The editorial page editor, Adam Van Brimmer, blogs mornings most weekdays on the Facebook group “Savannah’s Town Square” on local topics of interest. The following is an excerpt from one of these posts. Join the group on Facebook.com by searching for “Savannah’s Town Square”.
Meg Heap is living proof of the old adage, “When one door closes, another opens.”
Heap lost a highly competitive district attorney election last November, ending her eight-year tenure as attorney general. She did a good job in the Post, dealing with the sloppiness that marked her predecessor’s tenure in the office, advancing the creation of the Family Justice Center, and consistently advocating for the victims.
She was named Attorney of the Year by the District Attorney’s Association of Georgia in 2019.
Even so, the voters spoke, and Shalena Cook-Jones is now the prosecutor (and pretty impressive in limited deals so far).
Many wondered what was coming next for Heap. I knew her résumé and her passion and couldn’t see her sitting at the defense attorney’s table. My guess was that she would either quit the legal profession and run a nonprofit related to victims, or she would prepare a run for the justice bank.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp had other ideas.
Meg Heap:Ex-Chatham County DA named after Georgia Parole and Pardon Board
Kemp appointed Heap to the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles last week, which benefits all Georgians. Heap has long been a vocal critic of the Probation Service for its reputation for arbitrarily releasing inmates convicted of violent crimes.
She has seen firsthand the aftermath of this early probation. During her eight-year tenure, Heap prosecuted several early probation officers who had committed other crimes, most recently two men involved in domestic violence in 2019.
Georgia’s probation and laws are so cruel that Heap’s top vicar, the otherwise imperturbable Greg McConnell, could get so nervous he is speechless. What I consider the best work of my brief tenure as the Editorial Page Editor was a series of editorials calling for changes. A call was answered and answered by Georgia House Rep Jesse Petrea (R District 166) urging law changes.
A member like Heap, someone so passionate about sacrifice, should help steer the board in a better direction. She is only one of five board members and she cannot make unilateral decisions, but she is also a very persuasive person.
She won’t play along to get along. And while she is physically small and has a cute demeanor, she is also a no-nonsense operator. When Warren Zevon sang, “She’s going to rip your lungs out, Jim.”
All Georgians will be happy that the Parole Board’s door on Heap has opened.