The prosecutor of the Eagle 8 trial has been fired after it was learned he had not paid his State Bar of Georgia dues, according to a statement from the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office.
The GA Voice learned Larry Gardner, a prosecutor for the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office, had not paid his bar dues when the Eagle trial occurred in March 2010, which is necessary to practice law in Georgia. By not paying dues, attorneys are put on administrative suspension.
‘Eagle 8’ trial prosecutor fired for not paying bar dues
The Eagle 8 trial was the result of the Atlanta Police Department’s raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar in Midtown. While the APD said it was investigating allegations of illicit sex and drugs in the bar, the raid on Sept. 10, 2009, resulted in the arrest of eight employees charged with minor permit violations. Charges were either dropped against the defendants or they were found not guilty.
The city eventually settled for more than $1 million with patrons of the bar the night it was raided who sued the city because their constitutional rights were violated.
According to Municipal Court Solicitor Raines Carter, Gardner has prosecuted “approximately five to seven other trials [in addition to the Eagle 8 trial] during his suspension because he did not inform the office that he was not in good standing with the bar nor did we have any notice from the bar that he was suspended.”
“The trials he prosecuted are not void because the failure of a prosecutor in Georgia to be in good standing due to failure to pay bar dues at the time of trial does not render the prosecutor incompetent to perform his duties,” Carter said in a statement.
The Atlanta Department of Human Resources confirmed today Gardner is no longer working in any capacity with the city.
“We also confirm that Mr. Gardner is no longer with the office,” Carter said.
Carter’s firing comes after APD Chief George Turner disbanded the Red Dog Unit and the lead investigator of the Eagle raid was arrested for DUI.
Red Dog Unit officers involved in the Eagle raid are also under investigation for allegedly strip searching men during a traffic stop.
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Top Photo: Larry Gardner at the Eagle 8 trial. Gardner was fired after it was learned he has not paid his State Bar of Georgia dues.(by Dyana Bagby)