Gov. Kemp grants extension to Sias review panel


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The review commission tasked with looking into whether Sammie Sias should stay on the Augusta-Richmond County Commission is going to get more time.

Friday afternoon, Governor Brian Kemp granted an extension to the review panel with a new deadline of September 8th.

The panel asked for an extra 30-days earlier this month.

Sias was indicted in July on Federal charges of destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a Federal Investigation and lying to federal investigators.

The charges date back to 2019 when the prosecution alleges Sias altered and destroyed records related to the Sandridge Community Association.

Wednesday (August 18th), Sias’ defense team filed a motion for extension of time:

“MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME COMES NOW – Defendant Sammie Lee Sias, by and through his undersigned counsel, and files this motion requesting an extension of time for the filing of pre-trial motions until November 18, 2021. In support of this request, counsel show the Court that the government, as disclosed at the Initial Appearance/Arraignment, provided over 600gb of data on a hard drive, much of it from a computer or computers, necessitating a significant amount of time to analyze the data to determine whether any pre-trial motions are warranted and to determine whether any forensic examinations need to be completed. Government counsel indicated no opposition to the request.”

Thursday, the Court of the Southern District of Georgia granted that motion:

“Defendant requests an extension until November 18, 2021, of the current motion filing deadline because defense counsel needs additional time to review the voluminous discovery provided by the government. (Doc. no. 21.) The government does not oppose the request. (Id.)

“The Court finds, as a matter of fact and law, that the motion is not for the purpose of delay, but in the furtherance of justice, and to protect Defendant’s right to a fair trial. Therefore, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7), and on the basis of the Court’s finding that the ends of justice served by granting the motion for an extension outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial, the Court GRANTS the motion. Defendant’s pretrial motions must be filed no later than November 18, 2021.”

The deadline for pre-tail motions has been reset by the Southern District of Georgia to November 18th, 2021.

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