MARTA board member gets probation for sex charge

A MARTA board member and former Clayton County financial adviser was sentenced a year on probation after pleading no contest to charges he had sex in a Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport bathroom.

A Clayton County State Court judge sentenced Edmund J. Wall to 12 months of probation, a $500 fine and 64 hours of community service, according to court records.

A jury trial for Wall was scheduled to start Monday. However, Wall plead no contest to one count of public indecency last week, canceling the trial, attorney Keith Martin said.

"Ed admitted no guilt and decided to get this over with," Martin said Monday. "This thing has been hanging over his head for 27 months, clouding business and clouding his life."

Wall, 45, entered the plea under the state's first offender program, which means a guilty verdict will not appear on his record if he follows the law for a year, Martin said.

Martin said Wall has already completed the bulk of his sentence — including counseling, 65 hours of community service and paid all fines. He likely will seek an early discharge from probation, Martin said.

According to Clayton County Magistrate Court records, police said they found Wall and Michael Reid Pettry engaged in oral sex in a restroom outside an airport restaurant on March 13, 2007.

Police arrested both men on public indecency charges.

In February, Pettry, of Indianapolis, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 12 months of probation, a $500 fine and 64 hours of community service, according to court records.

At the time of his arrest, Wall was chairman of the MARTA board. He has since resigned as chairman, but remains a member.

Wall was also fired as Clayton County's financial adviser in January. He previously advised Clayton periodically since 1988 and was hired as the county's investment banker in October.