View Full Version : Third georgia child advocate legislator found dead in two years

Ed Jewett
02-17-2012, 10:53 PM
Source: http://www.voterga.org/uploads/voterga/Senator%20Brown%20Found%20Dead.pdf

February 16, 2012
Three courageous Georgia state legislators, all child advocates in the fight against human trafficking, have now been found dead within the last two years. The most recent tragedy involves former 20-year State Senator Robert Brown. Sen. Brown was found with a gunshot wound to the head at his Macon home in an apparent suicide on December 8, 2011. A complete autopsy report has not yet been released.
Sen. Brown was the Senate minority leader for 7 years until he resigned during 2011 in an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Macon. In 2008, Brown was a co-sponsor of SB 415, a sweeping reform bill that was designed to protect children in a variety of ways. In particular, it offered protection from government agencies and representatives that appeared culpable in neglecting and abusing those children while they were in government sponsored care.
SB415 was introduced by former Senator, Nancy Schaefer. Sen. Schaefer was an outspoken critic of Child Protective Services (CPS) in general and specifically, the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services (DFACS). She presented several cases where children were removed improperly from their homes for profit. Sen. Schaefer had just finished filming a dramatic, still unpublished video documentary on the subject when she and her husband were found shot to death in their bedroom on March 26, 2010 in Habersham County. Their deaths were ruled as a murder suicide that was committed by Sen. Schaefer’s husband, Bruce.
After the death of Sen. Schaefer, another child advocate legislator, former Representative, Bobby Franklin, became increasingly involved in the issue. He decided to draft a bill for the 2011 session that would abolish DFACS altogether, an action suggested by Sen. Schaefer in her World Congress of Families presentation in Amsterdam. Rep. Franklin was found lying dead on the floor of his Cobb County bedroom on July 26, 2011. An autopsy report, indicating that Rep. Franklin died from organic heart failure, was eventually released in late December of 2011.
No other Georgia legislators who were so recently active have died during this period. These child advocate legislators were a few of a small handful of legislators who had the courage to take a hard stand against such horrible crimes even when government agencies and representatives were shown to be involved. Their work was particularly important given that Atlanta has long been ranked as a top national hub for child sex trafficking.
References SB415: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20072008/SB/415
Schaefer Report: http://fightcps.com/pdf/TheCorruptBusinessOfChildProtectiveServices.pdf. Sen. Schaefer’s Eagle Forum presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TcDTJlPWbE World Congress of Families in Amsterdam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry5eSKyZ98g