Dawson County Sheriff candidates debate Monday


DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. The Dawson County Republican Party will host a debate featuring the three candidates for Dawson County Sheriff — incumbent Jeff Johnson and challengers Marcus Sewell and Jeff Perry — Monday at 7 p.m. at Fire Station 2, 145 Liberty Road in Dawsonville.

Fetch Your News will have more details as they become available.

Marcus Sewell enters race for Dawson County Sheriff



DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Marcus Sewell, a veteran law enforcement officer and current member of the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff where he serves as head of Criminal Investigations, today announced he is a candidate for Sheriff of Dawson County.

“For two and a half years, I have witnessed the fiscal and professional mismanagement within the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office,” Sewell said. “This has to change. With my leadership, integrity, experience and my passion for Dawson County, I am confident that I can give our citizens a Sheriff’s Office they can depend on and be proud of.”

A graduate of Dawson County High School and longtime resident of Dawson County, he launched his law enforcement career in 2004 working in the Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto.

In 2005, he transitioned to Dawson County where he worked under Sheriff Billy Carlisle. He started as jail deputy then was promoted to sergeant while working in the jail.  Sewell then transferred to the patrol division. In 2009, he accepted a position in the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office as assistant Jail Commander and once again his law enforcement abilities propelled him upward.

After a stint as Assistant Jail Commander, he rose to Jail Commander, Special Services Commander (drug investigations, K9 deputies, school resource deputies, victims advocate and animal control) and today commands Criminal Investigations. His experience also includes a three-year stint as Georgia Sheriff’s Association region 3 representative for the Jail Management Advisory Committee. The committee does jail management and operations while coming up with safe, efficient solutions for jails.

Marcus has been very involved in the community. He was a collegiate wrestler at Anderson College and he has coached many Dawson County youth in wrestling and football. In 2003-2004 he assisted in coaching the Dawson County High School wrestling team to a third state title. He is also a Leadership Lumpkin graduate, and a member of the Rotary Club of Dawson County.

Marcus’ wife Amber is a nurse at Mount Sinai Wellness Center. They have two children, Tristan, age 8, and Alena, age 4. They attend Harvest Baptist Church where Marcus is also a home preacher.

“I ask for your vote, your support but most of all your prayers as I undertake the challenge of serving as Dawson County Sheriff,” he said.

Please visit Marcus Sewell’ s Facebook page at Marcus Sewell for Sheriff.



Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com




2020 Dawson County sheriff’s race beginning to take shape


Captain Marcus Sewell

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Two potential challengers for Dawson County Sheriff in 2020 have emerged. Jeff Perry, a veteran parole officer, officially tossed his hat into the ring last week and Capt. Marcus Sewell, Chief of the Investigations Division in Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, is expected to announce his campaign next week.

Perry ran against Johnson in the 2016 election and finished third in a four-candidate race. He, of course, hopes to do better this time around.

In making his announcement last week, Perry said, “I am running for Sheriff to serve the citizens of Dawson County because there is nothing more important to me than keeping our families safe, and bringing capable leadership to the top law enforcement position in the county.”

Jeff Perry

Sewell has not made an official announcement but there are campaign-style signs appearing on social media that indicate he soon will. He is a veteran law enforcement officer widely known in Dawson County. He is a graduate of Dawson County High School and served as a deputy for longtime Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle.

Johnson has had a troubled first term as sheriff. In his first year he sued the Board of Commissioners in an effort to get more money for his 2018 budget. He lost the lawsuit and alienated county commissioners and other county officials in the process. Most of them have said privately they want to see Johnson defeated.

Commissioners have also been angered by Johnson’s insistence on hiring someone to handle sheriff’s office finances, a service the county could provide at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The new candidates are almost certain to attack Johnson on his wasteful spending. The unsuccessful lawsuit cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. Embarrassingly, Johnson learned at the end of that budget year, he had nearly $500,000 remaining that he failed to spend. That money could have been used to give deputies a well-deserved pay raise. Instead, it went back into the county’s general fund.

Johnson has also attracted a great deal of negative publicity for personnel issues within the sheriff’s office. For example, in 2018 three detention officers were arrested – two for domestic violence issues and another for unlawful sexual relationship with a female prisoner. That same year, an entire night patrol of on-duty officers was discovered playing badminton and leaving the county unprotected. And, in May 2019, a computer aided dispatch report showed that one sergeant refused to report to the scene of an accident for more than six hours.

The election is still a year away, but the campaign is right around the corner.




Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com


Jeff Perry announces campaign for Dawson County Sheriff



DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Today, Retired Chief and 27-year law enforcement
veteran, Jeff Perry, officially announced his campaign for Dawson County Sheriff in
2020. Perry presently teaches Criminal Justice in the Dawson County School System. Perry was tasked with starting a Criminal Justice Program in Dawson County. Perry started the program two years ago, he teaches Intro to Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Essentials and Criminal Investigations to Junior High and High School Students

Said Perry, “I am excited to announce my campaign for Sheriff. My family and I have deep-roots here in Dawson County. I am running for Sheriff to serve the citizens of Dawson County because there is nothing more important to me than keeping our families safe, and bringing capable leadership to the top law enforcement position in the county.”

“I believe I can bring a depth of experience to the Sheriff’s Office that is unmatched,
with 27 years of experience in law enforcement, tough decision making and experience with managing a budget and staff.

Perry served as Chief for 19 years over an area that consisted of seven (7) rural and urban counties and three offices in Northeast Georia. Said Perry, “I promise to bring effective leadership, employee accountability and fiscal responsibility to the office of Sheriff.”
Perry stressed his record of managing during tough economic times, “I often thought my name was “Do more with less” because I heard it so much.”

Perry stated, “As an elected official, capable management of tax payer dollars should be one of the highest priorities.” As Sheriff I will ensure taxpayer dollars fund agency missions instead of expensive overruns and failed planning. I will not ask for additional monies until every tax payer dollar is accounted for. The job of Sheriff is too important to leave to the inexperienced or to those who may lack the vision and leadership to effectively do the job.”

Perry plans to initiate a fierce anti-drug campaign through education and enforcement.   “As foster parents, Lisa and I have seen first hand the effects of drugs on innocent children and families,” he said.

Perry’s message to drug dealers, “If you sell, possess or push drugs in Dawson County we will arrest you.”

A high priority will be working with the accountability courts such as Drug Court, DUI Court and Family Court. Perry stated that open communication with the community is vital and as Sheriff, Perry promises to keep the community informed and engaged regarding crime and developments in Dawson County. Perry feels it’s important to seek community input if nothing more than to ascertain how the department is doing.

Perry plans to set aside one day a month for citizens. Citizens Day, as Perry called it, will be an opportunity for members of the community to come in and meet with the Sheriff, no appointments needed, Perry said on Citizens Day he will be in the office at 7:00 AM and stay till 7:00 PM, in an effort to meet with all citizens that come in that day. Perry stated he would also conduct quarterly meetings or town hall meetings with the citizens. Perry stated that he would go into local communities, sub-divisions, etc. to discuss with citizens safety tips, security suggestions and department news.

“I ask for your trust, your prayers and your vote so I can put my decades of experience to work to protect and serve you, the people of Dawson County as your Sheriff,” continued Perry.

Perry stated he would be discussing his strategic plan with citizens in the upcoming months.

More about Jeff Perry:
Jeff Perry served as a Parole Officer with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles for 27 years. For the last 19 years, he served as a Chief. At his retirement Perry was one of the longest serving Chiefs in the agency. As Chief, Perry managed a large district area consisting of 7 rural and urban counties where he worked to achieve top goals—chief among them: keeping our families safe. Perry has been responsible for working in conjunction with multiple Sheriffs Offices, Police Departments, Drug Task Forces, managing a staff of employees, devising strategic plans, managing budgets and directing day-to-day operations.

As noted, Perry started a Criminal Justice Program for Junior High and High School students. He completed his teaching certification while developing and teaching the Criminal Justice Program in Dawson County. The program is one of only a few in Northeast GA. Perry also served as a Junior High Assistant Basketball Coach in 2018-19.

Perry’s experience in law enforcement is unmatched. He completed law enforcement basic training in 1990 and has completed over 1600 hours of training since that time. His training hours have been focused in the areas of tactical communications, improvised explosive devices, Georgia Criminal Law, Georgia Constitution Law, Gangs, Drug ID/Clandestine Drug Labs, Anti-Terrorism, VIP Protective Operations and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Perry is a Post Certified Firearms Instructor and an Adjunct Instructor. Perry was chosen to serve on numerous federal, state and local task forces and was assigned to the 1996 Olympic Law Enforcement Team SOLEC (State Olympic Law Enforcement Command) and as a law enforcement supervisor for the 2004 G-8 Summit of World Leaders. Perry led a team of state officers and Atlanta Police Department officers during G-8. Perry previously worked on a US Marshall’s Sex Offender Task Force. He has been involved with CART (Child Abduction Response Team).

Jeff earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern
University and has completed Post-Graduate Coursework. Perry completed his Internship with the Statesboro Police Department were he was assigned to the Patrol and Detective Divisions. Perry completed the Certified Public Managers Program through the Carl Vinson Institute at UGA and has completed numerous leadership and professional classes, including Leadership Dawson. Perry and his office have been recognized with numerous individual and officer awards.

Perry and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 30 years and are the proud parents of two grown children, Jacob Perry and Jade Perry. Perry and his wife, Lisa, have also been involved with foster parenting in our community. Lisa retired in 2019 as the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Dawson County School System. Jeff and Lisa Perry are committed to our community. Jeff Perry is an active member of Liberty Baptist Church in Dawson County where he is a Deacon and currently serves as the Chairman of the Deacon Board. He has served as a youth director, Sunday school teacher, property trustee, and as Sunday School Superintendent. Jeff is a former Jaycee, a charter member of the Dawsonville Civitan Club and a long-time youth community coach for soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Perry holds or has held past memberships in the following professional affiliations The GA Sheriff Association, Peace Officers of GA, Parole Association of GA, National Major Gang Task Force, National Rifle Association (NRA), Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Dawson County Republican Party.

Sheriff Johnson, Busher enter cover up mode


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson and Sgt. Larry Busher have gone into full CYA mode.

Johnson blames Fetch Your News for reporting the truth about Busher’s inability to find his posterior with both hands and a GPS app. Busher blames 911 operator Miki Mullis for giving him “faulty information” regarding an overturned vehicle on Nimblewill Gap last month.

FYN broke the news this week that it took Busher more than six hours to arrive at the location even though Cody Skinner — the man who reported the accident via ham radio — said he provided the exact latitude/longitude coordinates and used the GPS feature on his ham radio to beacon the exact location “so the other operator could see my exact location.”

Angered by our report, Johnson lashed out, labeling FYN “Fake News.” The sheriff even accused us of sensationalizing the report. But folks, even Hollywood can’t make this crazy stuff up.

It’s not surprising that Johnson is looking for a scapegoat. Johnson will soon complete his third year in office and his bumbling incompetence and dishonesty will likely cost him his office in the 2020 election.

Dawson County citizens got their first glimpse of his dishonesty in 2017 when he sued the county for a bigger budget. Judge Fred A. Bishop ruled against Johnson and, in rendering his verdict, scolded the sheriff for his dishonesty.

Next came the badminton scandal that saw an entire night patrol shift go AWOL for a quick game at a local school.

Then came a string of arrests of detention officers for offenses ranging from sexual misconduct with an inmate to assault and battery on their wives.

Now FYN is investigating an unsubstantiated report that the sheriff’s office has overbilled the Dawson County School System by $5,000 for officers who direct traffic at the schools. We will keep our readers informed.

As we have done in the past, we will reach out to Johnson for his side of the story. But we won’t hold our breath. Johnson never returns our calls.

The bottom line  is Johnson has lost control of the sheriff’s office and needs to be replaced.

As for Busher, he seems to have taken a page out of Johnson’s playbook in trying to blame the 911 operator for his failure to reach last month’s accident scene. But his explanation doesn’t hold water.

The truth is Busher was afraid of being ambushed. He said as much on the audio recording of the 911 call.

“I’m not (expletive deleted) going anywhere,” Busher said emphatically. “Randy Harkness is going with me.” (NOTE: Harkness was off duty at the time). “Could be we’ve got some hermit living up on the mountain named Bill trying to lure a (expletive deleted) cop up there.”

These two men should not reflect badly upon the other 99 percent of the men and women who serve the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office. They are among the finest law enforcement officers in the state. It is sad they have to function under the failed leadership of Sheriff Jeff Johnson.

But, have faith. 2020 is an election year and very likely Johnson’s final year in office.












Blake Clark Is Wanted By Dawson County Sheriff’s Office


Dawson wanted

Blake Clark is wanted by the Dawson County Sheriff’s office in connection with a sexual assault that occurred on 5/9/16 at the Dawson Village Inn.

Call Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404 577-TIPS (8477) if you have any information on his whereabouts. Callers will remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward up to $2,000.

Early Voting for Primary Runoff Races Ends Friday

News, Politics

DAWON COUNTY, Ga. — Early voting ends Friday for the July 26 general election primary runoffs.

The races in Forsyth County are between Tony Wooten and Jeff Johnson to decide who will replace retiring Sheriff Billy Carlisle and tax commissioner where two newcomers, Andi Henson Juliette and Nicole Stewart, are seeking to fill the vacancy left by Linda Townley who is also retiring this year.

Early voting started July 5 and the Dawson County Elections Office reports that the turnout has beem much heavier than expected. As of Friday afternoon, 1,569 people had cast their ballots

“That’s much greater than we anticipated, especially for a runoff election,” said Dawson County Director of Elections and Registration.
Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate wins a majority in a general primary.

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