Cornett pleads guilty to reckless conduct
by Staff Report
Jun 13, 2013 | 1667 views | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Six months after she intentionally struck a teen with her vehicle in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, a former school official appeared in court Wednesday to plea out.

Angie Cornett, a former Bartow County Board of Education member, entered her plea of guilty to one count of reckless conduct just after noon before Superior Court Judge Scott Smith. She was sentenced to 12 months probation, a $500 fine, 40 hours community service, 16 hours in an anger management program and no contact with the victim or her family.

She made national headlines after the Dec. 28, 2012, incident in which she hit an Adairsville High School senior with her SUV in the Wal-Mart parking lot. She resigned her seat Jan. 3.

Elected to office in September 2010, Cornett beat opponent David Palmer for the Cass district, which was overseen at that time by Matt Shultz, who was re-elected this spring.

Cornett became part of a public backlash last summer after community members filed a complaint to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, questioning the use of school facilities by outside entities, including the Rome Volleyball Club, of which Cornett’s daughter was a member. After a receiving a written response from Superintendent John Harper, the organization stated it had no reason to conduct an investigation.

Some community members then asked Cornett to resign following a September work session, during which she referred to a school employee by name and commented on work performance, violating the Georgia Open Meetings Act by discussing a personnel matter outside of an executive session. In the weeks leading to the work session, the website www.bartowforabetterboe.com published text messages between Cornett and a school employee that again discussed personnel matters and contained offensive language.

Cornett was not the only plea entered Wednesday.

Devin Ridge Jones pled guilty in Smith’s courtroom to eight counts of child molestation, four counts of sexual battery and three counts of enticing a child. He was charged after molesting a female under the age of 16 from June 1, 2007, to Jan. 29, 2011.

Jones was sentenced to 40 years with 20 to serve and the remainder on probation, a $1,000 fine, sex offender conditions and no contact with any child under age 18.

The Clerk of Superior Court’s office said Wednesday afternoon that roughly three-fourths of those on Judge Shepherd Howell’s calendar had entered pleas this week.

Superior Court will hear criminal trials later this month when sessions begin June 24.