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Gun Seized at Gwinnett Courthouse

Lesley Lynn Fanning, wife of John Fanning, arrested and charged with attempting to bring handgun into courthouse.

Lesley Lynn Fanning of Dacula, the estranged wife of , was arrested and charged with attempting to bring a concealed weapon into the Gwinnett Justice Administration Center in Lawrenceville Wednesday, Sept. 12, according to an incident report filed by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department.

The handgun was discovered in her purse or laptop computer bag about 1:45 p.m. as it was going through X-ray screening at the entrance to the courthouse by Gwnnett Sheriff's Deputy Jimmy Melancon. The gun and 10 rounds of ammunition were confiscated after other deputies arrived on the scene. Mrs. Fanning was charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and carrying a weapon into a public gathering place.

John Fanning, also of Dacula, is the son of former Gwinnett Commissioner Shirley Lasseter. Lasseter pleaded guilty Sept. 5 in federal district court in Atlanta and was sentenced to 33 months in prison for accepting bribes to vote in favor of a proposed real estate development in her commission district. The bribes, totaling $36,500, came from a FBI agent posing as a Florida developer.

Sentencing was delayed until Sept. 18 for John Fanning who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and drug trafficking.

Mrs. Fanning was returning to the Gwinnett County courthouse after lunch following an emergency custody hearing for their three children Wednesday morning, according to other sources. She and John Fanning, who are in the process of obtaining a divorce, had been scheduled to meet separately with a guardian ad litem appointed by the judge that afternoon. Mrs. Fanning reportedly had borrowed the gun for her protection from a friend, had intended to return it, but forgot it was in her bag.

During a search of Mrs. Fanning’s belongings, a bottle of prescription pills, which were later identified as various forms of oxycodone, hydrocodone, amphetamine, Prozac, and Motrin, was found. She was also charged with carrying prescription drugs that were not in their original container(s).

Lasseter, John Fanning, Mrs. Fanning and other family members on both sides had reportedly been at the custody hearing Wednesday morning. Lasseter remains out of bond until she turns herself in at a minimum security federal prison in a few weeks. John Fanning is out on bond while awaiting his sentencing.

Mrs. Fanning was released from the Gwinnett County Detention Center Thursday after posting bond.

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Steve Rausch September 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM
My how Shirley's world has unraveled! Can't even fool some of the people some of the time. I'm thrilled to see Gwinnett's security is fully alert and on duty.
Judy Putnam September 14, 2012 at 02:04 PM
You're right, Shirley's life has certainly unraveled. What a sad, and disappointing, end to a political career.
Robert J. Nebel September 14, 2012 at 02:41 PM
There was this sense of confidence Ms. Lasseter was going to be one of three highly qualified women who was going to clean up the county board corruption (in addition to Chairperson Nash and Commissioner Howard). Ms. Lasseter received high marks as mayor of Duluth so it was only logical for constituents to trust her based on a stellar record. It was change that Gwinnettians believed in at the time. Not long after her ascension to the county board, Gwinnettians learned that Ms. Lasseter became part of the problem. Larger questions loom as this tragic saga continues. Has Ms. Lasseter always been this unethical? Has corruption always been rampant in this county's government? If so, (just like the song says) how long has all this been going on?

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