting was the first step in determining who used police computers to
make unauthorized checks for driver's license information, criminal warrants
and parole and probation information.
The investigating agent will come from the GBI's Conyers office, said GBI spokesman
John Bankhead. He said there is no time frame for the investigation.
DeKalb police Chief Eddie Moody requested the GBI probe Wednesday on behalf
of DeKalb Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones, who called the checks "gutless
The computerized checks were conducted earlier this year on state Rep. Teresa
Greene-Johnson and Ron Marshall, who ran unsuccessfully for CEO against Jones
in the July 20 Democratic primary; County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, a frequent
critic of the CEO, and two Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters who have covered
Marshall, Greene-Johnson and Boyer said they believe Jones was behind the checks
in an attempt to dig up dirt on them. Jones said he had nothing to do with it.
DeKalb police will continue an internal investigation.
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Clarkston police also are investigating a background check on Marshall that
occurred July 9. There had been an earlier check on Marshall from a DeKalb police
computer terminal on June 26.