08/08/2005

Eight fired for actions in Atlanta courthouse shooting

The Associated Press

ATLANTA- Eight Fulton County deputies were fired on Friday because of their actions surrounding the courthouse shootings of March 11 that left a judge, court stenographer and sheriff's deputy dead.

Sheriff Myron Freeman said he also suspended without pay a lieutenant and a sergeant and gave written reprimands or 'counseling' to three others. The sheriff declined to name those punished. Those fired included two majors, a captain, a lieutenant, a sergeant, two deputies and a detention officer.l

Freeman personally told told the two majors they were fired and letters were delivered to all on Friday.

Freeman said the firings and suspensions are effective Monday, and after that date he will release names.

The attorney for Capt. Chelisa Lee confirmed his client was among those fired. He promised to appeal first to the county's personnel board and then to the courts if they do not reinstate her.

The job actions come five months after the shootings and three weeks after the internal investigation by a commission appointed by the sheriff detailed sloppy record-keeping and bumbling security procedures.

The investigation indicated the problems may have made it easier for rape defendant Brian Nichols to allegedly get a deputy's gun and use it to kill Judge Rowland Barnes, court stenographer Julie Ann Brandau and Sgt. Hoyt Teasley.

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