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preme Court for oral arguments in February 2024.

This decision likely spells the end to any criminal proceedings against Powell and Scott. Since August 2021, the case has been handled by an outside district attorney, DA Joe Mulholland, South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney, whose interests lie in another circuit; and there are no plans to reindict the case from the current Brunswick Judicial Circuit DA Keith Higgins. Higgins said his predecessor, Jackie Johnson, recused the office from the case in May 2020. “The office remains recused even if a new district attorney is elected,” Higgins said.

The state Supreme Court decision focuses on the legal specifics for why the case should be dismissed and, much like the indictment and entire court case thus far, does not delve into the actual facts of Powell’s role in the narcotics unit misconduct. In his 2020 grand jury testimony, Powell disputed that he was at fault. Allies of Powell claimed that the criminal case and indictment was a plot by former DA Johnson — now indicted for her role in Ahmaud Arbrey’s death investigation — to get rid of the police department and put Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump in charge of county law enforcement.

In his February 27, 2020, testimony to the Glynn County Grand Jury, Scott said, “Some who work for the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff are upset at what was going on in the Police Department when John Powell came in and to further the political push for consolidation of the Glynn County Police Department and the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office. That is all this is about, ladies and gentlemen.”

Commissioner Scott’s employment with the City of Vidalia was terminated on August 27, 2022, following a called meeting of the City Council.

The action followed Scott’s reindictment on August 20, 2022, on charges stemming from the investigation in Glynn County. Scott, who was reindicted on the charge of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer, was placed on administrative leave pending the Vidalia Council’s decision.

Scott joined the City of Vidalia as Police Chief in August 2019. He was initially indicted in Glynn County in February 2020 on multiple charges including Violation of Oath by a Public Officer. Scott’s status was changed to Vidalia Police Commissioner following his 2020 indictment and the City of Vidalia thereafter employed him on a contract basis as Police Commissioner.

Following Scott’s indictment in February 2020, former Vidalia City Manager Nick Overstreet issued an announcement that Scott had been placed on administrative leave “immediately pending investigation of the indictment and surrounding facts.” Because he had been indicted, Scott was unable to continue his duties as a chief with the authority to make arrests, but in the interim he was named police commissioner for the department. In the role of commissioner, Scott continued to manage the dayto- day operations of the department, including the budgetary, purchasing, and personnel needs.

Prior to accepting the post of Vidalia Police Chief, Scott’s last position had been with the Glynn County Police Department. Scott went to work for the GCPD in 2001 and rose to the position of Division Commander for Support Services. This job involved managing fleet maintenance, facilities, training and hiring. He left this post in April 2017 to work for a private company which provided training for police officers across the country.

Scott was called back to Glynn County in September 2017 when John Powell was named interim police chief. The county manager and Chief Powell asked Scott to return to help transform the department and to implement changes. Scott served as Powell’s chief of staff and was mainly in charge of public information and community relations. He stayed at this post until taking the position in Vidalia.

He had been on the job in Vidalia only about seven months when some disturbing news came from Brunswick. Scott was one of four persons named in an indictment based on allegations concerning the now-defunct GBNET. According to Scott’s attorney, Mitchell Shook of Vidalia, the indictments were, in fact, the result of long-standing animosity between members of the GCPD and then Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson, who did not win re-election to her office in 2020, ending her 10-year occupation of that office.

In the indictments returned in Glynn County in February 2020, Scott was charged with two counts of violation of oath of office by a public officer, one count of influencing a witness and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony (subornation of perjury). Chief Powell, who was placed on administrative leave following the indictment, was charged with three counts of violating an oath of office, two counts of influencing a witness and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. Two other members of the Glynn County Police Department were also indicted.

The issues in Johnson’s office were compounded by the national and international focus on another case — the controversial death in February 23, 2020, of Ahmaud Arbery. The young black man was shot and killed as he was allegedly being pursued by three white men in a Brunswick neighborhood. These men have seen been convicted in the case.

Johnson came under fire as questions were raised about her office’s delayed investigation and processing — some alleged cover up — of the death. Johnson eventually recused herself from the case, citing a conflict of interest. A former investigator in Johnson’s office was one of three men charged with the crime.

Amidst the conflict over the Arbery case, Johnson also recused herself from the case involving Scott, Powell and the two other GCPD officers, admitting a conflict of interest, Shook said. A special prosecutor was then appointed. In June 2021, Johnson became the focus of a grand jury investigation because of her handling of the Arbery shooting and other cases.

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