Board of Commissioners Post 2 Democratic candidate Courtney Dillard issued statements responding to past charges recently reported in the News.
“They are painting me as some sort of criminal,” said Dillard, in a written statement. "There are a few things Ive regrettably done in my past that I am not proud of, but I am no criminal. I'm not who they say I am.”
Regarding the 2006 Newton County warrant, which was recalled last week after Dillard filed an affidavit describing that he was the victim of forgery, Dillard said, "My signature was forged on a stolen check." He said he and his company was the victim of multiple forgery attempts.
Another false check had turned up in Conyers earlier in 2006. In that incident, according to the police report, Deborah Lee Robinson had tried to cash a $700 check with the company name of Dillard-Winecoff at the Sigman Bottle Shop on May 13, 2006. The account did not exist and the check had too few numbers to be legitimate. Robinson said that was the first paycheck she had received from her employer for cleaning services, and that a white male with blond hair had written that check and two other checks.
Dillard had also previously faced charges of cocaine possession in Fulton County in 2004, which was dismissed after prosecutors failed to file paperwork in a timely manner, and battery of a minor, which was effectively struck from his record after he fulfilled sentencing requirements of 40 hours community service and conflict resolution class.
Regarding the 2004 drug posession charge, Dillard said, "I've received a number of traffic violations, over the years, including a recent failure to wear seatbelt (misdemeanor). However, Ive never been convicted of any drug or alcohol related offense."
Regarding the 2006 battery incident, where Dillard punched a minor in the face while he was coaching him during a basketball game, Dillard said, "It was an unfortunate and regrettable accident because I take great pride in being a disciplined, influential and winning coach. I have learned valuable lessons from the experience."
The written statement also went on to describe the battery incident. "A frustrated, fatherless, troubled, young man confronted Dillard, grabbed him by the shirt collar and tried to lift him off the floor. Reflexively, Dillard tried to pull the young man's arms away to remove his grip - but accidentaly struck the angry youngster."
The Rockdale Democratic Party met on Sept. 18 to hear more information from Dillard. Party leadership reportedly gave Dillard a vote of confidence.
Rockdale Democratic party Chair Stan Williams said, “It helped coalesce the party, answer some concerns that the party had, and I think he did it in a very good way. The party can now go forward feeling comfortable that he's a candidate that can address the numerous issues that this county faces and do the job."
In addition, Dillard's wife, Dr. Gayla Dillard, spoke in support of her husband.
"We've been attacked. It's an attack against a power change," she said.
"There's a power shift going on in Rockdale County and I think that's what the attack is about. I really think they are frightened," Dr. Dillard said. "We came to this community 20 years ago and all we've done is serve. We're not politicians; we only entered this race because our church asked us to. We just felt like it was a natural extension, a continuation of our service to the community."