Impersonator makes bond

By Ed Brock

Larry Bussey was calm and smiling as he told a judge that he would make bond on charges of speeding and impersonating a public officer.

Bussey, 56, worked as Clayton County District Attorney Jewel Scott's chief of staff for four months before being fired when Scott learned that he lied about being accredited as a peace officer by the Police Officers Standards and Training Council. He made his first appearance in Clayton County Magistrate Court to face the charges that stem from a Thursday traffic stop.

After telling Chief Judge Daphne Walker that he would make the $4,000 bond for the charges Bussey also said he would hire his own attorney. He bonded out of jail around 3:22 p.m. Friday.

On Thursday morning a Georgia state trooper stopped Bussey as he was going 88 mph in a 55 mph zone on Charles W. Grant Parkway, Georgia State Patrol Officer Larry Schnall said.

The trooper questioned Bussey about a badge on the seat and Bussey told him that he was Scott's chief of staff. When the trooper learned that Bussey had been fired from that job he arrested Bussey.

Scott said previously that she selected Bussey to be hired under her predecessor Bob Keller's administration as part of a transitional collaboration and when she began her term in January she was unaware of any problems in his background. Scott said she also found something she didn't like in Bussey's background, though she wouldn't specify what, and that also contributed to his dismissal.

Bussey continued to work for Scott for more than a month after she demanded his resignation. Scott said she demoted him but kept him on for a while longer to give him time to find another job.

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill deputized Bussey at one point and sponsored him for some police training. Hill said Bussey had indicated he could keep his job with Scott if he received the training, but Scott denied that that was the case. Hill said he withdrew his support after learning about Bussey's background problem.

Bussey also ran against previous Clayton County Sheriff Stanley Tuggle eight years ago.

"He wasn't much of an opponent," Tuggle said. "He didn't have much to say and he wasn't certified, which seems to be a problem of his."