Our network

Vernon Jones wants to be DeKalb Sheriff, but won't disuss past | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Vernon Jones wants to be DeKalb Sheriff, but won't disuss past

DECATUR, Ga. - After a six year absence from public office, former state representative and DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones made his bid for sheriff official Thursday.

 "We're going to be more efficient; we're going to be more effective and we're going to be tougher on crime," Jones told a crowd of supporters on the steps of DeKalb County's old courthouse.

When it came time for media questions, I asked Jones why he vetoed a 2008 pay raise for deputies, police officers and firefighters during his last year as CEO by claiming it would mean cuts in services to senior citizens and others.

"Paul, I'm not sure where you got your information from...but I've never, in my mind, to my knowledge, vetoed anything," he answered.

When I showed him an 11Alive.com web story about the March 12, 2008 veto, signed at the Lou Walker Senior Center, he continued to deny it.

"First of all, I never went to the Lou Walker to sign a veto to get rid of or to veto anything, so that's not true," he insisted.

11Alive News actually has file footage of the 2008 veto signing ceremony at the Lou Walker Center, which Jones called as a media event.

About 10 minutes after his news conference, Jones called me back for another interview and admitted he'd forgotten.

"I could not at the expense of seniors and at the expense of children cut the budget," he confirmed.

Jones also said he did not want to discuss other controversies from his political past.

Like a 2005 police investigation of a woman's rape allegation, which he claimed was consensual sex and which never resulted in any formal charges.

Also an accusation by a fellow commissioner that he once shoved her, which also brought no charges.

Or a DeKalb County Grand Jury report released last August that cited what it called "incompetence, patronage, fraud and cronyism" during his CEO administration.

Again, no formal charges against Jones.

"I'm not here to talk about the past," Jones said at his news conference.

"The reason why a windshield's bigger than a review mirror is because it's where you're going that counts, not where you came from," he said.

Jones said while he's never worn a badge like his five opponents for Sheriff, he believes he is more qualified because he's run a large government that included public safety.

All will face each other in a special election to replace current Sheriff Thomas Brown, who is running for Congress.