ATLANTA - The FOX 5 I-Team has obtained jailhouse phone call recordings of a Fulton County Commissioner using curse words when describing a Fulton County Judge.
The calls were recorded while Commissioner Marvin Arrington, a defense attorney, was talking with a then client about a case involving a Fulton County Superior Court Judge.
"We are working on trying to get it done," Arrington said during the jail inmate calls.
His client at the time, Corwin Monson, is accused of aggravated stalking in a case involving Mesha Mainor. She was recently sworn in as a Georgia state representative.
Jailhouse calls are recorded and monitored. But, that didn't stop the Fulton County Commissioner from lashing out at the Fulton County judge on the case - Kelly Lee Ellerbe.
"The problem is the f***ing judge," Arrington said on one call last November.
Arrington tells his then client he can negotiate a plea with then district attorney Paul Howard for a misdemeanor charge, but he's worried about the judge.
"Cause I can get the DA to agree to a misdemeanor plea, but she (Judge Ellerbe) might not accept it," said Arrington
Monson responds they need to get Judge Ellerbe off the case.
"So, we got to get the judge gone," said Monson.
"Yeah, that's the real issue," responded Arrington.
Together they discuss how they believe Judge Ellerbe allowed Representative Mesha Mainor to testify in a pretrial hearing without being sworn in under oath. They felt Mainor lied. Representative Mainor denies she lied during the hearing.
But, Monson and Arrington made it clear they never wanted Ellerbe as the judge.
"This prime example why... I didn't want her, you didn't want her on that case," said Monson.
"I knew from the beginning we didn't want that b****, yeah, responded Arrington.
"That is against the law. You cannot try to get a judge off of a case just because you want to. It can't be subjective," said Representative Mesha Mainor.
In November of 2020, Arrington ultimately filed a motion asking that Judge Ellerbe recuse herself, arguing that the victim, Mesha Mainor "is attempting to use her job as state representative to unduly influence the court."
Even though at the time, Mesha Mainor had yet to be sworn in as a State Representative.
Judge Ellerbe denied the motion.
With the court battle raging on, Representative Mainor filed a grievance with the State bar of Georgia against the Fulton County Commissioner's law license. The complaint states Marvin Arrington tried to manipulate Judge Ellerbe off the case to get a judge "he believed to have greater favor with."
She also claimed Arrington was "...double-dipping. He is being paid by Fulton County to work against Fulton County, and also is responsible for paying Fulton County judges and the DA office..."
"You cannot be overseeing prosecutors, and at the same court, while you are overseeing those same prosecutors you work with every day, you are just ten feet away also being a criminal defense attorney<' said Mainor.
Representative Mainor also filed an Ethics complaint stating similar concerns that Arrington "defends criminal cases for profit (0r opportunity), at the expense of Fulton County residents and against the Fulton County District Attorney's Office (which he oversees as Commissioner)"
"Let's let the legal professional decide if this is unethical, one and if this is against the law, and has he failed to abide by his oath of office," said Mainor.
Arrington is no longer on the case. He did not respond to our repeated efforts for comment. Arrington is quoted in Atlanta Progressive News as saying he was "completely shocked" to learn of Ethics and Bar complaints and stated: "Both claims are completely frivolous."
Kristi Gladden is now Corwin Monson's attorney. She issued the following statement to FOX 5.
"It is always unfortunate that the beginning of every criminal case starts with only one side of the story, and that one side is always that of the prosecution. This great country is built on the principle of the accused being "innocent until proven guilty", and I can’t stress that enough at this juncture of the case. I am confident, however, that once both sides of this case are heard, the evidence will exonerate Mr. Monson."
No trial date has been set.
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