Governor orders Brooks Co. School Bd. suspensions

Published: Jan. 11, 2012 at 2:24 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2012 at 11:01 PM EST
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Three Brooks County school board members were suspended by the governor.

Nancy Dennard, Linda Troutman, and Diane Thomas and nine former Brooks County officials were indicted for voter fraud.

They're all still awaiting trial.

The three are suspended because prosecutors say they illegally possessed ballots and violated absentee voting procedures in the 2010 primary.

Superintendent Debra Folsom got the governor's order Tuesday suspending the three board members.

"This is all new territory for us," said Folsom. "We're consulting our attorney to see what the next steps we will take to fill the positions."

December 20 a review commission made up of the attorney general and two school board members from across Georgia were appointed by the governor to review the case.

"They heard evidence from the prosecution and from the accused and the conclusion of that they made a determination and forwarded that to the governor's office whether to suspend or not to suspend the three school board members," said South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

December 30, the review panel unanimously made their decision.

It all started after the July primary election in 2010 when an usually high number of absentee ballots were counted.

Since the voter fraud investigation, 12 people have been indicted including Troutman, Thomas, and Dennard. They're accused of helping people vote absentee.

"Our main concern is doing things in line with the law," said Folsom.

Among all this controversy, the superintendent says they're going to continue serving the children and giving them the education they deserve.

Trial dates have not been set yet for the 12 indicted. We tried calling all three suspended school board members. Linda Troutman referred us to their attorney who didn't return our call either.

Here are the names of nine others indicted: Angela Bryant, April Proctor, Brenda Monds, Debra Dennard, Lula Smart, Kechia Harrison, Robert Dennard, Sandra Cody, and Latashia Head.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.  


Brooks County Superintendent Debra Folsom says she received an executive order around 4:30 Tuesday from Governor Nathan Deal informing her three board members were suspended.

They are: Nancy Dennard, Elizabeth Thomas, and Linda Troutman.

This comes after the 2010 voter fraud case in which those three were charged with unlawful possession of ballots and violating the procedure for absentee ballots.

A total of 12 former Brooks County officials were indicted for voter fraud in November.

The suspects are accused of illegally helping people vote by absentee ballot.

State officials launched an investigation after an unusually high number of absentee ballots were cast in the July 2010 primary election.

WALB will have more information on this story as soon as possible.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.