GBI checks employment of lawmaker's relative

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COLUMBUS, Ga. --- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the employment of a relative of U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop by a program partly funded by an appropriation he helped secure.

Mr. Bishop's stepdaughter Aayesha Owens Reese, the daughter of Columbus Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton Bishop, began as an administrative assistant for the Junior Marshal Program of the Muscogee County Marshal's Office on Sept. 22, according to city Human Resources Department records.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that by Feb. 20, she had been paid $7,575.

The GBI investigation was requested by Marshal Greg Countryman. Mr. Countryman, who told the newspaper he is confident there is no wrongdoing, started the Junior Marshal Program in 2005 as an outreach to at-risk children. It is partly funded by a 2008 federal appropriation of $118,000.

"Basically, we are trying to determine if there was any criminal misappropriation of funds," said Rodney Wall, GBI special agent in charge.

Mr. Countryman said he initiated the probe as a result of "whispers in the building."

"Rather than hearing whispers, I aggressively dealt with it," he said. "The talk was we had people not earning their money in the Junior Marshal Program.

"This is politically motivated and personal," Mr. Countryman said.

In a letter to Mr. Countryman on Feb. 24, a day after the inquiry began, Mr. Bishop said it was brought to his attention on Feb. 20 that his stepdaughter was hired last fall. He wrote, "Aayesha should not be paid from Congressionally Directed funds."

In an interview Monday, the congressman said he had "no idea" Ms. Reese was working for the Marshal's Office before Feb. 20, the newspaper reported.

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pofwe
5
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pofwe 03/04/09 - 06:14 am
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The congressman said he had

The congressman said he had "no idea." This is a common cliche for "no idea" people. What do you call a congressman with no idea? A professional politician practicing nepotism.

JackRyan
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JackRyan 03/04/09 - 06:25 am
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Yeah, right Bishop. You tell

Yeah, right Bishop. You tell them!

reader54
427
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reader54 03/04/09 - 08:24 am
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Gee,how did that make the

Gee,how did that make the news ? I thought that was standard practice ? !

genbartow
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genbartow 03/04/09 - 09:04 am
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Like Senator Obama funding

Like Senator Obama funding Michele Obama's salary increase, on a lesser scale.

reader54
427
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reader54 03/04/09 - 09:25 am
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genbatow:You got it !

genbatow:You got it !

justus4
120
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justus4 03/04/09 - 10:44 am
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Gotta be a minority because
Unpublished

Gotta be a minority because the facts are based on "whispers" according to the article. Crooks everywhere and "they" looking at a stepdaughter's job. Wow! Thought those people were supposed to be lazy, but this youngter has two jobs and she is under some investigation. The history of that state speaks volumes about what going on. Again, nothing new here-just another enforcement agency attempting to "go after" a politician.

Obamessiah
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Obamessiah 03/04/09 - 01:22 pm
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Yes justus4, our evil white

Yes justus4, our evil white schemes cannot be stopped by you or even the great-and-powerful Al Sharpton.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 03/04/09 - 04:32 pm
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I thought they were talking

I thought they were talking about the Richmond County Board of Education for a minute. Whew. How many people working there are related? At least one of them uses her middle name so she doesn't get mixed up with her namesake. Her first name is spelled different but sounds the same, so she doesn't use that one.

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