Tuesday, May 13, 2014

RETIRED FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY PLEADS GUILTY IN ILLEGAL EVICTION CASE

Young Children Terrified by Defendant’s Actions

Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces a conviction by guilty plea in an illegal eviction operation involving a retired Captain with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department. During plea proceedings Monday, 56-year-old Steven Suissa pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Fulton County Magistrate Judge Karen Woodson sentenced Suissa to twelve months’ probation and ordered him to pay a $500.00 fine for his actions.

The charge against Suissa stems from an incident that occurred on May 6, 2010. Suissa, working as an agent for a company named Asset Preservation and Management Consultants (PMC), went to a home on Conrad Avenue in Southwest Atlanta to execute an unauthorized eviction. The renter’s three children ages 7, 9, and 11 were home alone when Suissa arrived. Even after the children informed Captain Suissa that their mother was not home, Suissa, who was clad in his deputy uniform, entered the property with his gun drawn. He claimed he was conducting a safety sweep. The terrified children ran away from the home screaming and crying to a neighbor’s house.  Meantime, a Fulton County Marshal who was authorized to conduct evictions arrived at the home and told Suissa and the other company representatives to leave.

Suissa, a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, retired in 2006. As a retired deputy, Suissa was allowed to work extra jobs in full uniform as long as those jobs were approved. Suissa’s job with Asset PMC was unauthorized.  The company claimed it could expedite evictions for landlords. However, according to Fulton County protocol, only Marshals have the authority to execute evictions once a Writ of Possession is granted by the court— making Asset PMC’s evictions illegal. Captain Suissa had been warned against conducting evictions via Asset PMC, but continued to work with the company. Doug Van Orsdall, the owner of the company, also faces charges in connection with this case.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Senior ADA JaDawnya Butler assigned to the Public Integrity Unit with assistance from Deputy Chief DA Investigator Cameron Crandall. Sgt. Patrick Brown of the Fulton County Marshal’s Department led the initial investigation. 

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