Around the Region: $50 Million Class Action Suit Filed Against City, Symphony Orchestra Denies Diversity Snub and Ex-UGA Coach Accused of Running Ponzi Scheme

Check out these top Patch stories from around Georgia.

 — Stone Mountain Patch

An attorney in Decatur has filed a $50 million class action civil lawsuit against the City of Stone Mountain, mayor Patricia Wheeler, city manager Barry Amos, and police chief Chancey Troutman, claiming illegal use of the police department’s speed detection devices, or laser. 

According to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Jennifer Watts on Aug. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, for a period of three months the city failed to comply with state law requiring that any agency using speed detection devices be properly certified.

Watts maintains the city “knowingly and intentionally continued to prosecute citizens of the State of Georgia, collecting fines and fees of over $100,000” during the period the certification was expired.

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 — East Cobb Patch

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has denied allegations that Lassiter and Walton High Schools will not be allowed to perform in full with the orchestra because of their racial makeup.

In a statement provided to Patch, Charlie Wade, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Vice President for Marketing and Symphony Pops, wrote, “The Lassiter and Walton high school choruses have done an outstanding job, but they are only two of at least 12 very fine high school choirs in the Atlanta area. We think those choirs merit a chance to sing with the ASO as well.”

Jay Dillon, the  spokesperson, released a statement which read in part, “For the past four years, the Lassiter and Walton high school choruses have performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This year, the schools were informed by Symphony officials that their choruses are not diverse enough, and that the Symphony would be inviting a third, more diverse chorus. Because of limited space, only a portion of the Lassiter and Walton choruses would therefore be able to attend.”

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 — Athens Patch

Former University of Georgia head football coach Jim Donnan has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running a Ponzi scheme targeting former players and college coaches, according to an Associated Press report on the Huffington Post

Donnan, who was fired from UGA after the 2000 season, and a business partner raised some $80 million from about 100 investors in the scheme, according to William P. Hicks, associate director of the SEC's Atlanta office.

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