Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grand Jury Will Review Sheriff; GBI PROBE the Smith Case Is in the Hands of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grand Jury Will Review Sheriff; GBI PROBE the Smith Case Is in the Hands of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON

KINGSLAND - A federal grand jury will convene in Savannah early next week to review evidence on Camden County Sheriff Bill Smith, including findings of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, according to four sources familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly.

Smith did not return a call to the Sheriff's Office seeking comment Friday. His spokesman, Lt. William Terrell, said the sheriff was unavailable for comment. The Times-Union has no other way to contact the sheriff.

Terrell said Smith is not aware that a federal grand jury is scheduled to interview witnesses regarding the GBI investigation. The Sheriff's Office has frequently cited an ongoing GBI investigation as a reason it could not comment on inmate labor, the use of seized drug assets and other matters.

"He has not gotten a subpoena," Terrell said. "He has not been told there has been any investigation by a federal grand jury."

Terrell said he expects no indictments to come from any federal probe into Sheriff's Office operations.

"Sheriff Smith has been investigated before," Terrell said. "Nothing ever came of this before and we anticipate the same outcome if indeed the grand jury is investigating Sheriff Smith."

The GBI first handed its findings to Stephen Kelley, district attorney of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, but Kelley forwarded the investigative file to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta.

Kelley said his office was in a no-win situation because of the possibilities for conflict.

His office works with the Sheriff's Office on a near-daily basis prosecuting cases and his office also prosecuted some of the inmates interviewed by the GBI, Kelley told The Times-Union earlier.

Kelley would not disclose what the report said.

Camden County Commissioner Steve Berry, said he has heard "rumblings" the past two weeks that a federal grand jury is about to meet in early March to discuss the investigation into the Sheriff's Office. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.