Clayton County

Urinalysis confirms commissioner had cannabis in system during combative incident at sports bar

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has obtained new information after a Clayton County commissioner claimed she was drugged inside a local sports bar.

Video from inside the bar shows Clayton County Commissioner Felicia Franklin consuming drink after drink, and then outside, collapsing.

Later, police body cam video shows Franklin being combative in an ambulance.

She claims she was drugged. Police say that is not true.

Now, Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne has obtained drug test results that reveal what actually was in her system.

Franklin’s spokesman Shaheen Solomon told Winne that he’s known Franklin for about 35 years, and she doesn’t get drunk, and there’s no way she uses marijuana.

But a Morrow police sergeant says records show cannabinoid turned up in a urinalysis after the incident with Franklin outside the 404 Sports Bar and Grill.

“I got a subpoena back from Southern Regional Hospital where it showed that she did not take blood tests, however, they did do a urinalysis,” Sgt. Scott Stewart with the Morrow Police Department said. “The urinalysis showed positive for cannabinoids, also known as cannabis.”

Stewart said though his investigation showed Franklin consumed at least some from the wine and three mixed drinks she was served at 404 Sports Bar and Grill on Sept. 29 -- plus a swig from someone else’s beer -- he wanted to know if there was something else in her system, like GHB -- The so-called date rape drug.

Franklin suggested someone might have slipped her the drug that night.


So Stewart served a subpoena on the hospital to which she was taken after police found her in distress outside the bar.

Now a police report says: “I received the results back from southern regional. Ms. Franklin refused blood work. This shows in the document. Ms. Franklin was given a urine test which showed positive for cannabinoid. There is no more evidence in this case.”

Dr. Carol Terry told Winne that as a medical examiner who does autopsies for a metro county, the presence of cannabinoids in urine indicates some kind of ingestion of marijuana be it from smoking, a gummy, or something else resulting in the presence of THC in the system.

“If cannabinoid was actually found in her system, that just goes to show that she was in fact drugged because the commissioner does not consume any cannabinoids or any marijuana,” said Shaheen Solomon, a spokesman for Franklin. “I’ve known (Franklin) for 30-plus years and I’ve never known her to consume any of those items, and she’s well known around the community as well and people know her very well, to know that she doesn’t consume those items.”

Stewart said his investigation, including reviewing hours of bodycam and security video from the bar and grill turned up no evidence of someone slipping something in Franklin’s drink at the establishment.

Stewart said Franklin was adamant— repeatedly — that she did not consume five drinks and that she suggested some of the drinks on her bill must have been for other people, and food on her bill was apparently for others.

“I didn’t order five drinks. I didn’t drink five drinks,” Franklin said on a police interrogation video.

But Stewart said something has to explain the commissioner’s combative behavior on a Morrow fire/EMS ambulance captured on a Lake City police officer’s bodycam.

“She’s been on medication for two weeks,” a medic is heard saying on body cam video.

“What are you taking? Prednisone?” a medic asked Franklin on the body cam video.

“Yes,” said said.

Terry told Winne that prednisone, a steroid, can cause agitation, mood changes, or aggressive behavior in some cases but the effect would not normally be exacerbated by alcohol.

Terry said according to one study she reviewed online, in some cases, high-potency marijuana may trigger delusions or violent behavior.

Solomon said he’s confident the video does not show Franklin smoking anything.


Comments on this article