Georgia voters have booted Paul Howard, the embattled Fulton County district attorney who charged the police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks with murder, from office by a shocking margin.
Howard is the subject of two Georgia Bureau of Investigation probes – one into his handling of the Rayshard Brooks incident, and one into whether he redirected grant money from the city of Atlanta, meant to be used by community non-profits, into his own pocket. The GBI is reportedly also considering several other investigations.
Howard made national headlines back in June when he charged an Atlanta police officer, Garrett Rolfe, with murder (as well as ten other crimes) in the death of Rayshard Brooks. Brooks had fallen asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru and, after an extended interaction, threatened officers with a taser. Rolfe shot Brooks, according to reports, killing him.
Rolfe contended, in a statement issued through his attorneys, that Brooks was displaying aggressive behavior, had stolen the taser from one of the officers, and pointed a weapon in Rolfe’s direction. Howard, in his own statement accompanying the murder charges, says Brooks did not display aggressive behavior in, at least, the 41-minute interaction leading up to the tussle over the taser.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation had already assumed responsibility for investigating the officer-involved shooting, but Howard went ahead with charges anyway.
As The Daily Wire reported back in July, the GBI quickly instituted their own investigation into Howard’s decision.
“Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has asked the GBI to expand the scope of its current investigation regarding Howard after Carr learned about subpoenas Howard’s office issued regarding Officer Garrett Rolfe and the use of force against Brooks, whom Rolfe shot after he resisted arrest and fired a taser at him during a DUI arrest,” Daily Wire noted.
Those subpoenas, the Attorney General contends, were issued while grand jury deliberations were suspended over concerns about coronavirus, and issuing subpoenas while a grand jury is knowingly out of operation could constitute an ethical – or even a criminal – violation.
In addition, Atlanta’s Fox affiliate reports, Howard is under investigation for his use of non-profit grant money.
“Howard recently came under fire after the FOX 5 I-Team uncovered the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was looking into allegations that Howard used grant money from the City of Atlanta to nonprofits under his control,” the outlet said. “One of those non-profits paid Howard at least $140,000 in city grant money. He agreed to pay a $6,500 state ethics fine for failing to disclose his role as a CEO for two non-profits.”
In addition, there may be other investigations against Howard pending, including one involving a sexual harassment allegation.
It’s not clear what Howard’s loss means to the Rayshard Brooks case. That decision will likely be left up to Fani Willis, who defeated Howard by a shocking forty-five points to become the new Fulton County DA.