Gov. Deal Suspends 3 Brooks Co. School Board Members

By: Gabrielle Sarann; Jacquie Slater; Matt Galka Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann; Jacquie Slater; Matt Galka Email

Update 1-11-12

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order on Tuesday, Jan. 10th., suspending three Brooks County school board members.

School Superintendent Debbie Folsom says she received the order around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday suspending Nancy Dennard, Elizabeth Thomas, and Linda Troutman.

The three, along with 9 others, were indicted on voter fraud in November, stemming from a 2010 voter fraud case.

All twelve people involved are facing multiple felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Ballots and Interfering With an Elector.


Update 11-28-2011

Quitman, GA (AP) -- Two additional people have been indicted in
a voter fraud case stemming from a primary election in Brooks
County, bringing the number of people facing charges to 12.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland, a special prosecutor, says
Brenda Monds and Debra Dennard have now been indicted. The other 10 were charged last December on charges related to the July 2010 primary.

Among those charged is Angela Bryant, a member of the county
Board of Education. She's charged with unlawful possession of
ballots and violation of procedure for voting by absentee ballots.
April Proctor, Lula Smart, Kechia Harrison, Robert Dennard, Sandra
Cody, Elizabeth Thomas, Linda Troutman, Latashia Head, and Nancy
Dennard, also charged in December, face similar charges.

Monds faces only unlawful possession of ballots charges.

No trial date has been set.


12 Indicted in Brooks County for Voter Fraud
by Jacquie Slater

Twelve people in Brooks County have been indicted for voter fraud for their involvement in an election back in 2010.

The twelve people involved in the case were arrested and charged with allegations of voter fraud back in December of 2010, following an extensive investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

Officials decided to investigate the individuals after an unusually high number of absentee ballots were cast in a July 2010 primary election.

The case then went to District Attorney Joe Mulholland's office for review. Earlier this week the case was presented to a jury and they found the charges to be legitimate. The next step, according to Mulholland, is to forward the indictments to the governor's office.

"Some of the individuals involved in this case are elected officials at this point, due to the election, from which the governor or secretary of state may or may not take steps to remove them from office," said Mulholland.

Mulholland expects the case to be heard in a judiciary court, rather than a court of public opinion, sometime early next year.

"Because of the number of witnesses that were involved, and the volume of the file, we're talking about 2 banker boxes full of information , four hundred fifty witnesses, I anticipate that it will probably be a pretty lengthy trial," he said.

All twelve people involved are facing multiple felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Ballotts and Interfering With an Elector.

The people charged are:

Angela Bryant
April Proctor
Brenda Monds
Debra Denard
Lula Smart
Kechia Harrison
Robert Denard
Sandra Cody
Elizabeth Thomas
Linda Troutman
Latashia Head
Nancy Denard


Update 4:47 p.m.

Step by step hundreds of people marched down Highway 221 looking for Justice.

Two weeks ago, A five-month G-B-I investigation, lead to the arrest of ten people, including School Board official Nancy Dennard and newly-elected school board members Linda Troutman and Elizabeth Thomas-- both set to take office in January.

Seven other participants are alleged to also be responsible for carrying-out a voter fraud scheme to rig the July 20th primary election.

But protest leaders say longstanding racial tension in Brooks County is the blame.

"They want to make sure that you are intimidated and you are discouraged but we're here to say today we are neither intimidated and we won't be discouraged," said Serenity Christian Church Pastor Floyd Rose.

Nearly 200 people showed up for what protesters are calling the largest organized movement since the civil rights era but these residents say they're not here for a racial battle they're here for justice.

"Our vote counts. We need to vote to have people help our children because they're the ones that suffer," said Quitman Resident Carmelyta Gatlin.

"I think that they're message is that we're here, our voice and our vote matters in this community," said Quitman City Councilwoman Nikki Bradley.

GBI investigators would not give specific details about the alleged fraud, other than to say the ten people arrested unlawfully obtained other people's absentee ballots and violated absentee ballot procedures.
UPDATE 6:14 p.m. by Gabrielle Sarann --

Brooks County deputies say they bonded out of jail on $5,000 per count, and most of them faced several counts.


UPDATE 12/21 at 5:32 p.m. by Gabrielle Sarann --

GBI Agents made a round of arrests this morning for alleged voter fraud in Brooks County. The roundup began at 7 a.m. and landed 10 people behind bars.

"This is all an attempt to suppress black power in Brooks County," said Floyd Rose, the president of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership.

Citizens united outside the Brooks County jail to fight for what they're calling justice.

"And I'm telling you, it didn't work in the sixties and it's not gonna work now," said Floyd.

A five-month GBI investigation, lead to the arrest of 10 people Tuesday.

This included school board official Nancy Dennard and newly-elected school board members Linda Troutman and Elizabeth Thomas, both set to take office in January.

The following seven other participants are alleged to also be responsible for carrying-out a voter fraud scheme to rig the July 20 primary election: Angela Bryant, Lula Smart, Sandra Cody, Robert Dennard, Kechia Harrison, La'Tashia Head and April Proctor.

"They never been in any trouble, no kind of trouble, and then they come up with this?," said Rosa Smart, Elizabeth Thomas's and Lula Smart's mother.

GBI investigators would not give specific details about the alleged fraud, other than to say the 10 people arrested unlawfully obtained other people's absentee ballots and violated absentee ballot procedures.

"I thought the white and the black was coming together more than they really are," said Smart. "But I don't think so. It will always be a racial thang."

Elizabeth Thomas and Lula Smart's mother, Rose Smart, is furious.

She blames the arrests on longstanding racial tensions in Brooks County.

Many people supporting the candidates questioned why none of their opposition was present.

"I'm black," said Irene Brown, who came out to show her support "And I attend some of the city meetings, and I really don't understand who pressed the charged, why aren't they here!"

Officials say bond was set at $5,000 per count.

If Troutman and Thomas are convicted, they'll be barred from public office.

12/21 at Noon by WCTV --

A GBI roundup in Brooks county lands 10 people behind bars for alleged voter fraud for the July 20th primary election.

The arrests began at 7am. Eyewitness News was at the Brooks County Jail. Family and friends of the ten people arrested gathered outside, waiting for them to make bail. They were angry and demanded answers.

Just four days before Christmas, GBI agents arrested one of Brooks Counties elected officials: School Board member Nancy Dennard, two officials-elect set to be sworn in next month, Linda Troutman and Elizabeth Thomas, and seven other participants for voter irregularities in the July 20th primary election. Over a thousand absentees were mailed out that swung the out outcome of three races.

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  • by good budd Location: ga on Jan 12, 2012 at 03:35 AM
    • reply
      by YEP on Jan 12, 2012 at 06:57 PM in reply to good budd
      I TOTALLY agree! By refusing to step down voluntarily, they forced this matter all the way to the Governor's desk! LOL, a lot of good their VISIT with him in December did. What did they think that was going to accomplish? Are they totally blinded to the law. They are either absolutely crooked, or absolutely IGNORANT. Either way, they have no business serving on the School Board with this case unresolved.
  • by Peanut Location: Morven on Jan 11, 2012 at 09:39 PM
    A dark day in Brooks County History.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM in reply to Peanut
      I hope that by "dark day" you are referring to the day they stole the election! We do not live in a lawless nation. Dr. King marched for fairness to all and he is rolling over in his grave at the actions of a few who have marred the integrity of the electoral system for both blacks and whites. He never tried to steal an election, nor would he condone the actions of those who did. These few people, and their loud-mouthed supporters, who are mostly from OUT OF TOWN, are making the blacks of Brooks County look like a bunch of fools. This whole thing is a disgrace and I for one am embarrassed by it. The governor did the only thing he could rightfully do, and I applaud his actions.
      • reply
        by Fannie Jackson on Jan 17, 2012 at 01:28 AM in reply to
        No. We are NOT from out of town. We were ALL born and reared in Brooks County and we will FIGHT this travesty until the last stone is unturned. I REPEAT, my sisters and my brother are INNOCENT VICTIMS of a POLITICAL LYNCHING in Brooks County GA and this HAS already been PROVEN NATIONALLY. I am in as much PAIN as YOU. The TRUTH does hurt; because we want to believe that BROOKS has moved beyond RACE. IT WAS NOT ABOUT RACE..initially..IT WAS ABOUT POWER, CONTROL and SUBMISSION; and THE DEVIL did (and is continuing to do) an OUTSTANDING JOB NATIONALLY and LOCALLY crucifying these fine public servants..AND, there is NOTHING you can do to change that these people LOST an election...They were out-voted. Yes, this is so sad...but, I realize that I am preaching to close-minded people..God bless ALL of you and I still love you.
  • by Naw on Jan 11, 2012 at 06:22 PM
    Naw. Can't be. ANOTHER case of Democrats committing voter fraud? I'm seeing a trend. They say they don't do that. They do. They lie about it. Yup. A clear pattern.
  • by Local on Jan 11, 2012 at 05:43 PM
    The only thing that race has to do with any of this is that these few sisters and brothers have made all of us blacks in Brooks County look bad. I wish they would just take their medicine, plead guilty, and stop raising so much hate. Them and their supporters are doing more harm than good. They were wrong, pure and simple. When a child is wrong, we tell them to ask forgiveness and do his best to fix what he broke. I wish they could see that they need to do the same. I'm glad the governor suspended them. Now maybe they'll start to see clear that they need to cooperate and apologize, and maybe they'll get probation, instead of incarcertaion.
  • by TBOB on Jan 11, 2012 at 02:00 PM
  • by Fed Up Location: Sand Hill/Morven on Nov 29, 2011 at 07:21 PM
    We removed our two straight A kids from this mess and placed them in the Thomasville system. What a difference! Things will have to drastically change before we return. I believe these people have 14 days after being indicted to resign or a committee will be formed to remove them from office and replace them. If found guilty, I hope they are punished to the full extent of the law. One of them taught me Georgia history 25 years ago and should know better!
    • reply
      by URKidding on Jan 12, 2012 at 07:05 AM in reply to Fed Up
      Removing children from the BC School system is nothing new!! Where have you been?? I am 32 and my entire school career, my classmates where removed from the school and enrolled at Westbrook, Thomasville, Valdosta, or Lowndes. The same person that taught you GA history 25 years ago, taught me as well, and I can rest assured I learned something, if you didn't that's your fault..DUMMY!
  • by 1stlttightwad Location: Quitman on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM
    My, my little ole Brooks County made national news on Fox News. Maybe with the national spotlight beaming on all of those charged they will have a fair trial, be found guilty as charged and send a message to the national groups wanting to stuff the ballot box. Maybe the national election won't get stolen..Unlike Brooks County.
  • by John Location: ohio on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM
    It's interesting that people are constantl accusing poeple of playing the "Race Card" because the red card are always hearts and diamonds with a white background. The Black cards are "clubs and spades." Somewhere there must be a subliminal message about - HMMM! Race! Even the originators of the playing cards may have been making a "racial statement." Stay strong! Just as in South Africa history is going your way. Maintain your cool and character "people of color" Win the battle, Stay close to God. Your God is not the God of unrighteousness,hate and contempt. Never been, Not Now, Not Ever.!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2011 at 04:33 PM in reply to John
      South Africa wasnt even inhabited until the white man got there, tell the truth.
    • reply
      by Wow John on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM in reply to John
      Wow John. At some point you should get someone to tell you about the Christian Crusades. Oh, and by the way, South Africa was functionally uninhabited until Caucasians settled it, built a government, and civil society.
    • reply
      by this is too funny on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:52 AM in reply to John
      So since they are black I guess what thay did is ok, we should look the other way, free pass to the black people, what a joke you are. All of us black people do not feel the same way, some of us are past our blackness being the cause of everything. One of the three on the board is my kin, she was still WRONG. Bleach her white, she would still be WRONG! Get a life. What god do you serve? The god of constant oh poor you? LOL
  • by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2011 at 08:14 AM
    Occupy Brooks County
  • by Odd on Nov 29, 2011 at 06:23 AM
    It would not surprise me if the US D.A get involved in this mess.
    • reply
      by HMA on Nov 29, 2011 at 06:41 AM in reply to Odd
      The Dept. of Agriculture?? Why?
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