Buckhead-area councilmen hire investigator to follow felony cases

Residents walk near the Buckhead Village shopping center in Buckhead. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Residents walk near the Buckhead Village shopping center in Buckhead. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Lawyer previously planned to run against incumbent councilman

Last November, Buckhead resident Jamie Christy took the initial steps to run for an Atlanta City Council seat, setting up a challenge against longtime incumbent Howard Shook.

But after meeting with Shook a month ago, Christy said, she decided to take an alternate route: working for him.

Shook and Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit, both of whom represent Buckhead districts, have jointly hired Christy as an investigator to follow Buckhead felony cases after an arrest is made, they announced Thursday. Christy, an attorney, will also seek information on businesses that have alcohol licenses to ensure they are operating legally, and share that information with the public.

“I’m excited to update everyone, including people who are not residents of Buckhead, on the crime that happens in Buckhead and around the city,” Christy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday.

She said she no longer plans to run against Shook for the District 7 council seat, though she may make a bid in four years.

Christy will be paid $25 an hour, split between Shook and Matzigkeit’s discretionary funds, public dollars allocated to their respective City Council offices. Shook said he is not sure how many hours she will ultimately spend on the investigative work.

Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO
Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

“She was really open to this idea, so I think we’re lucky to have her,” he said.

Shook said he and Matzigkeit have wanted to hire an investigator to focus on Buckhead for over a year. The work will include following high-profile felony cases in Buckhead after an arrest is made and sharing details including bond information, court dates, trial information and any previous offenses.

Christy sees her work as supplementary to the Atlanta Police Department and area courts.

“After an arrest is made in a high-profile Buckhead felony, information that I think a lot of people would like to see becomes really hard to obtain,” Shook said, adding that “there’s certain bars and clubs and restaurants that people would like to learn more about.”

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Christy currently works as an associate lawyer at a Midtown law firm. She previously worked at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office as a clerk for three months, and has experience working in a defense attorney’s office. She got her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School last year and is a member of the California bar, according to her LinkedIn page.

She filed the paperwork in November allowing her to raise funds to run for Council, but campaign disclosures show she had not taken in or spent any money. She said she has emailed the city and asked to be withdrawn from the race.

“After talking with Councilman Shook, I decided that I would be best poised to work in this role for him for the next four years,” she said, “and then run again in 2025.”

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