BLUE RIDGE, Georgia (AP) – A judge has taken the unusual step of setting a hearing on a prosecutor’s request to drop charges against a north Georgia newspaper publisher and his attorney who were jailed in an open records dispute.
According to the Daily Report (http://bit.ly/29JLatt ), Senior Judge Richard Winegarden on Thursday told lawyers for Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason and attorney Russell Stookey that he will hold a hearing Monday before deciding whether to dismiss the indictment.
The two were indicted June 24 on charges of identity theft and attempt to commit identity theft stemming from subpoenas they issued. The indictment also accused Thomason of making a false statement in an Open Records Act request.
The case stems from a legal battle with a court reporter and the payment of the reporter’s legal bills from a judge’s operating account.