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NEWS > 11 November 2005

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Vigilance is needed to maintai
SEX, drugs, nightclubs and allegations of misbehaving police - The Courier Mail's recent revelations conjure a sense of deja vu for anyone who recalls Queensland in the pre-Fitzgerald 1980s.

Then the focus was on Fortitude Valley. Now "sin city" has shifted to the Gold Coast. When combined with revelations from the Crime and Misconduct Commission's Dangerous Liaisons report from last year, Queenslanders could be forgiven for thinking that the state has indeed gone back to the bad old days, as some commentators suggest.

But while any police misconduct is a worry, there are so... Read more

 Article sourced from

Atlanta Journal Constitution,
11 November 2005
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Sheriff candidate gets 21 mont

A former Forsyth County sheriff's candidate ensnared in an FBI sting was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison for extortion.

Gary Allen Beebe, 44, of Cumming, was captured on secretly taped FBI video for accepting money for political favors he promised to hand out if elected sheriff. Beebe was arrested on public corruption charges a week before the July 2004 primary and was defeated by incumbent Sheriff Ted Paxton by a landslide in the Republican primary.

Beebe, who pleaded guilty July 6, had no comment during today' sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Beverly Martin.

"It's really a tragedy for all of us," Martin told Beebe.

Most people have confidence in their public officials, the judge said. "But when people saw the video of you doing what you did, it undermined that confidence."

Beebe admitted he illegally sought thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from would-be donors in exchange for county contracts for towing services, bond business and DUI schools. During one conversation captured on tape, Beebe also told an informant he would grant him permission to rob known drug dealers in Forsyth County.

At the sentencing hearing, Beebe's lawyer, federal defender Natasha Perdew Silas, said Beebe has been ostracized in Forsyth for his highly publicized crimes. "I feel it has almost been the equivalent of a scarlet letter he's been wearing," Silas said.

Beebe's family has also been targeted. The Beebes have received hate mail, had toilet tissue strewn about their yard, had their car windows smashed and had unpleasant comments directed at their children, Silas said when asking Martin to impose a lenient sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney said he was sympathetic to what has happened to Beebe's family. "But the responsibility lays squarely on the defendant," the prosecutor said. "These are things he should have been thinking about" before he committed the crimes.

In a statement released after the sentencing, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Beebe was willing to sell the office for a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions. "This case should serve as a reminder to those already in public office and to anyone seeking public office that corruption will not be tolerated," Nahmias said.

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