First look at proposed changes in state forfeiture laws

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

First look at proposed changes in state forfeiture laws

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ATLANTA -

Governor Nathan Deal wants more transparency and accountability in Georgia's complex laws dealing with seized drug money.

On Friday, his Criminal Justice Reform Council will release four recommendations on how to make it happen.

The council's report follows FOX 5 I-Team and a local newspaper's investigations that raised questions of how some prosecutors spent seized drug money.

FOX 5 Senior I-team reporter Dale Russell got an exclusive look  at what changes could be taking place and talked one-on-one with Gov. Deal. 

Changes include establishing clear rules and how seized assets can be spent, annual reporting to the state on how much money is collected and what it is spent on and standardizing 34 separate forfeiture statues to speed up the process and protect innocent people who had property seized improperly.
 
Governor Deal told us:  "Put those specifics in place, so everybody knows what the rules are, then if somebody violates the rules, it's a whole lot easier to hold them accountable for that."

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