DAN JORDAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AND APPOINTS HIS OWN SUCCESSOR (HIS SISTER) TO TAKE HIS PLACE—IS THAT LEGAL?

January 20, 2017

In addition, he hired Angie Steele (former Magistrate) to be Deputy Clerk of Courts; she lost the election for Magistrate Judge in 2016.

dan-jordan

Less than 3 weeks after starting his new term in office (he ran unopposed in 2016), Dan Jordan has announced he is retiring as Clerk of Superior Court.  Part of his announcement states,I will be retiring as Jasper County Clerk of Courts effective March 13, 2017. Chief Deputy Clerk Lynda Gasses will assume office at that time. No special election is called for. Lynda has over 25 years of experience and already knows how to do the job. She will have the vital assistance of deputy clerks Chrissy Mason, Tonya Little and LeAnn Airington. Additionally, I’m excited to announce that Angie Steele will return to this office as deputy clerk filling the vacancy left by my departure.

Since the announcement, first on his Facebook page, people have questioned Dan’s ability to appoint the Deputy Clerk (his sister) as Clerk of Courts.  TWG has searched the State Law concerning this, and found the following:

2014 Georgia Code
Title 15 – COURTS
Chapter 6 – SUPERIOR COURTS
Article 2 – CLERKS OF SUPERIOR COURTS
§ 15-6-53 – Appointment of clerk; actions by interim clerk; special elections

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-6-53 (2014)

(a) In any county in which a chief deputy clerk has been appointed pursuant to Code Section 15-6-59, the chief deputy clerk shall become the clerk of superior court if the clerk of superior court dies, resigns, is removed from office pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 45-2-1, or otherwise vacates office. The chief deputy clerk shall hold office for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor, provided that more than two years of the clerk’s term of office have expired at the time the clerk vacates office. If more than two years of the clerk’s term of office have not expired at the time the clerk vacates office, a special election shall be held, as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-540, at least 120 days but no later than 365 days after the date the vacancy occurred. The person elected on such date shall hold office for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. The returns of the election shall be made to the Governor, who shall immediately commission the person elected clerk.

——————

People are asking, TWG is asking, how can Dan Jordan appoint his own successor when the law says a special election SHALL be held?  What law is he basing his statement on that no special election will be required? 

It appears Dan Jordan has a plan to get Angie Steele in the position of Clerk of Courts without an election and without allowing the citizens their own choice for the position. 

If he can appoint the current deputy clerk, and hire Angie Steele as the new deputy clerk, then when his sister retires before the next election, Angie Steele will automatically become the next Clerk of Courts.  Pretty slick, huh?

Following is Dan Jordan’s retirement announcement:

Dear Friends,

As of March 10, 2017 I will have had the honor of serving first as deputy clerk and then as your elected Clerk of Courts for 31 years. From the day my predecessor and mentor, Mrs. Jane H. Parrott, hired me I have loved this career and have enjoyed every minute of my service to the citizens of Jasper county, the Ocmulgee judicial circuit and the state of Georgia.

I feel very good about what my staff and I have accomplished during this time. We have embraced new and changing technologies such as the e-filing of court records and internet availability of real estate records. In an effort to keep up with the needs of the public, we now accept debit and credit cards and we also have the ability to renew notary applications online. These are only a few examples. Each new state mandate brings new challenges and we have successfully implemented these and others that have been presented to us.

I believe that the renovation and addition to the courthouse several years ago was a significant accomplishment from which we are still reaping benefits. This was a team effort involving many in the community and I was proud to be involved in that project.

The permanent consolidation of the clerical functions of the superior, juvenile and magistrate courts is an accomplishment that will save taxpayers money every year on an ongoing basis. Along with the Probate court, we have also absorbed many of the duties as well as the caseload of the former Monticello municipal court. I appreciate the recent help of the county commissioners and State Representative Susan Holmes in implementing these accomplishments.

I believe that 31 years of service is a good stopping point for me from the perspective of the county as a whole, the office itself and my own personal situation. As of December 2016 our county government was the best it has been in the 31 years I have been here. Of course the loss of Commissioner Gene Trammell leaves a hole and the challenges of the coming term will be great. I believe that it is time to leave those challenges to others, however.

I will be retiring as Jasper County Clerk of Courts effective March 13, 2017. Chief Deputy Clerk Lynda Gasses will assume office at that time. No special election is called for. Lynda has over 25 years of experience and already knows how to do the job. She will have the vital assistance of deputy clerks Chrissy Mason, Tonya Little and LeAnn Airington. Additionally, I’m excited to announce that Angie Steele will return to this office as deputy clerk filling the vacancy left by my departure. I have been working with these ladies for the past several months to insure a smooth transition. Your property and court records will be in good hands!

On a personal note, I have many retirement projects planned and I’m already setting up a workshop on my property for that purpose. I’ll be doing plenty of traveling as well which will be well documented on Facebook.

I have two months of service left so I won’t say goodbye at this time. However, I want you all to know that serving as your Clerk of Courts has been the greatest honor of my life and I have truly appreciated the opportunity.

With love and gratitude,

Dan Jordan, Jasper County Clerk of Courts

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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30 Responses to DAN JORDAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AND APPOINTS HIS OWN SUCCESSOR (HIS SISTER) TO TAKE HIS PLACE—IS THAT LEGAL?

  1. Samuel Hay says:

    When your local newspaper ‘cant get the facts straight’ determination as to their agenda can mean they are no longer an objective news source but a propaganda tool. ie; Gobels.
    http://www.psywarrior.com/Goebbels.html

  2. Monticello at its best says:

    I believe Lynda is probably well qualified for the position. The real issue here is that Lynda is very close to retirement. If done the way it was originally stated, then Lynda could retire after taking office and Angie Steele could go into the Clerk of Court position in the same manner that Lynda did. Dan has said for a while that he didn’t intend to run again, which he did anyway. They were planning this for a very long time. They needed a backup plan to see that Angie got back in the court house if and when she lost the election for judge. Angie is not as sweet and wonderful as many think either. I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could see her.

  3. Yeah, about that... says:

    Allow me to lay out a couple of actual facts & opinions:

    Fact 1) In his original statement, Mr. Jordan says that “No special election is called for.” This implies that no election will take place. (A later fact will clarify this point for you.)

    Fact 2) SPLOST hasn’t been voted on by the BOC; so, officially, there is no scheduled referendum about SPLOST set for November.

    Fact 3) Regardless of the qualifications of the Chief Deputy, she was not elected . The people have a right to be represented by duly elected constitutional officers.

    Fact 4) By legal definition, if it is not a part of a general, regular scheduled election regarding said constitutional officer, it is a special election.

    Opinion 1) Your defense of using the city election is ridiculous due to this being about a county wide office. Why do I care that city is having an election when I live I the county? That’s right! I don’t…

    Opinion 2) Don’t play semantics. Most people aren’t stupid enough to fall for an argument over what a “special election” is or is not.

    Opinion 3) when you scream “I’m not involved in this,” what you really mean is you’re involved in this. Nice try.

    Regardless, when YOU have actual facts and laws to cite, I’ll be right here waiting to hear your side. However, seeing the law reads counter to your point, that Mr. Jordan himself contradicts you in his statements, and your overall lack of evidence, I doubt you’ll be bringing anything of that caliber to the table.

  4. Changing your tune now? says:

    Try thinking before you speak….you say How would it be possible to circumvent an election. Ask Dan Jordan. That is exactly what he was trying to do. You also say this is not a debate about whether there will be an election or not. That is exactly what this is about. Dan Jordan wrote, “NO SPECIAL ELECTION IS CALLED FOR.” As for having it in November, the law dictates when a special election is held. If the District 3 candidates can qualify and campaign and have the election in March, so could the Clerk of Court candidates. Are you now stating with some authority there will be an election after first saying the TWG didn’t have their facts straight?

    • Try thinking before you speak says:

      No SPECIAL election is required. There is already an election in November. That is how I understood his statement.

      • taxdogs says:

        Who is going to be running in November? No governor. No local election. Just who will be running in November? Once he retires, a special election is set by law.

      • Try thinking before you speak says:

        I’m pretty sure there is a vote for SPLOST and city officials in November.

      • Your Dishonesty Is Noted says:

        Again, in Dan Jordan’s own words, “I have been working with these ladies for the past several months to insure a smooth transition.”
        Two is a “couple” and more than two or three is several. “Several months” means that Dan Jordan deliberately withheld the news of his retirement from the people of Jasper County before the election so he could pass the position of Clerk of Courts to his sister without her having to face any competition for the office.
        That is how Dan Jordan circumvented the election process. Dan Jordan not only ignored state law, but also publicly revealed himself as a dishonest person as well. Now your dishonesty is public record too.

  5. Changing your tune now? says:

    Try Thinking Before you speak…you ask…how would it be possible to circumvent the election? Ask Dan Jordan. That is exactly what he was trying to do. HE is the one that said, “No special election is called for.” Are you now speaking on authority that there will be a special election? By the way if the District 3 commission candidates can qualify and campaign in a month or two, so can any candidate for Clerk of Court. There does not need to be an election in November. The LAW determines when a special election will be, not Dan Jordan.

  6. Try thinking before you speak says:

    First of all, no laws are being broken. Secondly, not everything is some huge conspiracy. Maybe before people go about trashing the Clerk’s office, they should get their facts straight. There are good people that work in that office that don’t deserve to be portrayed as deviants. You people are really jumping to conclusions without any information. I don’t mean to say anything unkind, but that is pretty ignorant…don’t you think? Also, before you start jumping to conclusions about this post, you should know that I am not anyone involved in this situation you speak of, just a person who is not ignorant and who doesn’t feed off of drama or hatefulness.

    • taxdogs says:

      Tell us then, Miss I’m not involved, where is the law that allows the Clerk to appoint someone without a special election? Not only did we think, we also researched the law. So, please, give us the code section that allows the Clerk to resign within 2 1/2 months of the start of his term and there not be a special election. We posted the OCGA we found. Show us the one you base your comments on. Truth is not hate, unless the truth doesn’t fit what you want.

      • Try thinking before you speak says:

        There will be an election, obviously. The Clerk does not dictate whether or not there will be an election. I believe there will be an election in November, so wouldn’t it happen then? I think what he meant is that there will not be a special election between now and then that will cost extra money to the taxpayer. I mean, it makes perfect sense to me. Miss? Really? Did you ever consider that I may be a man? How rude…

      • taxdogs says:

        Any called election, even in November, will cost the taxpayers money. There is a special election called for March 20th. That would be perfect, since Dan’s retiring March 17. Why wait and cost the taxpayers another big bill ($20,000+) for another election? By the way, I agree with you. Great people in the Clerk’s office that are always efficient and helpful. The problem is not with them, it is with the fact that Dan says in his letter that no special election is needed and he is going to appoint someone of his choosing.

      • Try thinking before you speak says:

        Yes, you are correct. Elections cost money, but there will already be one going on for other positions in November. I just don’t think the one in March would be appropriate considering that candidates will still need to qualify and campaign. There is not an immediate need if they have someone to step in until November.

      • In Jasper County Only A Jordan's Vote Matters says:

        I think it safe to assume Dan Jordan planned his retirement after the election just so he could appoint his sister without having her risk the challenge of facing competition. He even admitted is himself in his retirement announcement letter.

        “I have been working with these ladies for the past several months to insure a smooth transition.”

        Can there be any doubt that Jordan planned his little game of denying Jasper County voters a choice months in advance?

        Regardless whether legal or not, nepotism is definitely the motivating factor behind Dan Jordan’s appointment of his sister to take his place as Clerks of the Courts.

      • Do What?? says:

        Dear Think before you speak.

        I don’t understand how there is not enough time to qualify for Clerk of Court for a March election, but there is enough time to qualify for D3 Commissioner.

      • Try thinking before you speak says:

        Why should potential candidates have to rush when there is not an immediate need? This matter can be settled in November.

      • taxdogs says:

        Again, state law determines when a special election is called. Not when it’s convenient.

      • Try thinking before you speak says:

        Well, evidently the law says that November is a good time for it since that is when it is happening.

    • Muh Butt Hurt says:

      Good people don’t scurry around in the shadows plotting how to circumvent open and transparent government via sneaky back room appointments which supplant the right of the people to choose their elected officials by democratic election. Care to try again?

      • Try thinking before you speak says:

        How would it be possible to circumvent an election? Obviously you can’t. This is not a debate on whether or not there will be an election. There has to be an interim before someone is elected. As I understand it, Lynda Gasses is the Chief Deputy Clerk, therefore, common sense tells you that she would step in. Again, nobody is saying that there won’t be an election. The same thing happens when someone dies. When Kathy Tyler died, her chief clerk took over her position until an election was held. That, in fact, is part of the democratic process.

  7. Goodbye Dan Jordan And Good Riddance says:

    That Dan Jordan dare pull this dirty, underhanded stunt in defiance of Georgia law speaks volumes about his character and the level of respect he holds for the people of Jasper County. For Jordan, treating his elected office as a patrimonial privilege is not unusual.
    It is merely how he ran the office of Clerk of the Courts. He made a habit of abusing the power of his office, running it more like his personal favor dispenser than an elected office in service to the citizens of Jasper County. He completely ignored budgets allocated by the BOC, choosing to over-spend the taxpayers money with smug impertinence, knowing full well that he could do so with impunity. Who was going to stop him?

    The sad fact of the matter is Lynda Gasses is a well respected member of the community and liked by all, and would have easily won an election against any challenger had not Dan Jordan choose to involve her in his surreptitious machinations. In doing so, he has not only sullied his name, but has attached the taint of scandal to her name as well and as a byproduct called her honor into question Moreover, in his zeal to make sure Angie Steele inherit the office of the Clerk of the Courts, he has insured just the opposite. People do not like to be gamed and voters have a long memory. Angie Steele will never be Clerk of the Courts.

    If any care to remember Dan Jordan’s 31 years of serving himself as the Clerk of Superior court , it will most assuredly be remembered as a stain on the office of the Clerk of The Courts and little else.

  8. The Jordan Aristocracy continues says:

    The Jordan’s have always felt they were the owners of Jasper County and should control all that goes on. They have done a good job of it for the past 50-100 years, controlling people they put into office and pulling their strings to do what is best for the interest of the Jordan’s. By Dan Jordan putting his sister in office as Clerk of Courts, an elected position, would this not make her eligible for higher retirement pay? One would think so, and there you go, the Jordan’s get ahead again and the citizens lose again. Donald Trump said yesterday he was giving the federal government back to the people. In Jasper County the people will have to take their county back from the Jordan’s and their appointees and puppets.

    • It's The Jasper County Way says:

      Sure, if your last name is Jordan, any position you want in local government is made available just for the asking, whether merited or not. The evidence is ample.

  9. had enough unwanted noise says:

    He should have left long ago.

  10. Just sayin says:

    Actually, I don’t believe Atlanta invading would be our answer as Atlanta has it’s own lawlessness problems. Lawlessness seems to trickle down so maybe with a President in office who plans to run the federal government by the law and the Constitution we will see abiding by the law as an admirable goal once again.

  11. Vomit emogi needed says:

    This is a sick joke to have to sit back and watch these yahoo’s do whatever they want (like break laws) to suit themselves. I’m actually, at this point, looking forward to watching Atlanta invade hillbilly territory here to show them how it’s supposed to be done. Their butts should be in jail.

  12. How deep is the coruption says:

    Wow! my sister got voted out of office so I’ll just give her my job. We don’t need to ask the citizens what they think about it. Does any one in this county government know the laws of the state of Georgia?

    • taxdogs says:

      Angie Steele was the one voted out. She has protected Dan’s good buddy Ken Jackson for years, so he needs to make a place for her. His sister will be “promoted” to Clerk of Courts with this ploy.

  13. SS GW says:

    Unbelievable, except this is Georgia, which makes it perfectly fine. Every day, I get more and more shocked at the blatant violations of the law.

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