In January, Joan Garner took office as the first openly gay person on the Fulton County Commission. Now, the audacious community activist turned political insider faces this distinction in the coming weeks: Becoming the state’s first gay elected official to be thrown in jail.
Garner (photo) – along with gay-friendly commission colleagues John Eaves and Rob Pitts, and the entire 7-member board – received a tongue lashing on Thursday from U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob. The judge has had his fill of excuses from the commission over overcrowding and poor conditions at the Fulton County Jail – you know, the place downtown that recently housed this guy. So Shoob gave commissioners 60 days to buy the city jail or he’ll throw them in the federal penitentiary.
Garner says not so fast, judge. She’s working on it. “I certainly appreciate the need to have additional space. I am working with the chair of the commission to talk with the city to make sure we can do something.”