Roberts claims abuse of power, racism - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Roberts claims abuse of power, racism

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June 23, 2005

Albany-- Indicted former state representative Lawrence Roberts says the District Attorney is abusing his power by having him indicted. Roberts says Ken Hodges had him indicted to help his friends in a civil suit against Roberts and to influence the judge who heard the case.

Roberts and Dougherty County Commissioner Brenda Robinson Cutler were both indicted on theft charges Wednesday.

Lawrence Roberts' attorney, Maurice King, says the criminal charges against his client are ludicrous. "This is a civil case. There's nothing criminal about this case," King said.

Judge Willie Lockett is considering the civil case brought by Divine and Dorough law firm, who represent the people who bought Roberts's business in 2003. The real estate deal went wrong, and Divine and Dorough contend Roberts cashed a check he wasn't supposed to.

King says Roberts didn't break any laws. "If the Judge rules in his favor, then it's over. If it's his money, it's his money." King questions why it took the D. A.'s office two years to charge Roberts. "You have to ask yourself, why would the DA's office seek an indictment prior to the time the Judge has made a ruling."

District Attorney Ken Hodges says Divine and Dorough recently came forward and told him what happened. King says the local attorneys are trying to influence the Judge to rule against Roberts. "It's just strictly a bunch of white folks trying to take my business and trying to take everything I've worked for over 20 years," Roberts said.

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