One pleads guilty in south Georgia corruption case - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

One pleads guilty in south Georgia corruption case

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

January 22, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An ongoing Court Corruption case in South Georgia results in another guilty plea.

A Nashville man associated with the corruption case involving former Chief Judge Brooks Blitch pleaded guilty in federal court. Hayward Collier pleaded guilty to perjury and will be sentenced sometime in the next 60 days. Judge Blitch faces seven-federal charges.

Prosecutors claim he illegally controlled Clinch County money, created unneeded positions for favors, and asked prosecutors to dismiss warrants.

Former State and Juvenile Judge Berrien Sutton and his wife Lisa were also indicted for mail fraud. Their trial has been severed from Blitch's case and recently the judge denied motions to dismiss the case based on Outrageous Government Misconduct.

Attorneys George Bessonette, Robert Sumner, and George McCranie all accused of lying in the case, all agreed to enter a pre-trial diversion program and their cases were dismissed without prejudice.

The U.S. Attorney's office is still waiting for a decision on their motion asking that Judge Hugh Lawson reconsider his acquittal of Magistrate Judge Linda Peterson. Judge Lawson tossed out her perjury and false statement convictions in July.

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