Parks White, Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney, who prosecutes cases in Madison and surrounding counties, including Hart, voluntarily turned himself in to the Hart County Sheriff’s Office this week on a felony warrant executed for his arrest. The warrant accuses him of violating a law that prevents someone from using the badge and/or emblem of a police department in any advertisement without the “written permission of the local governing authority.”
According to Hart County Sheriff’s Office secretary Dawn Lemay, White was booked and then released on a $1,000 bond Monday. The warrant was issued and bond was set by Senior Judge Robert Struble.
The matter began last month, when local Danielsville attorney Lane Fitzpatrick published an ad in The Journal prior to the May 24 primary stating that DA White committed a felony in using a badge, emblem and photo of the Hartwell Police Department without Hartwell city council’s permission. Fitzpatrick also filed a complaint on behalf of Hartwell resident Liz Parsons seeking White’s arrest.
“Georgia Law states that no one can display the badge and emblem of a police department in any advertisement without the written permission from the local governing authority,” stated the ad paid for by Fitzpatrick in the May 12 edition of The Madison County Journal. “The Hartwell City Council did not approve his advertisement. District Attorney Parks White’s violation of the law is a felony.”
White said at the time that the request for his arrest was “nothing more than an election-week publicity stunt,” and that his campaign got permission from the Hartwell chief of police and the mayor. White defeated challenger Richard Campbell in the May primary and has no Democratic opposition in November.
“I believe in the (courts) system and I look forward to being exonerated of this baseless charge,” White said by phone after his arrest this week. “I have no further comment other than that.”
White’s campaign manager David Phillips presented his phone’s text records to The Journal last month that showed Phillips had correspondence with Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis requesting permission to have a photo with the police department and a response from Davis agreeing to the request.
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