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George Anderson: "I Humbly Ask Your Forgiveness"

Former ethics watchdog George Anderson issues a formal apology to the citizens of Snellville in this letter to the editor.

(Editor's note: the following is a letter to the editor sent by George Anderson, a citizen who filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts last year. The statements made are the opinion of the author, and they do not represent the views of Snellville Patch.

For background information on this letter, scroll to the bottom of the story.)

I make a Formal Apology to all Citizens of Snellville, Georgia, as well as, the City of Snellville elected officials for the following errors and misjudgments:

I have been educating voters, as well as, monitoring elected officials across the State of Georgia for, almost, 20 years. However, I came into your fair City last year with biased feelings/judgmental feelings regarding some of your elected officials. That was not like me and I don’t want it to define me. I’m better than that. I only can blame health issues and not exhibiting the patience I should have displayed.

Over the past 17 years, I have had featured stories seen on CNN, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, all the Atlanta television stations regarding my successful attempts to hold our State and Local officials accountable to the people of “we the people”.

“All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole. Public officers are trustees and servants of the people and are at all times amenable to them.”

I humbly ask your forgiveness for entering your City uninvited and, in turn, I was not received very well by many City of Snellville citizens. I wanted to help. I wanted to wake-up the public officials to their fiduciary responsibilities, as well as, wake-up citizens to the politics coming before public service by elected Council men and women.

Their two roles for public officers:

A.     The Public officers are established as trustees of the people.

B.     The public officers have a fiduciary relationship with their constituents. 

It is my sincere belief that I am unable to affect change through Complaints, Public speaking, or by joining into blogging online. Hereto, I must apologize and share with you all that I have advised people for many, many years not to blog online. I would advise them that you do not want to go down in the dirt to their level…but the last several months found me not taking my own advice.

O.C.G.A. 45-10-1 was created by the Georgia General Assembly back in 1968 as Code of Ethics for Government Service:

1.  Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or government department/government elective office.

2. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and the State of Georgia and of all governments therein and never are a party to their evasion.

3. Give a full day’s labor for a full day’s pay and give to the performance of his duties his earnest efforts and best thought.

4. Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished.

5. Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not and never accept, for himself or his family, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his or her governmental duties.

6. Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the public duties of office, since a government employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.

7. Engage in no business with the government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of his or her governmental duties.

8. Never use any information coming to him or her confidentially in the performance of governmental duties as a means for making private profit.

9. Expose corruption wherever discovered.

10. Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.

The City of Snellville is a member of the Georgia Municipal Association and therefore, has agreed to adhere to the following Ethics Code:

A.     Serve others, not ourselves 

B.     Use resources with efficiancy and economy 

C.     Treat all people fairly 

D.     Use the power of your position for the well being of our constituents 

E.     Create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity 

I, George Anderson, 211 Saddle Mountain Road S. E. Rome, Georgia 30161, sincerely traveled on three previous occasions with a fourth visit on Monday, February the 11th to help the citizens of Snellville, GA.

I state, for the record, that I dropped all Complaints against Officials in Snellville, requesting the City of Snellville, Georgia drop Civil Action # 12-A-09906-5.

At this stage, Chief Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Conner, Judge Turner, Judge Clark, Judge Batchelor, Judge Davis, Judge Schrader, and Judge Hutchinson have recused themselves from this Civil Action of City of Snellville vs. Anderson, et al. I am upset greatly by the expense being charged the city by former City Attorney Powell and Councilmen Witts & Emanuel’s Attorney, Christopher C. McClurg, Esq.

A State Bar Complaint has been sent in for review/investigation regarding Anthony O. P. Powell.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak at Monday evening's meeting, as well as through this “Letter to the Editor.”

For further reading:

  • Resolution Passes to Take Legal Action Against George Anderson
  • Gov. Nathan Deal Files Against Ethics Watchdog George Anderson
  • Government Watchdog George Anderson Sued by City of Snellville
  • Contentious Watchdog Head Announces Complaints Against Witts
Josh February 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Not really an apology for what was said or retraction of the accusations. Defending everything you did is the same as saying "I'm sorry, but...". I will give him credit that this is at least, the most civil conversation thus far from his side. Now that this has been dropped, maybe we can get the Mayor to stop pouting and start leading so Snellville Government can start acting like grown ups all around and we can have a civil city government again.
Mike A February 11, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Josh, I agree that this is not an actual apology. The statement is more evidence of the man's lack of character.
Snellville Tod February 11, 2013 at 01:21 PM
When is an apology not an apology? When it is self serving and goes on to further someone's agenda. I'm sorry I did such a crappy job that I am going to give up and file a new complaint against my benefactors new target. Gee! Transparent much?
Michelle Couch February 12, 2013 at 03:05 AM
So the ethics complaints have been dropped against Snellville Council Members and a new State Bar Complaint has been filed against Mr. Powell. Seems Mr. Anderson's health is improving.
Pat Binger February 13, 2013 at 02:19 PM
I agree with the other posts...where was the apology? Where was the apology to Mr. Witts for the stress caused and damage to his reputation for having these unfounded complaints filed against him? Where is the apology to his wife for spreading her personal information all around town in the complaints? Is he saying he was wrong to come uninvited? I thought he was paid by a certain group of so-called men that like to manipulate from behind the curtain. I'm not buying the humble apology. Mr. Anderson will need to do much better than this.
Darla Dixon February 15, 2013 at 04:53 AM
That was not an apology. Seemed in my opinion, to be extremely manipulative.
Stank Bone February 15, 2013 at 04:54 AM
I think it would be appropriate for Anderson to name names of those who hired him as a stir stick, and you know what I mean! We all know who they are, but, it would be so cool to see their names printed in the "legal" organ. Ooops, I said organ, that might get one of 'em excited! Have a nice day!
Diana February 15, 2013 at 06:40 PM
I've lived here since 1987 and I wanted to make a difference as well. The then mayor Emmet Clower sought me out at work twice to spew anger, we had a disagreement over Briscoe Park. Clower was replaced by Brett Harrel to whom I greatly admire and feel was the best thing to ever happen to Snellville, he very smartly left after one term. Thing is, things get done in Snellville even though they are known to have crappy politics - so much fighting, threats, ugly exchanges. This apology didn't sound like an apology to me it dripped in passive aggressive "poor me"

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