Should we question the suitability or Fulton County DA Paul Howard in the case of pushing the death penalty for the former Atlanta Police officer Garrett Rolfe in the death of Rayshard Brooks?
DA Howard said that at no time did Brooks represent a threat despite resisting arrest, punching the officers, wrestling with them, failing to comply and shooting a taser at Rolfe?
DA Howard is up for re-election. It has now surfaced, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that,
“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has opened an investigation of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and his use of a nonprofit to funnel at least $140,000 in city of Atlanta funds to supplement his salary…The criminal investigation comes at a time when Howard, Fulton’s DA since 1997, is being challenged in the Democratic primary for reelection and is facing allegations of sexual harassment, which he strongly denies.”
Of course the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is what is most important here. The DA is happy to make press conferences prior to discussions with the GBI to take down Rolfe based on evidence that contradicts his narrative but demands evidence of charges against him be presented beforehand.
Do his staff know better?
A longtime paralegal and records supervisor recently sued DA Howard, alleging 15 years of “overt, manipulative and aggressive sexual misconduct and harassment.”
Another victim said she was demoted in retaliation for pushing back his advances.
Howard was also slapped with a complaint from the state ethics commission, which alleged he committed a dozen violations of public disclosure law.
Paul Howard’s former chief deputy, Fani Willis, who is running against him for the Democratic nomination said her old boss of presiding over a “broken office…He believes after 24 years that the office is his and that the citizen serve at his pleasure.” She also claimed other talented prosecutors are turning down better pay, and a higher profile, because of Howard’s reputation.
Whether he is guilty of all of the above is certainly up for debate but the sentencing of Rolfe seems more like political stunt to back his own re-election than about conducting a fair trial he himself would demand.
And the mayor or Atlanta wonders why the morale of the Atlanta Police is in tatters.