Who Are the Real Gang Leaders?


By Dave Oedel

After I wrote in the Macon Monitor that Georgia’s law giving extra time for gang-affiliated crimes may be unconstitutional as applied in Middle Georgia’s setting, Bibb district attorney David Cooke approached me to report confidently that the Georgia Supreme Court had ruled 7-0 in favor of that law’s constitutionality. As I immediately pointed out to Cooke, though, there’s a critical difference between that 2009 case of Rodriguez v. State and the case that I imagine will eventually be brought if Cooke keeps hammering gang enhancements in marginal cases.

The difference is that Georgia’s Supreme Court back in 2009 only considered the gang-enhancements law on its face, rather than as applied. Big difference. … Continue Reading

Something’s Amiss In Prosecuting Roger Jackson


By Dave Oedel

Roger Jackson, a renowned Central High graduate, NFL defensive back for six seasons, and an NFL scout for many years after, was arrested on May 26, 2015 in Macon, Georgia for battery in the spanking with a belt of an eight-year-old girl on April 22, 2015. The girl had been referred to Jackson’s after-school East Macon Main Street program, MOYO, the Motivating Youth Foundation that Jackson leads.

Sources suggest that the girl had behavioral problems at school and home, was expelled from school, and was then referred by the school to Jackson for discipline … Continue Reading

Monroe County and Pack Part Company


By Dave Oedel

Saturday, May 30, 2015, Georgia’s Monroe County Schools Superintendent Anthony Pack and the Monroe Board of Education reached a termination agreement in which neither party formally placed blame nor took responsibility for Pack’s termination. Officially, they parted for “no cause.” Pack has been Monroe’s superintendent for seven years, during which time Pack served ably enough, according to most, in an inherently difficult job.

The primary issue that led to Pack’s termination seems to have involved Pack’s pending divorce from his wife of many years, with whom he had children enrolled in Monroe schools. After Pack’s separation from his wife, and in light of their impending divorce, Pack reportedly visited a same-sex dating website and effectively “came out” — albeit with a little help from some local outers. That “outing” is a story for another day.

Regardless of who outed Pack and why, the whole Pack situation reflects the dawning American understanding … Continue Reading

Lester Miller Resists the Microaggression Posse

By Dave Oedel

Bibb County Board of Education member Lester Miller has incurred the ire of a local microaggression posse calling itself the “Concerned Clergy of Middle Georgia.” That group issued a flier last week complaining, first and foremost, that Miller shouldn’t be calling minority business owners “horses.”

During a BOE subcommittee meeting on May 21, 2015 about minority participation in BOE contracting, Miller used an idiomatic saying, “You can take a take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” Miller was referring to the difficulties that the BOE has experienced in finding qualified local minority firms to bid on BOE contracts.

The “Concerned Clergy” posse took offense at Miller’s use of the phrase, as if Miller’s usage was, in itself, an affront to minority business owners. The flier bristled, “Minority Business Owners . . . Are not horses.”

By using the phrase about not being able to make horses drink, Miller was … Continue Reading

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