Updated 9:28 a.m., May 5
The recent lawsuit by former Gwinnett BOC Chairman Charles Bannister against the Gwinnett sheriff also includes allegations again a prominent Suwanee businessman and developer.
Bannister claims that Wayne Mason, owner of a Suwanee package store, received a county contract as a result of influence with Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway and his wife, State Court Judge Carla Brown, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Also, Bannister's federal lawsuit says that Mason approached Bannister shortly after Bannister took office in 2005. The lawsuit says that Mason “made it clear, explicitly, that if Bannister would use his position as commission chairman to Mason’s advantage, Bannister would be made wealthy.”
Mason denied the allegations.
“Those allegations are a complete falsehood from an individual who left public office to avoid prosecution for perjury before a special grand jury,” Mason told the AJC.
Brown said Conway had nothing to do with the awarding of the contract and said she was just one vote among a group of judges who made the decision, the AJC reported.
Bannister filed the federal lawsuit recently, claiming that Conway engineered the DUI arrest as part of a vendetta. Eventually, the DUI charge was dropped. However, Bannister stepped down as Gwinnett BOC chairman in 2010 while he was being investigated by a Gwinnett grand jury.
Conway and Brown deny they tried to aid Mason, and the sheriff insists Bannister’s arrest was a mistake, not an attempt to embarrass him or drive him from office.
Mason owns the PIB Superstore on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.