Brian Laurens Denies Using Relationship To Throw Out Citation

After he was pulled over for running a stop sign, Laurens called Mayor Tim Downing to ask how he can have stop signs removed from entrances to a roundabout in his neighborhood.

Georgia House District 21 candidate Brian Laurens is denying allegations he tried to use his relationship with Holly Springs Mayor Tim Downing to throw out a traffic citation he received in November.

The issue came to light Tuesday evening during a debate sponsored by the Cherokee County Republican Party when candidate Scot Turner asked Laurens if he tried to use his "political influence for personal gain" by calling Downing during the incident. 

Laurens received a citation on Nov. 4 for running a stop sign in a roundabout off Holly Commons Parkway. 

One video (warning: the ending of this video contains language unsuitable for children) posted on the Facebook profile of Franklin Myrick, shows Holly Springs Police Officer Danny West pulling Laurens over after he ran a stop sign before entering into a roundabout in the neighborhood. 

In the first video, which is a little less than 14 minutes long, the discussion starts around the 2 minute mark and six-minute gap ensues until Laurens is issued the citation. 

In the video, West informed Laurens that he ran the stop sign, and Laurens told the officer "you're not supposed to stop" when entering a roundabout.

West countered Laurens' point by noting that he has to enforce traffic laws throughout the city and that if Laurens has an issue with the stop sign, he should take that issue up with the Holly Springs City Council.

Laurens proceeded to tell the officer he will call Holly Springs Mayor Tim Downing to take the stop signs down. 

West subsequently issued Laurens the citation, and told Laurens he had a court date scheduled for Jan. 8. 

In a later video posted by Myrick, Laurens continued the discussion with Officer West and Sgt. Brian Cain. Laurens told both officers that he planned to take all the stop signs down.

Sgt. Cain reminded Laurens that he could not personally remove stop signs as they were government property.

He also told Laurens that he would need to take his issue with the stop signs up with the city council and "not take your anger and frustration out on one of my officers."

"You have a court date for this very reason right here to explain your side of the story to the judge and not to come out and raise your voice and treat my officer the way with you treated him," he added. "That’s why you have a court date. We’re not going to argue with you about this any further."

Laurens, who said Turner's question about the incident is "quite an accusation," said he eventually paid the $140 fine "because there was a stop sign there."

He noted he only called Downing to ask why there were stop signs at the entrance of the roundabout.

He told the audience that Downing said the city had to place stop signs near the roundabout in order to complete the neighborhood.

Laurens said Downing characterized the stipulation as "government regulation," and the candidate proceeded to blast what he called "government regulation gone wild."

"The personal attacks in this race are unreal," he added.  

When reached by phone Wednesday, Downing was tight lipped about his alleged conversation with Laurens.

"I don’t think it’s appropriate to inject myself into this race," he said, adding he has endorsed Turner in the race. "The video speaks for itself."

Larry January 24, 2013 at 05:12 PM
My compliments to Holly Springs Police Officers West and SGT. Cain for their remarkable restraint and teaching points on citizen responsibilities.....superb integrity. The counseling session depicted on the video is a classic "How to correct bad behavior" to ensure we are all doing the correct thing when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Not following the law could and have had grave consequences and impacts on our families when we willfully disregard stop signs within our Cherokee County community, especially those hoping to earn our trust and respect as public servants or aspiring to be our "Representatives". Word to the wise on the situation at hand. If the apple in the orchard is spoiled do not pick it.
Debbie Harris Staver January 25, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Ditto Larry! We need representatives who set a good example in the community. You can't just pick which laws you want to abide by.
Greg Harpe February 01, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Go to the first video. When Mr. Laurens didn't tell the officer: "I know you had nothing to do with the placement of the stop sign. You are doing your job and doing it well. My house is right over there. My wife and I appreciate your presence. I was wrong not to stop at the sign and I understand I am getting a ticket." That's when his political career in Holly Springs ended.
Greg Harpe February 01, 2013 at 04:18 PM
It is (was) 2012. Assume if you walk out of your house you are probably on some sort of video. It would be nice to assume that our legislators and those vying for political office would be smart enough to get that.
Greg Harpe February 01, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Mr. Laurens, For the record, I voted for your opponent, Scot Turner. My wife voted for you. That doesn't normally happen. We discuss who we are going to vote for and what side of an issue we are going to support. That won't be happening this time. It was my wife, of all people, who showed me this story on Canton Patch. Let's just say she was less than happy that she even considered voting for you the first time around and she won't be doing so in the run off. What you did, the things you said and in particular the WAY you said them, was so disrespectful to Officer West and if anything, was worse when you talked to Sgt. Cain. Those men risk their lives on a daily basis for you, your family, for me and my family, all the residents of Holly Springs. That was a shameful exercise of attempting to use political connections, threats and innuendo to try and intimidate those brave men. That traffic stop on the first video could have potentially been the last stop of Ofc. West's career. Did you even stop to think of that? Did you even get that Ofc. West didn't put that sign there and that it's his job to stop anyone who fails to obey a stop sign. Didn't you hear him when he said the people in the neighborhood, i.e. YOUR neighbors, complained that drivers were ignoring the sign in question? As a Republican and a conservative who believes in law and order, I am obviously more ashamed of you, on your behalf, than you are.


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