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Lawmakers propose oversight commission for district attorneys

By Joe Johnson

Georgia lawmakers want to create a state commission to investigate district attorneys and make it easier for voters to remove them from office.

“At the end of the day, the district attorney is supposed to protect the community,” said Georgia Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah). “The number one chief law enforcement officer of a county. If they can’t protect the community, they’re failing.”

Rep. Petrea is one of several state representatives who co-sponsored new bills aimed at holding District Attorneys accountable.

He joined those efforts, he said, after a WTOC investigation last year found the Chatham County DA’s Office was cutting deals with convicted killers to release them from jail on probation.

Petrea has openly criticized the Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones for her stance on DUIs and recent plea deals in murder cases.

House Bill 229 would make it easier for voters to remove a DA from office.

It reduces the requirements needed to have a recall election for a District Attorney.

House Bill 231 would create a new state oversight commission for prosecutors in Georgia.

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