Monday, May 20, 2019

"No Bad Habits"

The Georgia Supreme Court accepted the resignation of a former United States Attorney for the Southern District of the state who was convicted of a felony offense.

Resignation is "tantamount to disbarment." 

His conviction was covered by Southeast Georgia Today

Last Friday 62-year-old Rick Thompson was sentenced to three years in prison with the remainder of his 20-year sentence to be served on probation.

Superior Court Judge Stephen G. Scarlett passed sentence on Thompson following a bench trial in Brunswick January 31.

Last summer Thompson violated a restraining order to stay away from his former girlfriend Mary Ella Kent and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Glynn County where they resided.  He was arrested in Toombs County July 27 where he was found on a county road sitting in his car with a pistol to his head.

And by's Daily Report

Thompson’s conviction was the culmination of multiple instances over two years where he surveilled his former girlfriend by repeatedly parking outside her house, following her in his car while she was walking her dog or driving, and occasionally pounding on her door, according to records associated with restraining orders issued against him.

Thompson also sent a steady string of emails disparaging her and threatening legal action to her friends, members of her family and Crossland. He also hinted he would initiate investigations by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the FBI or the news media—referencing prosecutions he launched while U.S. attorney, Crossland told The Daily Report shortly after Thompson’s 2017 arrest.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution 

He sat, alone, in a parked Volvo, a .22-caliber pistol pointed at his head, surrounded by suicide notes. Rick Thompson was going to end his life where it began, in rural Toombs County on a road that shares his surname.

It was a final act no one would’ve predicted for Thompson, who just 17 years ago was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. A series of setbacks, some personal, some professional, followed, but none had affected him as much as his break-up with a woman he met a few years earlier on St. Simons Island — a relationship he ended in April 2016...

Those who know him best are still in shock over his rapid fall from grace.

“He had a lot going for him, just a regular hard-working guy,” said former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston. Thompson managed Kingston’s first campaign for Congress in 1992, when the former Savannah insurance salesman became the first Republican since Reconstruction to win Georgia’s first district. “He had no bad habits, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke.”

The Brunswick News reported on his arrest in August 2018

A former federal prosecutor is behind bars after being charged for the second time in a year with stalking a Glynn County woman, the latest arrest occurring Friday after the man allegedly threatened to shoot himself during a standoff with a Toombs County Sheriff’s deputy.

Richard Scott Thompson, 60, who lives on St. Simons Island, was turned over to local authorities and remained Tuesday in the Glynn County Detention Center on a charge of aggravated stalking. He is being held without bond, jail records show.

The U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Southern District from 2001-04, Thompson was arrested on July 25 last year in Glynn County and charged with aggravated stalking. A Glynn County Magistrate Court in late June of 2017 had granted the request of a former girlfriend of Thompson’s to have a restraining order placed on him, court records show. Thompson allegedly violated that order several times in July of 2017, following her aggressively in his car, stalking her outside her mainland residence and sending harassing emails, according to a county court arrest warrant.

He was released from jail July 30 after posting $12,000 bond.

Glynn County Magistrate Court again issued an arrest warrant for Thompson last Thursday, court records show. In an affidavit filed with the court, the 56-year-old woman accused Thompson of calling her, confronting her and driving through her neighborhood while she was walking her dogs on several occasions between July 23 and July 26, the affidavit said.

On Friday, Toombs County Sheriff’s deputy Wallace Thompson spotted Richard Thompson driving his silver Volvo on South Thompson Road near Vidalia, according to the Toombs County sheriff’s incident report. Thompson once had a law office in Vidalia, according to media reports.

Upon learning of the Glynn County warrant for Thompson’s arrest, the Toombs deputy followed Thompson until he stopped his Volvo on the dead-end Pinewood Road. Thompson allegedly put a .22 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol to his head while sitting inside the vehicle as the deputy approached on foot, the report said.

The deputy took cover, ordering Thompson to put the gun down and step out of the car. After allegedly placing the gun to his head one more time, Thompson stepped out of the vehicle unarmed and was arrested by deputy Thompson, the report said.

In addition to the handgun, the report said deputies recovered two handcuff keys and “some suicide letters” inside the Volvo, the report said.

Thompson was appointed by President George W. Bush as the U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Southern District in 2001. However, he resigned in January of 2004 amid allegations that he “abused his authority and violated the public trust” by using his position to help a political ally’s election campaign, according to a Department of Justice record. Thompson told the Savannah Morning News that year that he resigned to pursue a private practice.

The woman also had gone to magistrate court in September of 2016 to seek a restraining order against Thompson, court records show.

It is unclear if Thompson has an attorney.

(Mike Frisch)

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