Georgia sheriff took bribes, FBI says

Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 8:05 AM
Last updated 8:07 AM
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COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Authorities probing a culture of corruption in south Georgia’s Talbot County paid several bribes to Herman Howard, the sheriff who died unexpectedly last year, an FBI agent testified Thursday.

“He was not prosecuted because of his death,” the agent, Gordon H. Hurley Jr., said during a court hearing, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Howard died of a massive heart attack in March, about three months before investigators descended upon Talbotton, Ga., and arrested several lawmen who have since admitted taking bribes from agents they thought were drug dealers.

Hurley’s testimony came amid a hearing for one of two former sheriff’s officials, both of whom were sentenced Thursday to nearly 3½ years in federal prison.

“The law enforcement culture in Talbot County has been corrupted for quite a while,” said defense attorney Bill Mason, who sought to differentiate the “extreme cooperation” of his client, Jeff P. Sivell, from others charged in the sting. Mason said Sivell gave a full statement to the feds, “told them things they didn’t know,” and testified before a grand jury.

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PalPat 02/24/12 - 09:21 am
More and More cops are being

More and More cops are being bullies .. seems to be a person who goes into law enforement should go thru a mental evaluation before being hired. It's to the point where you can not trust a cop. This is sad, as I grew up thinking these were special people that provided a service to help the public , now it seems the badge gives them bulling rights. The cops that have a heart and go by the book are far and few between.

InChristLove 02/24/12 - 09:50 am
PalPat, there are many law

PalPat, there are many law enforcement officers whom are still special people and still provided a service to help the public. We only hear about the bad ones so it APPEARS that more and more are being "bullies". If they would report all the wonderful acts of kindness, the heroic acts or those instances where they are compassionate and give someone a "break", I think you would see that this profession is still an honorable group of individuals.

unbiased_propaganda 02/24/12 - 10:21 am
I admit - there are SOME good

I admit - there are SOME good law enforcement officers out there, but in my experience the majority of the police I've come in contact with think that their poop doesn't stink and that they have the right to do just about anything they want to you. I'm willing to bet some of my hard earned money that the old saying is true - most cops are the one's in high school that got picked on and now they want some revenge.

InChristLove - And when you speak of the ones that give someone a break - don't you mean the ones that give females with low cut shirts breaks? This isn't to say there aren't great people in law enforcement - i remember driving home one late night after closing a restaurant and I got pulled over in a construction area. Now it was way too late for any construction workers to be there, but he let me off with a warning (the only time that has EVER happened in my life by the way). I'm sure he saw the serving outfit I was wearing and assumed I couldn't afford a 1000 dollar work zone speeding ticket. But still - there are a lot of 'bad' cops.

gagentleman 02/24/12 - 10:53 am
if they were paid a decent

if they were paid a decent wage they wouldnt have to take bribes

kiwiinamerica 02/24/12 - 11:41 am
@Pal Pat, unbiased

@Pal Pat, unbiased propaganda

We've lost three cops in the last 4 months......DEAD to assassins' bullets.

Be sure to let us know the next time you put your lives on the line for the sake of others.

What's the most dangerous thing YOU are going to do today apart from sitting at a keyboard?

Asitisinaug 02/24/12 - 12:38 pm
PalPat, less that 1% of Law

PalPat, less that 1% of Law Enforcement Officer are arrested much less convicted for any type of such behavior. Furthermore, it was Law Enforcement Officers that investigated and made these arrests as well as other Law Enforcement Officers who cooperated and helped with the investigation.

Unbiased, your comments are far from unbiased and do not represent law enforcement as a whole. Cops don't get bonuses or rewards based on tickets and under most jurisdictions, very little of the money from citations goes back to an agency - by law, no more than 30% of a budget in Georgia can come from fines/citations. Furthermore, the average cop on the beat could care less about raising revenue for the county, etc. Since the majority of the law abiding public never even come into contact with the police unless they are needed, the simple solution is to start obeying the laws as they are posted, including traffic laws since we have more in the CSRA die in traffic related deaths than murders, traffic enforcement is vital to the reduction of crashes, injuries and fatalities.

There is good and bad in every bit of our society. However, statistically, Law Enforcement Officers are far less likely to steal, take bribes, etc. compared to other fields, to include everything within the private industry.

gagentleman, I do agree that salaries are a joke for LEO's in the south. LEO's in the West and North actually make a decent living. However, that does not in any way, shape or form justify taking bribes and MOST LEO's would do anything they can to prevent this and arrest those who do simply because of attitudes such as PalPat where you have a few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch.

Sweet son
Sweet son 02/24/12 - 01:27 pm
@gagentleman, when you take a

@gagentleman, when you take a job you know the salary; you cut the deal. Therefore nothing allows anyone to take a bribe to enhance their salary!

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