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Hall school board member Mark Pettitt's case resolved 2 years after arrest
Mark Pettitt.jpg
Mark Pettitt

Hall County school board member Mark Pettitt closed out his case concerning reckless driving more than two years after the initial arrest, according to court documents.

Pettitt, 28, entered a guilty plea on reckless driving and failure to maintain lane. The original charge was driving under the influence-less safe but was reduced last year.

The plea paperwork was filed with the court Dec. 18, though it was not scanned into the Comprehensive Justice Information System until Thursday, Jan. 7, according to the Hall County Clerk of Courts’ office.

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Pettitt was sentenced to 24 months on probation, which his attorney Graham McKinnon said has already been terminated after fulfilling the requirements of the sentence.

Saying he thought the case was overcharged, McKinnon added the case dragged on for a number of reasons, including the multiple moves between prosecutors and their recusals. McKinnon said the COVID-19 outbreak and other unforeseen circumstances also caused delays.

The Times was unable to confirm with the Forsyth County Solicitor’s Office, who handled the case, or the Hall County Clerk of Courts’ office on when the probation was terminated.

The terms of the negotiated sentence included a $1,000 fine with surcharges, a drug and alcohol evaluation, 60 hours of community service and 12 months of an ignition interlock device.

According to the Dec. 18 sentence filing, all of those terms were completed.

Under Georgia law since 2017, drivers can request an ignition interlock device limited driving permit while their license is subject to suspension from refusing the Georgia implied consent notice about blood alcohol testing.

Pettitt was arrested Dec. 15, 2018, by Gainesville Police after being stopped near the intersection of EE Butler and Jesse Jewell parkways.

According to a Gainesville Police report, he declined a standardized field sobriety test and a blood test.

Pettitt originally signed a plea document in July, but the plea was not officially filed with the court until December.

The case moved multiple times to different jurisdictions, from Gainesville Municipal Court to the Hall County Solicitor’s Office. Hall County prosecutors then recused themselves and sent the case to the Forsyth County Solicitor’s Office.

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