Jackie Barrett, the sheriff of Fulton County, Ga., got a $10,000 campaign contribution last year from a convicted cocaine dealer who was killed two months ago in a botched drug deal, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Curtis Carlson, an attorney for former MetLife broker Byron Rainner, who was associated with trafficker Duane M. Simmons, confirmed that Simmons and his company, DMS Enterprises of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had sent Barrett a $10,000 check.
State law limits campaign donations to a maximum of $2,000 per election cycle plus $1,000 for a runoff. The law says that even donations that are returned must be reported. Barrett did not report receiving and later returning four $10,000 checks last year until Friday, one day after a Journal-Constitution story pointed out the omissions. A federal grand jury in Atlanta is investigating the campaign contributions and Barrett’s investments of public money, which the county auditor said violated state law.
Simmons, who had a series of drug arrests or convictions dating to 1991 in Florida, was fatally shot March 3 in Jacksonville. Investigators recovered $50,000 from his car and more than 4 pounds of cocaine, said Det. Lonnie Mills of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. “He seemed to be a pretty big deal,” Mills said.