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Ethics case against DeKalb Commissioner Sutton put on hold

A judge is preventing a final ethics hearing against DeKalb Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton from going forward as a legal case is pending.

The DeKalb Board of Ethics had been scheduled to consider allegations Thursday that Sutton misspent public money, but Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson granted a temporary stay Monday.

Sutton faces allegations that she abused her county purchasing card, used government employees at a political fundraising event and spent taxpayer funds on her personal attorney.

Sutton has said her spending was for legitimate government purposes.

The judge’s order came in response to a court filing by Sutton last week that questioned the Board of Ethics’ authority.

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Sutton’s attorney, Dwight Thomas, wrote in his motion that the board’s power was nullified when voters approved its restructuring during a Nov. 3 referendum.

An overhauled DeKalb Board of Ethics will be appointed by community organizations instead of the county’s commissioners and CEO, a change supported by 92 percent of voters. The new board will take office Jan. 1.

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