Ga. Sheriff in massive drug search faces new trouble: his own son

7:30 am Oct. 18, 2017

The teenage son of the southwest Georgia sheriff indicted for ordering a massive school-wide drug search has now run afoul with the law on a drug-related charge.

The drug arrest of Zachary Lewis Hobby last week has renewed speculation that Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby’s decision to search the entire local high school last April was somehow linked to his son’s troubles.

Sheriff Hobby and two deputies were indicted earlier this

To testify or not? Big question faced sheriff in sexual battery search case

1:30 pm Oct. 5, 2017

Facing possible criminal indictment this week for ordering invasive body searches of an entire south Georgia high school, Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby had a choice: Step inside the grand jury room to defend his actions or let the chips fall where they may by remaining outside?

The stakes couldn’t have been higher for a sheriff who has drawn national attention and been sued in federal court for allegedly violating

Did Atlanta’s veterans crisis hotline fall short in helping suicidal veterans?

11:35 am Sep. 19, 2017

VA officials touted a crisis hotline center launched in Atlanta last December as a cornerstone of a renewed push to curb the problem of veteran suicide.

More than 300 staff were hired and trained in Atlanta, and by April VA officials testified before Congress about the crisis line’s success answering the needs of suicidal veterans. The new center and the one operating for years outside Rochester, New York had

Child molestation arrest slips through school background checks

8:00 am Sep. 5, 2017

Despite his arrest years ago for child molestation, Joseph Melvin Farrington had a way of landing jobs that gave him access to kids.

He worked at a church child care program in Cobb County until last month when a parent brought his 2000 arrest to the attention of church officials. Farrington abruptly resigned.

But a different job in his recent past raises fresh questions about the state’s background check system for public

Investigation, reassignment for VA managers linked to Atlanta enrollment office

1:00 pm Aug. 29, 2017

Four VA managers linked to the veterans national health care enrollment office in Atlanta have been moved from their positions pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

VA on Tuesday did not disclose the nature of the inquiry. The move is another sign of deep dysfunction at the Atlanta-based Health Eligibility Center (HEC) that oversees the health care enrollment system for millions of veterans across the country.

One of the managers,

Police shooting data project moves forward despite Comey’s firing by President Trump

9:52 am Aug. 28, 2017

As protests over police violence against black citizens swelled in recent years, the lack of reliable government data embarrassed law enforcement officials and made it seem like the profession didn’t take the issue seriously.

Police track scores of statistics. So how could they not accurately say how often they killed someone in the line of duty?  A new national pilot project to fix the problem launched in July and Georgia is

Atlanta VA employees reassigned pending investigation of racially charged messages

11:00 am Aug. 17, 2017

The VA reassigned the head of the agency’s national health enrollment office in Atlanta and another employee pending the outcome of an investigation into racially charged messages that included mention of sending people to “the ovens.”

The move comes after a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News this week about the messages between HEC Director Angel Lawrence and program analyst Nathan Jaco.

Lawrence earns $125,132 directing the

VA executive who exchanged offensive messages earns $100K+

12:58 pm Aug. 15, 2017

The VA executive who exchanged unprofessional and offensive instant messages with another VA employee earned $96,586 last year, according to the latest federal salary data available.

But that was before Angel Lawrence was elevated last fall to the top job at the national Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta. Past directors of the center were at a GS-15 pay grade that pays between $125,132 to $161,900, according the 2017 federal scale

VA health enrollment system in disarray, audit finds

12:04 pm Aug. 10, 2017

Filing an application for enrollment is the first step veterans must take to gain access to health care at the more than 150 VA hospitals across the country. But a scathing new federal review finds the health enrollment system overseen by a national VA office in Atlanta is in disarray.

Poor oversight and mismanagement of the enrollment system resulted in delays to health care access for some veterans and likely denied