Originally created 09/24/05

Across Georgia



Police find apparent fuel-siphoning scam

BRASELTON - Police have uncovered what might be the first known case in Georgia of a gasoline-siphoning scam similar to schemes seen in other states this year.

Trucks or vans carrying tanks drive into a gasoline station and park over the covers to the underground fuel tanks. Thieves open the covers and siphon fuel into their tanks through openings in the vehicle's floor.

Braselton officers found a van loaded with pumps, hoses and two 200-gallon tanks. The van's floor had been cut out.

There was no gasoline in either tank. Police made three arrests.

Company settles in sheriff's fraud case

ATLANTA - The saga over former Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett's questionable investments has taken another step toward resolution with an insurance company agreeing to pay the county $1.5 million.

The settlement means Fulton County lost $500,000 from the investments, better than initial fear of millions.

Ms. Barrett invested $7.2 million of public money through Byron Rainner, a former broker with MetLife who since has been indicted on federal charges of mail, wire and securities fraud. Mr. Rainner faces trial next month.

Deputy says warning on Nichols was ignored

ATLANTA - Arguing to get his job back, a fired Fulton County sheriff's deputy said higher-ranking officials ignored his warning that courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols could be dangerous.

Sgt. Jerome Dowdell, who was fired for praying with Mr. Nichols, made his appeal Thursday before the Fulton County Personnel Board.

Mr. Nichols' mother, Claritha Nichols, and her pastor warned Mr. Dowdell on Feb. 24 that Mr. Nichols planned to get a weapon by overpowering a deputy if he was convicted.

- Edited from wire reports