January 31, 2013 

The state House could vote as early as Monday on a proposal to remove partisan labels during Macon-Bibb consolidated government elections, if the bills move with all possible speed through committee. The Senate has already approved the package of bills that change most elected offices to nonpartisan ones during the July primary.

Bill could cost sheriffs seized property loot

The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association is fighting a bill that Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said could cost his department about $200,000 in criminals’ seized property. Right now, property seized in drug, racketeering and other raids goes to police or sheriff’s departments for them to spend on law enforcement. But all that criminal loot would be transferred to city councils or county commissions under a behemoth 91-page bipartisan reform of Georgia’s forfeiture law authored by state Rep Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, as House Bill 1.

Elsewhere, the Sheriffs’ Association would support a measure that allows trained school administrators to carry concealed weapons on campus, but only if sheriffs are not in charge of training the principals and administrators.

The sheriffs are worried about potential liability.

Twiggs County Sheriff Mitchum lauded by Epps in House

Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum is the best in Georgia, state Rep. Bubber Epps, R-Dry Branch, announced to the state House on Wednesday. Mitchum’s office won top state and national awards in 2012 for road safety and impaired driving enforcement. Mitchum was at the Capitol as part of a statewide sheriffs conference when Epps gave the shout-out.

-- Maggie Lee

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