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English-Cornwell affair confirmed

Griffin circuit district attorney Scott Ballard and chief public defender Joseph Saia confirmed Friday an inappropriate relationship involving former judge Paschal L. English Jr. and public defender Kimberly Cornwell. On Oct. 13, 2008, a Fayette deputy caught the pair in a sex act in a vehicle in a cul-de-sac in an unfinished subdivision. ”We do not know when their relationship ended or, indeed, if it has ended,” Ballard said at a news conference today in Fayetteville. Cornwell has been placed on leave without pay, Saia said. “These results will force my office to take additional action,” he added. Ballard said the encounter in the subdivision was recorded on a patrol car video. Major Brian Woodie of the Fayette sheriff’s office said the digital video went on a server and then dropped off the server in sequence and is unavailable. ”It didn’t show anything. We see this kind of thing all the time,” Woodie said. Both Ballard and Saia agreed no cases were compromised by the relationship between English and Cornwell as far as they could determine but appeals may be forthcoming. Woodie said English did not try to use his position to influence the officer who found he and Cornwell in the cul-de-sac. Investigator Jeff Turner of the DA’s office said he attempted to interview both English and Cornwell but both refused.

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