The Fulton County Grand Jury said Friday an investigation of Atlanta's recent primary election produced `` no evidence '' that any irregularities took place .
The jury further said in term-end presentments that the City Executive Committee , which had over-all charge of the election , `` deserves the praise and thanks of the City of Atlanta '' for the manner in which the election was conducted .
The September-October term jury had been charged by Fulton Superior Court Judge Durwood Pye to investigate reports of possible `` irregularities '' in the hard-fought primary which was won by Mayor-nominate Ivan Allen Jr. .
`` Only a relative handful of such reports was received '' , the jury said , `` considering the widespread interest in the election , the number of voters and the size of this city '' .
The jury said it did find that many of Georgia's registration and election laws `` are outmoded or inadequate and often ambiguous '' .
It recommended that Fulton legislators act `` to have these laws studied and revised to the end of modernizing and improving them '' .
The grand jury commented on a number of other topics , among them the Atlanta and Fulton County purchasing departments which it said `` are well operated and follow generally accepted practices which inure to the best interest of both governments '' .
However , the jury said it believes `` these two offices should be combined to achieve greater efficiency and reduce the cost of administration '' .
The City Purchasing Department , the jury said , `` is lacking in experienced clerical personnel as a result of city personnel policies '' .
It urged that the city `` take steps to remedy '' this problem .
Implementation of Georgia's automobile title law was also recommended by the outgoing jury .
It urged that the next Legislature `` provide enabling funds and re-set the effective date so that an orderly implementation of the law may be effected '' .
The grand jury took a swipe at the State Welfare Department's handling of federal funds granted for child welfare services in foster homes .
`` This is one of the major items in the Fulton County general assistance program '' , the jury said , but the State Welfare Department `` has seen fit to distribute these funds through the welfare departments of all the counties in the state with the exception of Fulton County , which receives none of this money .
The jurors said they realize `` a proportionate distribution of these funds might disable this program in our less populous counties '' .
Nevertheless , `` we feel that in the future Fulton County should receive some portion of these available funds '' , the jurors said .
`` Failure to do this will continue to place a disproportionate burden '' on Fulton taxpayers .
The jury also commented on the Fulton ordinary's court which has been under fire for its practices in the appointment of appraisers , guardians and administrators and the awarding of fees and compensation .
The jury said it found the court `` has incorporated into its operating procedures the recommendations '' of two previous grand juries , the Atlanta Bar Association and an interim citizens committee .
`` These actions should serve to protect in fact and in effect the court's wards from undue costs and its appointed and elected servants from unmeritorious criticisms '' , the jury said .
Regarding Atlanta's new multi-million-dollar airport , the jury recommended `` that when the new management takes charge Jan. 1 the airport be operated in a manner that will eliminate political influences '' .
The jury did not elaborate , but it added that `` there should be periodic surveillance of the pricing practices of the concessionaires for the purpose of keeping the prices reasonable '' .
Ask jail deputies
On other matters , the jury recommended that : ( 1 )
Four additional deputies be employed at the Fulton County Jail and `` a doctor , medical intern or extern be employed for night and weekend duty at the jail '' .
( 2 )
Fulton legislators `` work with city officials to pass enabling legislation that will permit the establishment of a fair and equitable '' pension plan for city employes .
The jury praised the administration and operation of the Atlanta Police Department , the Fulton Tax Commissioner's Office , the Bellwood and Alpharetta prison farms , Grady Hospital and the Fulton Health Department .
Mayor William B. Hartsfield filed suit for divorce from his wife , Pearl Williams Hartsfield , in Fulton Superior Court Friday .
His petition charged mental cruelty .
The couple was married Aug. 2 , 1913 .
They have a son , William Berry Jr. , and a daughter , Mrs. J. M. Cheshire of Griffin .
Attorneys for the mayor said that an amicable property settlement has been agreed upon .
The petition listed the mayor's occupation as `` attorney '' and his age as 71 .
It listed his wife's age as 74 and place of birth as Opelika , Ala. .
The petition said that the couple has not lived together as man and wife for more than a year .
The Hartsfield home is at 637 E. Pelham Rd. Aj .
Henry L. Bowden was listed on the petition as the mayor's attorney .
Hartsfield has been mayor of Atlanta , with exception of one brief interlude , since 1937 .
His political career goes back to his election to city council in 1923 .
The mayor's present term of office expires Jan. 1 .
He will be succeeded by Ivan Allen Jr. , who became a candidate in the Sept. 13 primary after Mayor Hartsfield announced that he would not run for reelection .
Georgia Republicans are getting strong encouragement to enter a candidate in the 1962 governor's race , a top official said Wednesday .
Robert Snodgrass , state GOP chairman , said a meeting held Tuesday night in Blue Ridge brought enthusiastic responses from the audience .
State Party Chairman James W. Dorsey added that enthusiasm was picking up for a state rally to be held Sept. 8 in Savannah at which newly elected Texas Sen. John Tower will be the featured speaker .
In the Blue Ridge meeting , the audience was warned that entering a candidate for governor would force it to take petitions out into voting precincts to obtain the signatures of registered voters .
Despite the warning , there was a unanimous vote to enter a candidate , according to Republicans who attended .
When the crowd was asked whether it wanted to wait one more term to make the race , it voted no -- and there were no dissents .
The largest hurdle the Republicans would have to face is a state law which says that before making a first race , one of two alternative courses must be taken : 1
Five per cent of the voters in each county must sign petitions requesting that the Republicans be allowed to place names of candidates on the general election ballot , or 2
The Republicans must hold a primary under the county unit system -- a system which the party opposes in its platform .
Sam Caldwell , State Highway Department public relations director , resigned Tuesday to work for Lt. Gov. Garland Byrd's campaign .
Caldwell's resignation had been expected for some time .
He will be succeeded by Rob Ledford of Gainesville , who has been an assistant more than three years .
When the gubernatorial campaign starts , Caldwell is expected to become a campaign coordinator for Byrd .
The Georgia Legislature will wind up its 1961 session Monday and head for home -- where some of the highway bond money it approved will follow shortly .
Before adjournment Monday afternoon , the Senate is expected to approve a study of the number of legislators allotted to rural and urban areas to determine what adjustments should be made .
Gov. Vandiver is expected to make the traditional visit to both chambers as they work toward adjournment .
Vandiver likely will mention the $100 million highway bond issue approved earlier in the session as his first priority item .
Meanwhile , it was learned the State Highway Department is very near being ready to issue the first $30 million worth of highway reconstruction bonds .
The bond issue will go to the state courts for a friendly test suit to test the validity of the act , and then the sales will begin and contracts let for repair work on some of Georgia's most heavily traveled highways .
A Highway Department source said there also is a plan there to issue some $3 million to $4 million worth of Rural Roads Authority bonds for rural road construction work .
A revolving fund
The department apparently intends to make the Rural Roads Authority a revolving fund under which new bonds would be issued every time a portion of the old ones are paid off by tax authorities .
Vandiver opened his race for governor in 1958 with a battle in the Legislature against the issuance of $50 million worth of additional rural roads bonds proposed by then Gov. Marvin Griffin .
The Highway Department source told The Constitution , however , that Vandiver has not been consulted yet about the plans to issue the new rural roads bonds .
Schley County Rep. B. D. Pelham will offer a resolution Monday in the House to rescind the body's action of Friday in voting itself a $10 per day increase in expense allowances .
Pelham said Sunday night there was research being done on whether the `` quickie '' vote on the increase can be repealed outright or whether notice would have to first be given that reconsideration of the action would be sought .
While emphasizing that technical details were not fully worked out , Pelham said his resolution would seek to set aside the privilege resolution which the House voted through 87-31 .
A similar resolution passed in the Senate by a vote of 29-5 .
As of Sunday night , there was no word of a resolution being offered there to rescind the action .
Pelham pointed out that Georgia voters last November rejected a constitutional amendment to allow legislators to vote on pay raises for future Legislature sessions .
A veteran Jackson County legislator will ask the Georgia House Monday to back federal aid to education , something it has consistently opposed in the past .
Rep. Mac Barber of Commerce is asking the House in a privilege resolution to `` endorse increased federal support for public education , provided that such funds be received and expended '' as state funds .
Barber , who is in his 13th year as a legislator , said there `` are some members of our congressional delegation in Washington who would like to see it ( the resolution ) passed '' .
But he added that none of Georgia's congressmen specifically asked him to offer the resolution .
The resolution , which Barber tossed into the House hopper Friday , will be formally read Monday .
It says that `` in the event Congress does provide this increase in federal funds '' , the State Board of Education should be directed to `` give priority '' to teacher pay raises .
-- After a long , hot controversy , Miller County has a new school superintendent , elected , as a policeman put it , in the `` coolest election I ever saw in this county '' .
The new school superintendent is Harry Davis , a veteran agriculture teacher , who defeated Felix Bush , a school principal and chairman of the Miller County Democratic Executive Committee .
Davis received 1,119 votes in Saturday's election , and Bush got 402 .
Ordinary Carey Williams , armed with a pistol , stood by at the polls to insure order .
`` This was the coolest , calmest election I ever saw '' , Colquitt Policeman Tom Williams said .
`` Being at the polls was just like being at church .
I didn't smell a drop of liquor , and we didn't have a bit of trouble '' .
The campaign leading to the election was not so quiet , however .
It was marked by controversy , anonymous midnight phone calls and veiled threats of violence .
The former county school superintendent , George P. Callan , shot himself to death March 18 , four days after he resigned his post in a dispute with the county school board .
During the election campaign , both candidates , Davis and Bush , reportedly received anonymous telephone calls .
Ordinary Williams said he , too , was subjected to anonymous calls soon after he scheduled the election .
Many local citizens feared that there would be irregularities at the polls , and Williams got himself a permit to carry a gun and promised an orderly election .
Sheriff Felix Tabb said the ordinary apparently made good his promise .
`` Everything went real smooth '' , the sheriff said .
`` There wasn't a bit of trouble '' .