Attorney David Fry gets 5 years probation on charges he tried to bribe 2 Augusta Commission members on TEE Center

Thursday, March 8, 2012 3:11 PM
Last updated Friday, March 9, 2012 1:41 AM
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David Fry was sentenced to five years’ probation Thursday on allegations that he tried to bribe two Augusta Commission members in 2009.

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David Fry was sentenced to five years' probation on allegations the he tried to bribe two commissioners in 2009.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
David Fry was sentenced to five years' probation on allegations the he tried to bribe two commissioners in 2009.

The Augusta lawyer must also write letters of apology to the commissioners and the mayor and perform 250 hours of community service.

An indictment charges Fry, 59, with two counts of bribery after he offered Alvin Mason and Corey Johnson a 3 percent cut of profits from a management company. The profits were to be in exchange for the commissioners voting in favor of the downtown parking deck for the Trade, Exhibit and Event Center on Reynolds Street.

The district attorney’s office has said from the outset that there were evidentiary issues with the case because Fry had no contract to offer. Still, it maintained that in the strictest sense of the law, Fry was trying to influence a vote.

On Thursday, defense attorney Pete Theodocion called it an “indecent proposal” that “certainly crossed the line,” but he maintained no bribe was ever offered.

The dispute over the definition of bribery prompted Superior Court Judge Carl Brown to refuse Fry’s plea in November and order it go to trial. Brown later recused himself when his daughter, Dacara Brown, became Fry’s attorney, but it was Theodocion who represented him Thursday.

Fry entered an Alford plea Thursday, which acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict and is treated as guilty plea for sentencing purposes. Assistant District Attorney Adam King made no recommendation for a sentence Thursday, but agreed to let Fry be sentenced as a first offender.

Blanchard accepted the request, which essentially wipes away a conviction upon successfully completing a sentence, but said the State Bar of Georgia would be notified of the sentence.

Blanchard said the “serious” charges faced by Fry merited prison time, but he chose probation instead after Fry said in court he was taking medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. As judge over mental health court, Blanchard said he knew that those mental illnesses can cause strange behavior when someone doesn’t take his medication.

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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/08/12 - 04:25 pm
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The article doesn't say at

The article doesn't say at this time, but did Fry get to use his Alford plea?

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/08/12 - 04:36 pm
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Yes...

Yes...

constituent
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constituent 03/08/12 - 05:23 pm
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Former black Augusta mayor Ed

Former black Augusta mayor Ed was convicted of bribery and sent to prison, no plea deal. Skin colored do matter in America especially in the Judicial system whites are more like get plea deal than blacks.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/08/12 - 05:46 pm
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McIntyre was convicted of

McIntyre was convicted of accepting (or receiving) a bribe. Fry was charged with offering a bribe. Two different crimes. An elected official's taking a bribe is way more serious than a private citizen's offering a bribe. And if Fry had actually mounted a defense, he might have gotten off, because what Fry was offering was "maybe some money in the future if Riverfront LLC actually makes a profit on the parking deck" (which is very unlikely).

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/08/12 - 05:48 pm
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My problem is he gets

My problem is he gets probation without ever fessing up to all those involved and what he was doing. No one in the court called him out. The judge didn't push him. Those convicted with that type attitude usually don't get probation. It shows us a lot and none of it's good. Some are untouchable.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/08/12 - 05:50 pm
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LL, now THAT'S Countyman

LL, now THAT'S Countyman talk.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/08/12 - 06:59 pm
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What names were on the bribe

What names were on the bribe note?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/08/12 - 07:09 pm
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Oh, now we are hearing Fry

Oh, now we are hearing Fry was distraught and acting irrationally because of emotional problems. Why do I get the feeling we will be hearing the same defense in the Joe Neal Jr. trial? Know why? It gives the judge a way to let his friends off that the public can be sold. Well, some of the public.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/08/12 - 07:11 pm
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Well...now you know. A

Well...now you know.

A diagnosed and treated, long term mental illness. The Judge checked it out (not just accepting someone's word for it), and of course attys on both sides knew this all along.

Now let the cover up/conspiracy theories abound.

clumber
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clumber 03/08/12 - 07:31 pm
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If I tried to bribe the same

If I tried to bribe the same people, I wonder what my penalty would be??

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 03/08/12 - 07:48 pm
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Whose responsibility is

Whose responsibility is taking one's medication? One's Mommy?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/08/12 - 08:55 pm
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Riverman wrote, “LL, now

Riverman wrote, “LL, now THAT'S Countyman talk.”

Touché, RM.

Hey, did you notice the story is much more fleshed out now compared to when we first started posting. The story makes clear what I was saying at 4:46. David Fry did not really offer them anything of tangible value so, technically, there was no bribe.

The conspiracy theory is that he might have been an agent of someone who really MIGHT have had something of tangible value. But we'll never know.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/08/12 - 09:03 pm
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Kyle Martin has a good,

Kyle Martin has a good, coherent story up above, and I salute him. However, I have a question about one minor point. Take a look at this quote from above:

An indictment charges Fry, 59, of Augusta, with two counts of bribery after he offered Alvin Mason and Corey Johnson a 3 percent cut of profits from a management company. The profits were to be in exchange for the commissioners voting in favor of the downtown parking deck for the Trade, Exhibit and Event Center on Reynolds Street.

At the time the bribe attempt was made, my fading memory is telling me that the entire complex, TEE Center plus parking deck, was in jeopardy of failing because Hatney, Beard, Mason, etc., were blocking it. The Laney-Walker bribe had not been approved yet. So Fry's bribery attempt was for Mason and Johnson to vote for the TEE, not merely the parking deck. Am I right?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/08/12 - 09:07 pm
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Hey, if David Fry can get

Hey, if David Fry can get probation instead of jail time because he wasn't taking his meds, can the Charlie Rape Gang try the same defense because they were not taking their Ritalin?

KSL
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KSL 03/08/12 - 09:34 pm
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Not if they were not

Not if they were not prescribed it before hand, I would guess/hope. Some parents fell down on the job, if that was truly needed.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/08/12 - 09:35 pm
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LL, what's strange is he used

LL, what's strange is he used the name (in the note) of the one person who could have given them a cut of the parking concessions. Now if it were only an emotional, big talking bout with Fry, he sure picked the right name...the only one with the power to really make the scheme work and the one who stood to profit most by the TEE Center. That kind of reasoning for someone emotionally not responsible would be rare.

KSL
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KSL 03/08/12 - 09:42 pm
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In the grand scheme of

In the grand scheme of things, offering consideration for certain behavior that may or may not be on the up and up pales when it comes to some oversexed or totally non-socialized teens embarrassing or terrorizing my middle school aged child. If they are doing that in middle school, what on earth will they graduate to doing? Who are we as society to fear the most in the future, at this point?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/08/12 - 09:58 pm
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That note is an interesting

That note is an interesting wrinkle in the conspiracy, RM. Do you reckon that the DA has the note?

Here is one interesting point I remember about the bribery attempt, and it was reported on Channel 12 News with footage of Jerry Brigham. David Fry met with Johnson and Mason. There surely was a lot of talk and there was indeed a note (never released to the public, yet). After the meeting, Johnson and Mason must have asked themselves over and over what they should do. What did they do? They approached the wise and experienced Brigham for advice. Brigham told them he would not be a part of something like that; and Johnson and Mason followed his advice. They took the note to the authorities.

Just imagine if things had turned a different direction. If they had not asked Brigham . . . . . . ? If Brigham had said something different . . . . . . . ? If they had ignored Brigham's advice . . . . . . .?

KSL
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KSL 03/08/12 - 10:06 pm
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I have no interest what so

I have no interest what so ever in the corruption or the alleged corruption that makes up Richmond County politics. My spouse actually resents that I have knowledge of it, reading about it and commenting, my spouse having worked there in the distant past and being totally frustrated decades ago. Doesn't have a problem with me commenting about the out of control middle kids. But then, the AC does have a problem.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/09/12 - 06:55 am
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LL, about the note. WJBF did

LL, about the note. WJBF did a wonderful job in the courtroom and caught the note as it was being presented in a still photo. The photo was shown on their news report. I saw it. It's the real deal with you know who right there.

So now we have Fry passing the note saying so and so will take care of you with the parking concession deal and this person actually COULD HAVE done exactly as Fry was offering. If Fry represented the person often it all seems pretty straight forward. Of course a version of the insanity defense often works with well connected people.

What the people at least deserved was a trial with names and hostile witnesses called and logical angles explored in detail. But NO ONE had the moxy to do the right thing. This is why I respect those of us on the internet being skeptical lots more than public officials and our major print media sweeping things under the rug like Aunt Jemima with a broom.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/09/12 - 07:56 am
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First a coded message: B-9

First a coded message:
B-9 549

And now this:
The case is closed...put in a FOI request for the investigation records, which should include a copy of said note. Looks like the scribblings of my three year old...but have at it.

I know conspiracy theories are fun and colorful, but have you ever considered...just for a second...that the guy is batcrap crazy?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/09/12 - 08:09 am
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Austin asked, "I know

Austin asked, "I know conspiracy theories are fun and colorful, but have you ever considered...just for a second...that the guy is batcrap crazy?"

Which one?

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/09/12 - 08:29 am
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David Fry...the man who stood

David Fry...the man who stood in Superior Court while an officer of that court discussed his mental condition with the Judge.

You know what the penalty would be for that officer (actually EITHER officer of the court...defense atty or prosecuting atty) if they lied about the medical condition of a defendant?

So go get the investigation file...and a copy of that note. I have already seen it, by the way...but I want you too as well. Channel 12 has a few shots of it to boot, if you want another early morning look.

Batcrap crazy.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/09/12 - 08:36 am
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Austin, thanks for the info

Austin, thanks for the info and I'll look some of that up. But you have to define "lie." Do you actually believe trial lawyers don't do their level best to say their clients were mentally incompetent to have committed the crime?

But what about my bigger question? Did the public deserve a bigger investigation and trial than what we got? The name on the note should have been called in to testify with extensive media coverage at the least. Because the note was scribbled doesn't make it the work of a 3 year old. I saw the note well on WJBF.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/09/12 - 08:40 am
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Note to self...if I ever go

Note to self...if I ever go nuts and decide to shoot up a mini-mall...scribble names on a piece of paper ahead of time and include RM in the list. He won't really be involved, but he will forever have his name linked to a crazy guy's armed rampage...and he will have to put a tie on when he testifies in Lord knows how many trials...depositions...and media interviews.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/09/12 - 08:41 am
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Maybe WJBF should do an on

Maybe WJBF should do an on camera interview with David Fry and see how rational he is. Maybe shout boo at him once or twice and see what he does. Let the public judge if he's bat crazy.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/09/12 - 08:42 am
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The public deserves to know

The public deserves to know the full truth in ANY criminal case...and almost without exception those case files are open for inspection as soon as the case is closed.

Have at it!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/09/12 - 08:47 am
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I suspect investigations into

I suspect investigations into past connections of certain others and Fry would reveal numerous alliances.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 03/09/12 - 01:07 pm
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He will be disbarred, yes? If

He will be disbarred, yes? If not for his crime, then certainly for his mental capacity.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/09/12 - 01:12 pm
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Willow said, "He will be

Willow said, "He will be disbarred, yes? If not for his crime, then certainly for his mental capacity."

It will be interesting. That's one reason I suggest WJBF do an on camera interview with him and shout boo. I doubt much happens to him.

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