June 4, 2018
(This picture is a representation, and not the actual 900# of trash found in Jasper County.)
Code enforcement cases are heard in Magistrate Court every other Friday. Last Friday, June 1, a case concerning illegal dumping was presented by the Solicitor, Stephen Morris. He told Judge Lam that someone from C&B Auto Sales in Covington had dumped 900 pounds of trash on the side of a Jasper County road.
Based on Mr. Morris’ presentation, code enforcement had gone through the trash and several names were found. Mr. Morris said they were not exactly sure which person was responsible, but they knew it was C&B Auto Sales. Either one of the names found was the owner’s daughter, or she was in court to represent C&B Auto Sales. She pleaded not guilty. This is very significant.
By pleading not guilty, the case is taken out of Magistrate court jurisdiction and goes to Superior Court. There is just one problem with that—the county never appoints someone to present the case in Superior Court. From what we have been told, the county attorney does not handle criminal cases; therefore, the BOC needs to request that the Solicitor, Mr. Morris, or some other attorney to present the case.
If the BOC does not follow through and appoint someone to prosecute the case, nothing ever happens, the case dies….and this has been going on for YEARS. The commissioners have never bothered to find out what the outcome has been of any code enforcement case, or any other Magistrate case the county is involved in. In approximately 2010, Comm. Mary Patrick presented a resolution that directed code enforcement to inform the BOC of the outcomes of any Magistrate case. This resolution was approved by the BOC, but no one has ever followed through.
Commissioners, we do not need anyone, much less people from other counties, dumping in Jasper County. The trash along our roads is already bad enough. Please follow through with this case and have it prosecuted in Superior Court.
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.