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Gwinnett County commissioner resigns, pleads guilty to bribery charge

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Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter resigned and pleaded guilty to federal bribery charge on Thursday. Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter resigned and pleaded guilty to federal bribery charge on Thursday.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -


Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter resigned and pleaded guilty to federal bribery charge on Thursday.

The former Gwinnett County Commissioner chairperson and Duluth mayor admitted to taking $36,500 in bribes from a developer. Lasseter agreed to help rezone land on Boggs Road so that a drug-connected developer could open a pawn shop. Included was an agreement to give Lasseter's son, John Fanning, 50 percent of the business. The developer was an undercover FBI agent.

"When she took the money, Commissioner Lasseter told the undercover agent ‘You've got my vote,'" said U.S. attorney Sally Yates.

Agents record Lasseter and her son counting the cash.

Lasseter allegedly asked the developer for help in soliciting other bribes to win her vote on the privatization of Briscoe Field.  She felt her vote was valuable because it was a swing vote.

Lasseter issued a statement saying "I truthfully regret that I took a bribe. I'm very ashamed that did something like that. I've embarrassed myself and my constituents in Gwinnett County."

Lasseter's son, John Fanning, and businessman Carl Cain also pleaded guilty to bribery and drug charges.

Shirley Lasseter showed little emotion during her guilty plea as she's known this day was coming for a while.

Federal agents revealed their case to the Lasseter family six months ago.

Sentencing will take place in August. Shirley Lasseter faces up to 10 years in prison.

Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter was wrapping up a separate public corruption probe that led to the resignation of two fellow county commissioners.

Charlie Banister resigned in 2010 after facing a perjury charge. Kevin Kenerly also resigned after facing another bribery charge.

FOX 5 I-Team reporter Randy Travis has the story.

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