Ex-DeKalb commissioner’s bribery trial postponed yet again

Sharon Barnes Sutton in June 2016, when she was still a DeKalb County commissioner. (Kent D. Johnson / AJC file photo)

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Sharon Barnes Sutton in June 2016, when she was still a DeKalb County commissioner. (Kent D. Johnson / AJC file photo)

The federal criminal trial of former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton has been rescheduled yet again — this time just a week before her latest court date.

Barnes Sutton was arrested on bribery and extortion charges in 2019, about three years after she left office. Her alleged offenses, which include taking a total in $1,000 in bribes from a subcontractor working for DeKalb County, date back even further.

The former commissioner was originally scheduled to go to trial in early 2020, but that was postponed as she sought a new court-appointed attorney. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the case has been rescheduled time and time again.

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Under an arrangement that had been in place since January, Barnes Sutton was supposed to finally go to trial Aug. 10. But U.S. District Court Judge Mark H. Cohen agreed Wednesday to set a new date of Oct. 25.

Barnes Sutton’s public defender, Mildred Geckler Dunn, had filed a request for the continuance on Monday. She argued that the prosecution had passed along a large amount of discovery — evidence and other information relevant to the case — just last week.

Cohen granted the motion, saying it would be “impossible” for either he or the defense to review the material in an appropriate manner before the previously set trial date.