Gwinnett DA seeks indictment against ex-deputy

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett County District Attorney is planning to present evidence against a former major in the Sheriff's Department to a grand jury.

Channel 2 Action News has also learned Shirley Lasseter, an ex-commissioner involved in a bribery scandal, provided key information for an investigation against the major.

State and county officials spent the summer investigating whether former Gwinnett County sheriff's Maj. Nick Neal used his position for personal financial gain. On Friday, Channel 2 confirmed that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has finished its investigation against him and gave a report to Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter.

Porter said based on that report, he now plans to convene a grand jury seeking an indictment against Neal.

"Shirley Lasseter gave a statement accompanied by her attorneys,” Porter told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

Porter said Lasseter discussed Neal's relationship with a Sugar Hill towing company and his efforts to get the county contract with it, though that never panned out.

But Porter said Lasseter also talked about Neal's involvement with a local auto parts distributor that sold the county less than $20,000 worth of brake parts.

"We believe we can show that he had an ownership in the distributorship, sold the parts, and he derived a profit from that,” Porter said.

Porter said it's illegal for a county employee to sell personal property to the county, if they stand to make more than $800 off the sale per fiscal quarter. Porter plans to present his evidence to a grand jury.

Lasseter was cooperating with investigators as part of her plea deal on federal bribery charges. She pleaded guilty to accepting a $36,000 bribe to sway a rezoning vote for a pawn shop.

On Thursday, Channel 2 cameras caught Lasseter at the Gwinnett County courthouse for the first time since pleading guilty in May. She did not want to comment about the case or her upcoming sentencing.

Neal declined an on-camera interview, but told Kavanaugh over the phone that he had not profited off the brake part deal.