January 20-- A bill in the Georgia House of Representatives would prohibit law enforcement agencies from confiscating money and other property found in drug raids.
House Bill One proposed by Atlanta lawyer Wendell Willard has failed to pass in earlier sessions of the legislature and Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight hopes it fails again.
"Taking this money away from small county sherrif's offices and police departments in South Georgia is really going to hurt because they depend on this money to fight drugs," he says.
Sheriff Kight says federal funds to support area drug task forces are drying up and without the confiscated drug dollars, the task forces will be lost.
State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia says he thinks some law enforcement representatives and lawmakers are discussing ways to change the proposal to provide more transparency and accountability on the use of confiscated money while at the same time continuing the practice.
He says he'll consult with police officials and sheriffs in the 156th District regarding the bill.
"If Sheriff DeLoach and Junior and Bohannon and my law enforcement professionals are okay with the bill and it fixes a gaping hole in transparency of what is being seized and all that being reported, that would be a good thing, but we're not going to do anything that is going to compromise law enforcement's ability to seize property that is aiding and abetting criminals," Morris said.