Sheriff Allen's wife unofficially declares for Franklin's BOC 3 seat

District 3 Commissioner Felicia Franklin, who has been a lightning rod for controversy on the board and who has run defense for former sheriff and convicted felon Victor Hill’s political team, has filed a Declaration of Intent to run for Clayton County chair—and reportedly is backing current Sheriff Levon Allen’s wife for the District 3 commission seat. The campaign committee Franklin filed, “Committee to Elect/Felicia Franklin for Chairman,” did not appear in Georgia Secretary of State online business filings as of press time June 3; the DOI was filed on June 29, and new business filings can take several days to appear online.

At 3:33 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that it has no incorporation records on file for Franklin’s campaign committee:

Current BOC Chair Jeff Turner has not yet filed a Declaration of Intent yet, nor has District 4 Commissioner DeMont Davis. Both have filed affidavits stating they do not intend to accept over $2,500 in campaign donations or spend over $2,500 this election cycle. However, if either does, they only would be required to file the June 30 and December 1 reports.

A reliable source tells The Clayton Crescent that Franklin has thrown her support to the wife of Sheriff Levon Allen, Tashe’ Allen, to replace her in the District 3 seat.

Attania Jean-Funny declared in March her intent to run for District 3:

Attania Jean-Funny, Clayton County Commission District 3 candidate

Asked for comment, Jean-Funny told The Clayton Crescent, “As someone who has declared an intent to run for the District 3 Commissioner seat, my goal is to work with the most capable Clayton County Chair and Board of Commissioners that will bring integrity, positive change, a vision and a high quality of life for the residents of the county. I bring these characteristics to my community and hope that the rest of the board will possess the same qualities.”

As of July 1, Tashe’ Allen had not filed a Declaration of Intent. However, a Facebook page named “tasheallenfordistrict3” and a social media card that reads “Tashe’ Allen, Clayton County Commissioner, District 3” is making the rounds.

Levon Allen, Hill’s godson and handpicked successor, has hired his own family members to work at CCSO.

Since Allen became sheriff, Franklin has rubber-stamped several requests for extra funding before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Franklin’s declaration comes after she punted, for a second time, an appearance before the Georgia State Ethics Commission on numerous expenditures that allegedly should not have come out of her campaign funds. Franklin was granted a continuance last week, placing her next possible appearance before the State Ethics Board after the November election.

In February 2020, Franklin was reelected as vice-president of The Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (The ATL), where she represented District 10. On March 13, Franklin lost the District 10 slot to current Forest Park City Manager Ricky L. Clark, Jr.

Franklin’s finances

Franklin frequently and emphatically lectures other public officials—and even an auditor who was investigating county travel and education reimbursements—about “fiduciary responsibility.” Yet on several occasions, Franklin’s handling of public funds has come under scrutiny.

During her 2020 reelection bid in District 3, Franklin signed an affidavit stating that she did not owe the State of Georgia any money, when in fact she had not paid her state income tax for several years. The Clayton Crescent uncovered two liens for back taxes the Georgia Department of Revenue had placed on Franklin’s home, which covered the time before and after her reelection bid. After the story ran, the liens were resolved. Under Georgia law, a false statement on an election affidavit or other official city, county, or political subdivision document carries criminal penalties.

Clayton County District 3 Commissioner Felicia Franklin. (Photo: Robin Kemp/The Clayton Crescent)

Franklin also has had issues with the county over travel advances, some of which she repaid. In 2021, Franklin taunted former chief financial officer Ramona Bivins over a reimbursement check she wanted Bivins to cut for her. When Bivins directed her to follow established procedure, Franklin filed a police report with the Jonesboro Police Department, alleging that Bivins had “pointed her fingers in my face” and told The Clayton Crescent the same thing, urging a review of security video in both cases. Neither JPD’s investigator not The Clayton Crescent saw Bivins engage in the alleged behavior. (Franklin has not returned The Clayton Crescent’s requests for comment on any matter since.) Less than a year later, Franklin joined with District 1 Commissioner Alieka Anderson and District 2 Commissioner Gail Hambrick to cancel Bivins’ contract, later accusing her of abusing a continuing education reimbursement. Bivins is suing the three commissioners and the county in federal court and now is the CFO of Clayton County Schools.

Franklin, along with Anderson and Hill, had campaigned for Janice Scott’s District 4 run in 2022 against Commissioner DeMont Davis. Less than two weeks after Bivins’ husband accused Scott campaign members of stealing Davis’ signs, Franklin, Anderson, and Hambrick voted to terminate Bivins’ existing contract, which was up for renewal that night, and gave her less than 48 hours to clear out her office.

Franklin’s name also has been linked with that of convicted felon and Hill associate Mitzi Bickers’ political consulting company, Pirouette, and a sushi restaurant frequented by Hill, at an apparently nonexistent address in southwest Atlanta that Hill had listed on his campaign finance disclosures.

For this campaign, Franklin is using the services of Solomedia, Shaheen Solomon’s company. Solomon apparently was one of the people to whom Franklin sent CashApp campaign funds without reporting those payments, according to the State Ethics Board. In 2020, Franklin sent Solomon $2,605:

  • May 11, 2020: $2,380
  • July 15, 2020: $100
  • July 24, 2020: $125

It’s a process

Franklin also is being sued for slander by Brandon Turner, a Parks and Recreation employee who is the son of Chairman Jeffrey Turner, after she repeatedly amplified anonymous false statements and implications about Turner’s background to dozens of elected officials and metro Atlanta news outlets. Anderson joined in with a single e-mail and Brandon Turner also is suing her for slander.

In February, Franklin and Anderson claimed that they should not receive process service at their homes because they are elected officials. The commissioners said that, because they are single women, they should not have to open their doors to receive legal papers. County Attorney Charles Reed said the commissioners could speak with him “offline” about designating someone to receive service on their behalf. Franklin intimated that she was being targeted by Chairman Turner: “There’s nothing within state law that states that any member of this board should be followed, to their home, after nine o’clock, almost ten o’clock at night, to be served a particular document that specifically with the last name ‘Turner’ on it.”

Clayton County Chairman Jeffrey E. Turner. Photo: Robin Kemp/The Clayton Crescent

Soon after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed that Turner had received a written threat, Franklin, Anderson, and Hambrick had Clayton County Sheriff’s deputies assigned as bodyguards before, during, and after BOC meetings. Turner and Davis were not assigned CCSO bodyguards. Clayton County Police are responsible for security at BOC headquarters at 112 Smith Street. Turner’s executive assistant, Katrina Holloway, was charged with making false statements and making a false report of a crime in the case. Holloway denied she sent the threats and accused Turner of sending them to himself after a stamp on the threat was traced back to her. Turner told The Clayton Crescent he did not mail the threat to himself and said he would be suing Holloway.

In an interview with an online media outlet, Franklin intimated that someone with access to county computers who outranked an administrative assistant sent anonymous e-mails and that she had notified “the GBI…our chief of police, our sheriff’s office, and again our district attorney, because I really had concerns for our safety as board members.”

Asked for his reaction Wednesday to Franklin’s announcement, Turner said, “Good luck to her.”

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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