Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said in a Wednesday letter that “there was no criminal conduct” related to the actions of Councilwoman Rosie Jackson.
Fellow Councilwoman Helen Zenobia Willis had accused Jackson of threatening her, and asked for a criminal investigation.
Willis declined to comment on the DA’s conclusion this week, but referred a reporter to her attorney, Antavius Weems. Weems said while Willis respected Howard’s decision, she would continue to “look at every legal avenue available to her to ensure her safety.”
“She could write her a nice letter, she could file some type of action — it runs the gamut,” Weems said.
For her part, Jackson said she was relieved that she had been “fully exonerated.” She said she had carried a Taser in the past, but did not threaten Willis with one.
“No Taser was there,” she said. “They knew there was no Taser out, they knew that.”
Jackson said in a statement that she felt her reputation was “wrongfully tarnished” and her name had been slandered.
The dispute occurred Oct. 23, toward the end of a council meeting that lasted more than three hours. At the time, Jackson and Willis sat next to each other on the dais, though they have since been split up.
Following a discussion about the correct way to rename a football field at Old National city park, Jackson could be seen pointing animatedly at Willis, who was talking and pointing back at her.
“Excuse me, both of y’all are getting out of order,” Mayor Bill Edwards said during the meeting, while pounding his gavel. Minutes later, Willis motioned for a city police officer to approach the council dais. With the council meeting still in session, video of the incident shows a flurry of activity as Willis, Jackson and Edwards walk in and out of the chamber.
Jackson declined to go into detail about what caused the dispute, but said she was fighting for sanitation workers in the city. In video of a speech Jackson gave last month, she said she had been arguing against an insurance policy requirement that was higher than the state’s.
“My first priority is my constituents and getting things done in my community,” she said. “If you see me, I’m fighting for somebody.”
Tracy Rolle, a South Fulton resident who attends council meetings in the city, said since the pair’s seats had been changed, it seemed that they were staying out of each others’ way.
“I think they’re working more collaboratively,” she said. “You don’t have to like each other to work together.”
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