Georgia Ethics

“Whenever governments adopt a moral tone - as opposed to an ethical one - you know something is wrong."

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Senator Renee Unterman has championed the battle against human trafficking. Stand with her.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The issue of human trafficking is getting increased exposure in Augusta and across the state with a new law that went into effect this month.

Bars, airports and hospitals are posting notices in an effort to reduce the number of people in Georgia who are forced into commercial sexual exploitation and labor servitude.

State Attorney General Sam Olens estimates that more than 28,000 men knowingly or unknowingly have sex with prostituted girls each year in Georgia and that every month, 200 to 500 girls, mostly ages 12 to 14, are commercially exploited statewide.

Alarmed by the statistics, Olens joined forces with state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, to advocate for stronger human trafficking laws in Georgia, including House Bill 141, which imposes a fine of up to $5,000 for businesses that fail to inform victims of a 24-hour, toll-free hotline they can call for help.

"This legislation brings Georgia one step closer to creating a system of care for children involved in sexual trafficking," said Unterman, who carried the bill through the Senate in March by a 47-1 vote.

The new law requires bars, hotels, hospitals, adult entertainment businesses, airports, bus stations, truck stops, job recruitment centers, interstate rest areas, massage parlors and tattoo studios to post the notices that list the hotline number in conspicuous places.

In Augusta, the 8½-by-11-inch signs have been posted in bathrooms, entryways and emergency rooms at Trinity Hospital, Georgia Regents Medical Center and Augusta Regional Airport.

"Are you or someone you know being sold for sex or made to work for little or no pay and cannot leave?" the notices read. "Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 for help. All victims of slavery and human trafficking have rights and are protected by international, federal, and state law."

The hotline is anonymous and confidential; accessible in 170 languages; operated by a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization; and provides referral services, training and general information, according to the text of the law.

House Bill 141 follows two years of heightened human trafficking enforcement in Georgia.

In July 2011, Georgia substantially increased the punishment for human trafficking from a possible one-year sentence to a minimum of 10 years in prison.

If the trafficking causes a minor to commit sex acts by coercion or deception, traffickers face 25 years to life in prison, up from a maximum sentence of 20 years. Offenders can also be fined up to $100,000.

The tougher penalties led Georgia to become one of seven states to earn a B grade in a national study conducted by Shared Hope International, a nonprofit that grades the effectiveness of the states’ human trafficking law annually.

The state was previously rated a C.

"I am pleased that Georgia’s human trafficking law is considered among the best in the nation," Olens said in a news release.

Filed under renee unterman

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Snellville Georgia, The Election, And Control? Who? What? Where?

By Kenneth Stepp
Some people may wonder why I became interested in Snellville politics and why I continue to be involved. The answer is simple. I’m an investigator and my interests lie in places that need to be investigated and exposed. When I saw so much unethical activity in Snellville, I started looking into things and what I found was more troubling than I imagined.
The problem that stuck out like a sore thumb was a self-proclaimed ethics watchdog by the name  of George Anderson. I asked myself why on earth would someone from Rome, GA come all the way to Snellville to file a complaint that seemed like more than an vicious attempt to slander a city councilman. The obvious answer was that somebody had paid him to do it.
I had already investigated all the council members and I knew who was clean and who was dirty. So I also knew that Anderson’s charges against Tom Witts were false. I also discovered that a lot of the wording in Anderson’s claim was the same as what former council member Robert Jenkins had used at a council meeting. So it all started to fit together. It seemed obvious that a group of people in Snellville had hired Anderson to do some character assassination.
A little more investigation turned up connections between Jenkins, former council member Warren Auld, former mayor Emmett Clower, current council member Mike Sabbagh and current mayor Kelly Kautz. Someone else whose name turns up a lot is Randy Simpson.
Then I found the piece of the puzzle that put it all together. Apparently, after just about every council meeting Kautz and Sabbagh visited Dwight Harrison and spent several hours with him. And when mayor Kautz’s lawsuit against the other council members came to court Harrison was there. Why would he do that unless he had a very big interest in Snellville politics and maybe even an investment?
So here’s my theory. It is my belief, based on the evidence and history I have studied for over a year, Dwight Harrison is trying to buy control of the Snellville city council so he can build a liquor store and so he can ram the Evermore CID down the throats of the property owners on Highway 78 east of where the CID ends now. Pure and simple, I think Harrison wants to use the city for his own purposes. I believe he already controls Kautz and Sabbagh and now he’s running the campaigns of his brother Dexter and Alisa Boykin trying to get them elected so he has the votes he needs to do whatever he wants. If Harrison gets control of four city council members, I don’t think there’s any question, the taxpayers in Snellville will end up paying a hefty price. City council members cannot serve two masters.
Sounds like a conspiracy theory doesn’t it? But the more you look into what goes on in Snellville, the more my theory appears to be accurate. And based on some very convincing evidence, I firmly believe that when voters make their choice in this election, they’ll be choosing whether they want a council that works for them, or for someone who doesn’t even live in the city. the wrong decision will end up being very expensive for Snellville taxpayers.
More to come….