Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday.
The U.S. Attorney said Lasseter accepted bribes in exchange for supporting a real estate development. Her son, John Fanning, and a her friend, Carl Cain, also pleaded guilty to bribery and drug trafficking charges.
An undercover FBI investigation led to the charges. Prosecutors said Lasseter agreed to support a development on Boggs Road for $36,000.
The federal investigation happened as a county grand jury was already looking into questionable land dealings by some county commissioners.
An undercover FBI agent posed as a businessman and drug trafficker. The U.S. Attorney said Lasseter promised approvals for the development. Her son, John Fanning who is on the county zoning appeals board, was in on the deal, as was her friend Cain. Prosecutors said Fanning and Cain also asked the undercover agent how they too could get into the drug trafficking business. They were given fake drugs to deliver and officers intercepted them.
U.S. Attorney Sally Yates also said Lasseter wanted to used the agent to help them make money off the proposed privatization of Briscoe Field. Yates said those were only discussions and there was no action regarding the airport.
Yates said the investigation is ongoing and more people could face charges.
All three are out on bond. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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