Forsyth council member Greg Goolsby told council on Jan. 6 that he wants the city attorney to find a way for the city to avoid paying for legal notices to run in the Monroe County Reporter, as is required by law. He said he was disturbed by a picture in the Dec. 25 paper that accompanied coverage of a jury trial in which a step-father was found guilty of abusing his step-son in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years to serve.

Goolsby said the paper was a disgrace for printing “such filth” as a “picture of a boy abused by his family.” The picture, which was provided to the paper by District Attorney Jonathan Adams, shows only the boy’s back. The article doesn’t name the boy or his brother, who testified in the case, but does name the convicted step-father and the child’s mother, who is also facing charges. Goolsby said the paper gave the child’s name.

“I have had several people talk about it….I’m going to stand up for this young boy. I’m pissed,” said Goolsby. “I don’t really like it. I hope they write my tirade word for word,”

Goolsby said he has researched requirements for printing legal notices and that he went to a Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) class last year that talked about its efforts to change laws so that online notifications would meet legal requirements. Goolsby said Forsyth needs to send its support to GMA in these efforts. 

Goolsby said he doesn’t know the boy, anyone in the boy’s family or anything else about the case but feels printing the picture of the marks on the boy’s back was a disgrace. He said that since he is a public figure just not buying the paper himself is not enough of a statement. He said he hopes people will watch the broadcast of the council meeting and hear all of his remarks. 

“I hope officials who are here take action,” said Goolsby. “I apologize for raising my voice. I am not going to sit back and not use my platform.”

“I totally agree,” said council member Julius Stroud. “I think some things can be tasteless. Greg, don’t apologize for your words.”