ATLANTA (AP) – A district attorney from six counties in western Georgia has faced allegations of criminal misconduct during his tenure, according to an indictment returned by a grand jury on Tuesday.

Chattahoochee District Attorney Mark Jones, who took office in January, is charged with attempting to influence the testimony of a police officer, offering bribes to prosecutors in his office and attempting to influence the testimony of a crime victim and to prevent.

His office serves the Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee, Marion, Talbot, and Taylor counties.

Jones didn’t immediately respond to a text or email requesting comment, and his cell phone voicemail was full. A woman who answered the phone at the prosecution said Jones was unavailable and the office had no comment. A defense attorney representing Jones on another matter did not immediately respond to an email or phone message left in his office.

The indictment states that Jones attempted to influence a police officer’s testimony during the July grand jury trial. Jones told the officer to testify that a murder suspect believed the victim cheated on him to provide a motive so that the suspect could be charged with the murder, the indictment said.

Jones offered $ 1,000 to a prosecutor in his office in March to obtain a murder conviction and offered another $ 1,000 to another prosecutor in his office to say a case was ready for trial when it wasn’t was the case, it says in the indictment.

Also in March, Jones “knowingly used threats and misleading conduct” to influence and prevent a crime victim from testifying, and did not help the victim through the complexities of the criminal justice system or ensure that the victim was upheld the law, it says in the indictment.

“It is important for the citizens of Georgia to know that our office will not hesitate to enforce the rule of law, even if it involves the acts of a public official,” Attorney General Chris Carr said in a press release announcing the indictment.

The story goes on

Jones is charged with double breach of oath by a public official, double attempted breach of oath by public official, double bribery, double influencing of witnesses, and an attempted suicidal charge. All nine counts are criminal offenses.

Any charge of breaking an oath by a public official, influencing witnesses and attempted perjury charges is punishable by imprisonment of one to five years. Attempts to breach the oath by a public official are punishable by imprisonment from one year to two and a half years. And bribery is punishable by imprisonment from one to 20 years.

When an elected official is charged with a felony, Georgia law requires the governor to wait 14 days after receiving the indictment and then appoint a review board to see if the suspension is appropriate. The members of the commission in this case would be two district attorneys and a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired Court of Appeal judge.

You will be tasked with determining whether the indictment relates to Jones’ performance of his duties in a manner that negatively affects the public. You must submit a written report to the governor within 14 days.

If the panel recommends the suspension, Governor Jones may suspend Jones immediately with payment until the final decision on his case or until the end of his term in office, whichever comes first. If convicted and appeals fail, he will be removed from office.

Jones is due to be tried next week for being charged with an unrelated campaign video. He is charged with first degree damage to property, intrusion into state property and conspiracy related to a video for his May 2020 election campaign. The video contained stunt driving movements, including cars driving in donuts with smoking tires in the parking lot of the Columbus Civic Center.

Three co-defendants in the case pleaded guilty and convicted on Friday, but Jones turned down a similar offer.

The judge in this case dismissed Jones’ claims that he was charged on political grounds after beating the acting district attorney in the Democratic primary last year.