Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Latest from Garland Favorito

My apologies to the readership about not posting the press release that Garland sent out about the Cobb SPLOST debacle, maybe I'll put it up over the weekend if I'm not elbow deep in the innards of the recently acquired Jeep Cherokee Sport. I just got this little nugget in the old email box and it's a shining example of how our public servants buy into the idea that rules are for those loser proletariats.

From the hardest working single issue activist in Georgia, Garland Favorito:

SOS Investigator for Alleged Cobb SPLOST Cover-up

Shoots Husband, Is Arrested for Drugs, Unauthorized Badge

KENNESAW, GA – Melissa Marlowe, an investigator from the office of the Georgia Secretary of State (SOS), was arrested this month after shooting her husband twice in the abdomen at their Kennesaw home. No charges have been filed yet in the shooting. Mrs. Marlowe was arrested for illegal possession of marijuana when Kennesaw police searched her home after the shooting. Police found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and an unauthorized DeKalb County Sheriff’s badge. Mrs. Marlowe never worked for DeKalb County law enforcement.

While the arrest has been reported locally, no reports have yet to identify that Melissa Marlowe was the individual assigned to investigate a case that some Georgia election integrity activists say resulted in major cover-up. That investigation involved the highly controversial 2005 Cobb County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum.

In 2005, the SPLOST referendum appeared on its way to defeat, trailing by several percentage points with just a few precincts left to count. But then unexplained transmission problems and reporting delays were encountered. The next day the SPLOST was declared victorious by a razor thin 114 votes out of 39,780 cast. The 2005 results show that 285 totally blank ballots were also cast. Activists contend that a software design flaw allows totally blank ballots to be cast rather than giving a voter the specific option of voting in one of the races or voiding the ballot. As a result, it is technically impossible to determine on Election Day whether the blank votes were omitted by the voters or the voting machines simply lost the votes during recording.

The topic of the SPLOST resurfaced at an SEB meeting several years later during public comments. After some critical comments, then Inspector General (IG), Shawn LaGrua, opened a case and assigned Melissa Marlowe to investigate. But Marlowe never contacted the individual who had complained and never investigated the transmission delays, reporting problems, vote accumulation or why the machines allow totally blank voted ballots to be cast. The complaining party, David Chastain, became so frustrated with the way the case was handled that he later decided to run for the office of Secretary of State.

Mrs. LaGrua, was the subject of several other complaints regarding improper investigation of cases related to Georgia’s unverifiable voting machines. Mrs. LaGrua eventually became the subject of dozens of Articles of Impeachment filed in the General Assemblyinvolving  these and other cases. Although her questionable practices were known to him, former Governor, Sonny Purdue, appointed her to serve as a Fulton County judge last year.

Mrs. LaGrua, a former Dekalb County Solicitor General, would have carried one or more badges similar, or identical, to the one found in possession of her former IG employee and acquaintance. Mrs. Marlowe used her service revolver to shoot her husband, Ryan, who has a previous criminal record. The necessity of why elections investigators need guns to perform their duties is unclear.

Media Contact:  Garland Favorito
Telephone:  (404) 664-4044

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