GAINESVILLE - In light of a recent bribery scheme that landed a former Gwinnett County commissioner behind bars, the current county commission chair said Friday she is taking steps to restore public trust in county government.
Charlotte Nash appeared on the Friday edition of WDUN's "The Ken Coleman Show" and said that she and other commissioners are strengthening ethics rules for elected officials.
"We've strengthened the ethics ordinance considerably," said Nash. "We've established a very strict policy related to land acquisition, since land acquisition was one of the areas that created some of the problems that previous board members had."
Former county commissioner Shirley Lasseter is currently serving a prison sentence for accepting thousands of dollars for her vote on a land deal. Her son John Fanning and Hall County businessman Skip Cain were also implicated in the bribery scheme.
In addition, former commissioners Kevin Kenerly and Charles Bannister, resigned from the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners in 2010 after a grand jury investigation into other real estate deals.
Nash said she thinks current commissioners are making progress when it comes to regaining public trust.
"I think there are some folks willing to give us the benefit of the doubt now, but we've still got lots of room to improve the impression that the public has of us now," said Nash.
Nash was first elected to the top post on the commission in a special election in March 2011. She was elected for a full term in office this past November. A small business owner, Nash worked previously for Gwinnett County government for 27 years. During those years, she was the County Administrator for nine years and previously held the positions of Director of Financial Services, Budget Director and Grants Manager.