The Kennesaw City Council voted Monday to remove several reminders of a part of the city’s past that officials described as shameful on government buildings around the city.
Councilman Jim “Doc” Eaton spearheaded the effort to remove former mayor and council member Leonard Church, who left office in disgrace after pleading guilty to child molestation charges in 2015, from several building dedication plaques around the city.
Though Church is currently serving an 18-year sentence at Long State Prison southwest of Savannah, his name remains on five plaques on Kennesaw buildings, and, until recently, his photo was in a place of honor among the city’s other mayors in the council chambers. The council approved removing his name and photo on Monday.
His photo has already been removed from the council chambers, but fixing the plaques will take more time.
“I brought it back up again because I’ve had a number of our constituents in town say that having his name, being a convicted felon, to have his name in public on city property was something that they would like to see changed, in addition to removing his picture from the council chambers,” Eaton said.
Eaton’s daughter, former Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh, served alongside Church on the council. She remembered it as a trying time to serve the city, and said she will be happy to see the plaques come down.
“His actions weren’t just illegal, they were morally reprehensible,” she said. “I got a lot of phone calls from citizens when they would see the plaques up.”
Welsh said she introduced the idea of removing the plaques during her time on the council, but said other councilmembers dismissed the idea. She said they thought he was innocent.
Mayor Derek Easterling said he isn’t sure why these actions weren’t undertaken earlier.
“We had talked about it, and it was brought back up again, and we felt it was something we needed to do,” Easterling said.
The mayor said casting five new plaques will cost the city an estimated $10,000 to $11,000. The city’s budget has already been approved for the year, but Easterling said the city will “find it in contingencies and move money around,” and that the city manager had been tasked to do so.
Councilman Jim Sebastian voted against the consent agenda, which contained the authorization to remove the plaques. He said it is an economic issue for him.
“Basically, they want to spend $12,000-plus for a couple plaques that nobody really notices, and my point on that is not necessarily because of who it is, but we can’t afford to fix potholes, much less fix expensive brass plaques that nobody sees or notices,” he said.
============================================

Here is an updated photo of our Pedophile former mayor.  

He is still at Long State Prison, on July 27th he got $200 put into his prison account.




7/14/16
3/30/16


Usually the AJC is lagging behind on reporting Kennesaw Issues, this time they beat the MDJ by 3 days and actually the AJC article was better. 

Here FYI is the Marietta Daily Journal article and also the AJC, which do you like best?

You can keep up on all the Leonard Church nonsense, even to how much he gets on his prison account and the dates it is posted, on this site: 
another council person has a site at:  http://catcherfreeman.blogspot.com/

------------------------------------------------------------


Former Kennesaw councilman Leonard Church collects pension from prison
by Meris Lutz  Marietta Daily Journal 3/30/16
http://uber-assets.solesolution.com/sites/624/assets/9R9_leonard_church_in_court_03___RGB.jpg
Former Kennesaw City Councilman Leonard Church, who was convicted of child molestation, continues to collect pension from the city from prison. / Staff-file
Kennesaw city officials say their hands are tied over former Mayor and City Councilman Leonard Church’s pension, which he continues to collect from prison where he is serving 18 years for child molestation and related crimes. Church’s pension amounts to $501.94 a month, according to a city spokesperson.

“There’s a state law … that allows for a reduction or elimination of a pension only for certain offenses and child molestation, unfortunately, is not one of those,” said Amy Henderson, a spokesperson for the Georgia Municipal Association, which administrates Kennesaw’s pension program. 
Had Church been convicted of murder, voluntary manslaughter, certain drug-related offenses or a crime related to the office he held, such as corruption, he could have had his pension stripped.

Church pleaded guilty in December and is serving his sentence at Long State Prison, southwest of Savannah.

A spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Corrections said offenders can manage their outside personal finances through designated family or legal representatives. Church’s attorney, Jimmy Berry, did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

“Each prisoner has a prison account where money can be deposited by authorized persons for use in the prison commissary,” the Department of Corrections spokesperson wrote in an email to the MDJ. “Each facility has a commissary where they can buy small food items and toiletries. They can also use funds for medical copays for treatment within the facilities. There are a number of safeguards in place regarding inmate funds and all financial transactions are strictly monitored by the department.”

City Attorney Randall Bentley, who has held the position for more than eight years, confirmed that there was nothing the city could do about Church’s pension.

“Based on all that we’ve seen so far … it does appear that he is allowed to pull a pension,” Bentley said. “I never can recall anything like this happening.”

Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling, who took office in January, said he understands public frustration over Church’s pension.

He pointed to the fact that the current council recently eliminated health benefits and plans to eliminate pensions.

“That’s in the past and there’s not much that I can do about it,” Easterling said of Church’s pension. “We can look at the law, we can look at what the state has in place and we are doing that, but it’s not something that I want to focus on, I want to focus more on the future.”

============================

When you get tired of reading about this Leonard Church scumbag you can brush up on another Cobb County (Ga) pedophile, Joseph Dendy, at:  http://josephdendy.blogspot.com/

----------------------------------------------------------------

3/26/16


Former Kennesaw mayor drawing city pension in prison


Updated: 3:45 p.m. Friday, March 25, 2016  |  Posted: 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 25, 2016


Leonard Church, the former two-term Kennesaw mayor and city council member, is receiving a monthly city pension despite his conviction last year on charges of child molestation and sexual exploitation of children that sent him to prison for 18 years.
Church, 67, pleaded guilty to the charges in December on the day his trial was scheduled to begin.
Prosecutors said Church twice molested a 9-year-old boy after showing him pornographic images of children. The boy was injured while being molested, but prosecutors reduced the charge of aggravated child molestation — and its minimum 25-year prison term — in exchange for the guilty plea. Investigators allege they found neary 1,000 child porn images on computers in Church’s home.
Kennesaw Councilman Jim Sebastian, elected to the council with Church in 2013, said he became aware of the pension payments after a question from a resident.
Sebastian said there is nothing the city can do to stop the payments, but city council has taken an initial step to remove future elected officials from the city’s pension system. Sebastian said Church’s pension payments actually began in 2013, meaning he was double-dipping a pension payment and a $1,000-per-month council salary for a full two years.
“I knew he was eligible and could be drawing it if he wanted to,” Sebastian said of Church’s pension. “He met the letter of the law.”
Church continued serving on the city council for months after his June 2014 arrest on the charges. He was indictedin January 2015.
As part of a probation modification, Church was allowed to enter the council chambers through a back door, stay for meetings behind the dais, then leave immediately afterward. Citizens repeatedly expressed outrage during council meetings that Church continued serving with the charges hanging over his head.
Jimmy Berry, Church’s attorney, asked for the modification in a court filing: “As a council member, the defendant could enter through a non-public entrance and participate in the meetings and then leave through the same non-public entrance. Defendant would be physically separated from the audience by a long podium and would have no contact or interaction with audience members.”
Berry did not return a message left at his law office on Friday.
Former Mayor Mark Mathews, who defeated Church in the 2008 mayoral election, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in December that he privately asked Church to step down, to no avail.
“We have no penalty provisions in place for us to do to each other, ” Mathews said. “We can’t do anything to each other.”
The council and new mayor Derek Easterling have taken steps to solve that issue, Sebastian said. The council changed the city charter earlier this year so that any elected official indicted on a felony is automatically suspended without pay pending resolution of the criminal case. If the official is acquitted, Sebastian said, they are given back pay.
It is unclear how much Church collects from his city pension, but Bill Harris said he was told by city officials that the range is $585-650 per month. Harris has kept a blog on the Church situation for about two years.
Sebastian wrote on his city web-page that he would post the amount of the pension payments as soon as he gets an official figure from the city’s consultant.
When asked for his reaction to Church drawing a city pension, Harris said: “You can’t print it in the newspaper. It’s unquotable.”

----------------------------------------------------

How much is Church getting?  Here is the information FYI:

“Jim Sebastian - Get the Story about Kennesaw
Church started receiving City retirement in June 2013 in the amount of $408. When he became a Council member, additional time was calculated making his new amount $501.94.”