A federal jury found a Hancock County man guilty of five counts in a case closely tied to that of a former Hancock County commissioner.
Bradford G. Brown, formerly of Athens, was convicted Sept. 23 in U.S. District Court of one count of conspiring to provide false information to a federal officer and four counts of providing false information to an officer. He faces a maximum of five years in prison on each count.
Sentencing is expected in about two months, according to a release from G.F. “Pete” Peterman III, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Former Hancock Commissioner Adam Jackson, Brown’s co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty June 28 to one count of conspiring to provide false information to a federal officer.
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Jackson faced a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release, but a recommendation from the U.S. Probation Office recommended a sentence of 15 to 21 months in prison. He is due to be sentenced Nov. 18.
As part of his plea deal, two other counts against Jackson will be dismissed. He was indicted in January on one conspiracy count and two counts of making a false statement.
After hearing of Jackson’s guilty plea this summer, Lee Shafer, the county’s attorney, said Jackson would be able to remain in office until sentencing, but that other commissioners would like to see him resign.
That has happened: Jackson has resigned, and his seat will be filled by election, Hancock County Clerk Mamie Smith said.
Though the office was not scheduled for election this year, balloting to replace Jackson will be held Nov. 2 along with other regularly scheduled races, according to the Hancock County Probate Court office.
Brown served 41 months in prison for two counts of tax evasion. He was released in 2007 with the requirement that he hold a job, according to court documents. He was jailed again for not doing so, but released once more in August 2007.
In January 2008, court documents say, Jackson sent a letter to Brown’s probation officer saying that Brown had been offered a job as a “Hancock Care administrative consultant” — a nonexistent job.
Jackson sent another letter in February 2008, saying that Hancock County commissioners had unanimously accepted Brown’s requirements for the position, the indictment against him states.
\To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.