Carr refused to appoint a special prosecutor, saying any conflicts of interest in the case involved only Howard, not Willis.
In the midst of this standoff, lawyers for Rolfe filed a motion to dismiss the case because there was no one to prosecute it. Last year, Rolfe’s attorneys filed a motion to disqualify the Fulton DA’s office, alleging Howard had made ethically inappropriate comments about the Brooks case.
In his order, Brasher said he “is sensitive to the plight of the district attorney and her office.” The judge also said he has no intention of placing Willis or any member of her staff in an ethically untenable situation.
“Nonetheless, the court has work to do and that work is to decide whether the district attorney’s office ... must be disqualified from representing the state of Georgia herein,” Brasher said. The only way to do that, he added, is to rely on information provided by Willis and her staff.
On Wednesday, Noah Pines, one of Rolfe’s lawyers, said that while he believes Willis’ decision to disqualify her office should be the final word on the matter, he looks forward to Brasher’s review.
“More than that, we hope that the district attorney will release the GBI report on this shooting,” Pines said. “Judge Brasher, the public and Garrett Rolfe all have the right to know what this independent investigation found. And learning what Paul Howard knew, and when he knew it, as he made repeated misstatements to the public, will shed light on the ethical quagmire at the heart of this case.”
Story so far
Jan. 25 – Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sends a letter to state Attorney General Chris Carr. Citing a conflict of interest, she requests that another prosecutor be assigned to two cases: the one against Garrett Rolfe and Devon Brosnan, charged in the Rayshard Brooks case, and an excessive use of force case against six Atlanta Police Department officers.
Feb. 8 – Carr denies the request.
Feb. 11 – Willis asks Carr to reconsider, but the next day a lawyer in the AG’s office tells Willis that Carr’s initial decision “remains in place.”
April 6 – Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher orders Willis to reveal to him, in private, the basis for her belief she has a conflict of interest.