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DA files Riggins report with governor's office

ALBANY, Ga. — As expected, South Georgia Judical Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland has filed a report to Governor Nathan Deal's office in regard to the recent indictment of Dougherty County School Board member Velvet Riggins related to allegedly falsifying information on free or reduced school lunch applications.

The report, filed Thursday, states:

"Due to Ms. Riggins position as an elected official, pursuant to O.C.G.A § 45-5-6, the South Georgia District Attorney's office is notifying the Office of the Governor, Executive Council of the pending indictment against Ms. Riggins. While Ms. Riggins is not specifically charged in the current indictment with charges explicitly related to her performance or activities as a Dougherty County School Board member or with a violation of O.C.G.A § 45-11-4, the present charges are felonies and one count is tangentially related to her position with the Dougherty County School Board ...

"Therefore in an abundance of caution, the matter is being forwarded to your office for review and possible investigation by special commission."

Last week, a Dougherty grand jury handed down two felony counts against Riggins - theft by taking and public records fraud. Morningside Elementary Principal Gloria Baker was indicted on three felony counts - two theft by taking charges and public records fraud. Her husband, John Baker, is facing two felony counts: theft by taking and pubic records fraud.

All three were indicted on one misdemeanor count of providing false information to obtain free school meals for a child.

After reviewing the report, the governor has the option of forming an administrative tribunal consisting of State Attorney General Sam Olens and two of Riggins' peers — in this case school board members from other school districts — who will review her case and forward a nonbinding recommendation to Deal.

The governor then has the option of removing her from office until the charges are resolved.

Comments

LuLu 2 years, 2 months ago

Good. There's ONE drop in the bucket. We need the Governor's attention desperately!

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

Problem is that little statement about an abundance of caution, indicates he believes there may not be enough for the Govenor to do anything. Wasn't Deal listed as one of the most Corrupt Officials in Congress at one time? HEis now supposed to deal with a corrupt official that got caught. Somehow I doubt justice will be served. He will simply say, "There but for the grace of God go I."

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

You are the one who stirs the pot......

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

And you are the one who smokes the pot.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, this is my fault. Just like the CRCT stuff, attempted obstruction of the DCSSPD and paying an arrested students bond money are also all my fault.

What is the color of the sun on your planet?

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

Way to go Terry. Look up the word Narcissist and you will see 3/4 of Albany. They have no conscience and will say a pray at the same meal they lied to get free.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

The phrase about "abundance of caution" would make more sense if the DA's office is expecting NOTHING to be done locally about it.......hoping that SOMEBODY at the State level would either address the pending non-action or better yet just go ahead and take appropriate action (suspension and investigation by special commission) to ensure that SOMETHING will be done and done properly.

What Deal needs to really do is send about 50 GBI and PSC people down here and put them up in Merry Acres for 3 months to monitor what's going on up close and personal, just like the UN sends in people to monitor elections in third-world countries. Why would it be worth the money? It might save an entire city's future (with 200,000 souls residing......)

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straightface 2 years, 2 months ago

okay and who is going to pay them? we are already in a 9 million dollar defecit..

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe #34 will pay for with it with all that overpaid salary that he gets.

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DoctorDorite 2 years, 2 months ago

Drive the Governor nuts with E-mails, he'll have to pay attention with the citizens pleading for a good cleansing here. He has the power and its his job to do so, besides whats he got to lose, he did'nt carry Dougherty Co. anyway at the voting booth, maybe a little payback is in order.

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

I sent my email......but then I send emails all the time, to the Governor's office, to NBC, to ABC, to CBS, to any and every news outlet and magazine there is, to let them know what is going on in this place. To let them know about the clowns who are destorying this city, to let them know how what the place is truly going down the toilet.

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

correction: To let them know about the clowns who are destroying this city, to let them know how this place is truly going down the toilet.

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Justice4Moma 2 years, 2 months ago

I to have done this.And it s gets you no where.They all like each other.They dont know they get elected by us,payed by us,and what do we get from them? Nothing! I am now taking my fight for my Mother Nation wiide.Some one some where will listen.I am tired of asking them to do anything.they have showed me since my moms deaht in 2007,just who they stand up for.And it is not us.It is each other.And that is WRONG

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

Justice3Moma....it starts with one and then two, then three people and then more and more until the masses join together and let them know how angry we are and that we do have a voice and are not going to put up with it anymore. It is ok to sit behind our computers and say how angry we are at the things that go on but we have to actually tell them, write to them, call their offices and let them know that we mean business, that we have a voice and have power. I do believe that if we make Murfree as miserable as I think we can, within the law, that he will eventually pack up and leave the area and maybe the next time a superintendent is chosen for the job the board will consist of people with some common sense and a sense of decency and know what is right for the community and the children and pick someone with some sense. Unfortunately most of the people in positions of power today are self-serving SOB's and the days of those who went into public service to do good and to serve the people are long gone. These are the days of going in to public service to feed from the government trough, which is perfect for the selfish pigs they have become. Make them all miserable, show everyone what disgusting individuals you think they are, within the law, as I say, and soon maybe you can shame them, if these kinds of people are even capable of shame, will soon fade into the background. And yes, even if you have to, as people have said, remind the Governor the he too is not so squeaky clean and remind people in your emails that he is not either. Let people know what you are up against here. I know it sounds like a losing battle but I keep fighting.

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hayward2 2 years, 2 months ago

Terry, keep us informed and stay on top of this one. thanks for all you do....and we've decided.... SHE'S GOTTA GO!!

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Albanite 2 years, 2 months ago

Mulholland is really stretching to say that a school board member charged with defrauding the same school system that she's charged to protect is not "explicitly" a violation of her oath of office. The stronger argument is that she DID violate her oath.

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God 2 years, 2 months ago

Wasn't Deal listed as one of the most Corrupt Officials in Congress at one time?yes and u got him in office because he is white

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DoctorDorite 2 years, 2 months ago

LOL, I see your name above and can only say "Thank You God", you are correct !

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Why is God asking a question? We thought You knew everything.......?

Doesn't Jesus love ALL the little chillrennnns? Red and Yellow and Black and White? If not, please let us know!

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FryarTuk 2 years, 2 months ago

No, heis in office because he is a republican. Doesn't have anything to do with race; he was running against a white male democrat. Remember Deal was attempting to close the whole CRCT investigation down until fellow GOPers called his attention to their work in the scandal. Deal probably felt a certain amount of companionship to the polticians being investigated. Let's hope the better angels of his political conscience won on this too.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

And I suppose a black man would make it all better? You want to see corrupt officials, look no farther than Albany, Ga. They were voted in because they were black.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 2 months ago

This too shall pass, we're praying for Velvet. She will be okay!

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

You better pray for her soul and her conscience, not her as a person.

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Margie 2 years, 2 months ago

Right now all that we have are reports that were submitted by another individual for some reason or another. The thing that bug me about it all is that if it is true that she and the principal were submitting false information to get a reduced luch for their children, what took so long for it to be reported. My point is there should have been better oversight, and no it does not excuse the behavior. I agree that until all is resolved, whether in her favor or against, she should be remove from the board. But, do not judge or cast a stone, unless you are without SIN. Sin is comes in small to large packages, a small "white" lie, fornication, adultery, stealing, killing, not loving our neighbors, hate, and the lsit goes on...Please let the laws of the land prevail for both.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

I've been writing about Gloria Baker since November and Velvet Riggins since December.

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

It took so long to be detected because there is a culture of corruption in the school lunch program. Baker and Riggins sure as heck aren't the only two involved--by a long shot. No one wanted to manage the program correctly because the school systems enjoy the money and the chiselers enjoy not having to pay or prepare a lunch for the kiddies--a nationwide problemand a national scandal if anyone cared and bothered to look.

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Justice4Moma 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey i reported what happend to my Mom right after it happened,and talked to mr.edwards,it done no good.They are all to close.We dont pay them to make friends,it would be nice if they just done there jobs.But you will never get that here in Albany,or for that matter Georgia.They all think they can make my case go away by waitng for all my people who went to court either dies,or they can bring over to there way of thinking.This is America! God Bless Us All.

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43cop 2 years, 2 months ago

First, I cannot believe that someone used the Lord's name to sign on this. Then you say that Deal was one of the most corrupt persons in Congress and elected on the bases he was white. If you remember, the two people running for the office were white, so don't you feel that a white would be elected. And as far as corruption, every one of the allegations made against Governor Deal were just that, allegations made by the other person running for the Governor's office. Just for your knowledge, POLITICS is dirty. If you don't believe it, take a good look at the majority of the DCSS Board and you can see it right under you nose. A bow tie, a bald self proclaimed minister and now one indicted by a local grand jury. HELLO.

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ittibittime 2 years, 2 months ago

Coach, you do more than stir the pot...you burn what's in it and throw it across the room...

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

Bottom line, It was and may still be an accepted practice to put in for benefits you are not entitled to. That is the mentality of the current Society. The chances are small that you will be caught, the chances that you will actually do time are even less. Why do you think Phoebe checks your ID so often when you go to the Hospital? Problem is the School System isn't even as smart as Phoebe. The answer in most cases is it would cost more to check all referances, then the amount that would be saved by doing it. Large Corporations have now taken to actually checking the validity of submitted credentials. As forgeries have become common place in this Computer age. Time for all employers and Providers to do the same. Especially the IRS, ever wonder just how much of our money they lose every year to these fraudulant claims?

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

Two things would help, and it's either-or.

  1. The application requires three signatures for approval. The ones I have seen have only one approving signature.

  2. Make all school lunches free.

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

Why don't we do away with overcrowding in Albany's jail by not arresting people? No, let's draw the line on fraud and enforce the program rules by actually looking at the applications for a change. BTW, our sister city, Detriot, is running a USDA test on free lunches now. In their case, it will perhaps mean 5 more people will be added to the "dole roll".

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dingleberry 2 years, 2 months ago

When nothing is a crime, there are no criminals? Works every time for those who do the deed. This is very basic fraud and this type fraud is the root cause of what we see in government programs. It cannot be ignored or legitimatized. .

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justme 2 years, 2 months ago

Walt don't bring strong arm tatics Pheobe into the mix. The school people just steal small amounts compared to the EXCESSIVE amounts Phoebe rips the citizens for. The school people put themselves right out front as Phoebe uses former FBI AGENTS [some who leave pistols in bathrooms] to do their dirty work.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

I simply pointed out that there is so much fraud in the medical system I had my ID checked five times prior to getting to the operating room. I really expected the Doctor to ask to see my ID before they put me under. They did ask my date of birth and how to spell my name.

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dingleberry 2 years, 2 months ago

When you go for a colonoscopy and they ask for a picture ID, which they do, things are getting tough.

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

waltspecht.....did you ever have any involvement with personal fraud in your medical record. I did and it involved a Sowega physican and Medicare and I noticed things that did not seem right on my EOB's so I called the Medicare hotline and spoke with someone there and gave them some information. I had Medicare and Tricare for Life. It was several years before I noticed the man had been arrested and a check of the Georgia state web page shows he is no longer practicing in the state but it does not mean he is not practicing elsewhere, sad to say. I know from the story on the news and in the paper he was running his racket for years.

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MisterEd 2 years, 2 months ago

Terry -

I believe that the "make all school lunches free" experiment was attempted several years ago, resulting in the beginning of the huge deficit that the school system now faces. This was done under the pretense of removing the "stigma" of getting free meals at school. Stigma my hairy butt..........the entitlement mentality wears it like a shiny new badge.

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alleebrin 2 years, 2 months ago

Does anybody have an e-mail address for the governor's office?

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us_citizen 2 years, 2 months ago

Type georgia governors office into your search engine. Then select "Contact Us." Then choose FAQ. There is an email tab there for you.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

BTW whatever happened to that trip that all school students were going to take to Atlanta?

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MRKIA 2 years, 2 months ago

FREE LUNCH = PREPARED BOX LUNCH W/ SANDWICH, FRUIT, CHIPS AND MILK OR JUICE. SIMPLE. STORES WELL. HEALTHY. NO WASTE. NO FULL-BLOWN CAFETERIA(S) AND THE REDUCTION OF STAFF. NO FOOD THROWN AWAY EVERYDAY. CENTRALIZE THE FOODSERVICE, DCSS HAS A CAFETERIA AT EACH SCHOOL, SHUT THEM DOWN AND SET UP FOR BOX LUNCH. MIGHT BE WORKABLE. THE STUDENTS AREN'T OWED A HOT COOKED LUNCH EVERYDAY AND FREE TO BOOT.

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

Did someone imply that one or both of the ladies said someone other than themselves had filled out the free/reduced lunch forms and turned them in without the knowledge of Riggins and/or Baker? I may have read this out of context...don't know....came in late and had to catch up on reading all the posts.....can someone catch me up? Is this a rumor?

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