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Commissioner Horgan should be removed from office by governor

I have a few comments on the saga of county Commissioner Robert Horgan. I recall a similar case that happened in Griffin back in the late 1990s involving an elected official of Spalding County.
This gentleman was an elected school board member and, in his words, “a man of the cloth.” He was a minister of the gospel and quite a respected member of the clergy.
However, he was accused of sexual harassment of three school employees and threatening the assistant superintendent.
He was never criminally charged, but it was determined he violated a state ethics code that held an “elected” official, even though he was just a school board member, to a higher standard of conduct.
He refused to resign and eventually after much legal haggling, Gov. Roy Barnes used a relatively unknown legal maneuver to remove Mr. Stokes from his position. Just last year, Gov. Sonny Perdue used this same method to remove four school board members in Clayton County.
My point is this: Mr. Horgan was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, which is a crime, where most people arrested just for that go to jail.
It doesn’t matter if he thinks his arrest was not related to his “official duties as a Fayette County Commissioner.” He broke the law.
Shouldn’t an elected officials’ job be a 24/7 position to be held accountable for their actions just as an average citizen is if they broke the law?
I think if any elected official, whether it is a school board member, a county commissioner or the president of the United States (remember President Nixon), breaks the law or violates their ethical responsibility, they should not be allowed to continue to serve in any capacity.
Is it going to take the removal of Mr. Horgan by the governor to finally resolve this charade?
By the way, Mr. Stokes had the “audacity” to run for his school board seat after his removal but was denied that post by a majority of the very voters that has elected him in the first place.
Calvin Griffin
Fayetteville, Ga.

Location: 

Comments

There is also an old Federal Tax Lien that may be found in Book 103 Page 611 of the County Tax Records.

For a simple misdemeanor? Less than an ounce?

Really?

*

Steve Brown's picture

He got the state taxes paid off before qualifying. The state law, to the best of my knowledge, does not require a person to pay large sums of past due federal taxes in order to qualify for elected office.

I do not think Horgan has a chance. Possession of illegal drugs and he turned around and violated his probation. I think he loses on that alone.

ginga1414's picture

It is beyond me, and many other people, why any public official who had broken the law and had been arrested would even want to stay in office.

Why would they be willing to face the public ridicule that surely follows such and incident?

The system of checks and balances must remain intact in order to preserve the integrity of the political structure of a community. When one individual becomes more powerful than the group tasked to keep that individual in check, the danger of an abuse of power exists.

Term limits have been successfully implemented in many communities across the nation. Term limits encourages new candidates to run for office, and helps maintain these offices populated with term-limited, passionate public servants who place the interests of the community ahead of their own personal careers/agendas.

Imagine a city, county, or state with Term Limits for ALL elected public servants - commissioners, board of education, sheriff, all judges, district attorney, clerk of court, tax accessor, coroner, state reps, senators, etc.

Term Limits would stop the brokenness, corruption, and greed in the current systems of government.

Brokenness? Xtra credit for knew wordz.

Steve Brown's picture

As you might guess ... yes ... Horgan, Hearn and Frady voted it down.

. . . . Horgan, Hearn, Frady voted against term limits. . . . Uuummmm, very interesting, I did not know that.

ginga1414's picture

Yep, isn't that very interesting?

Steve Brown is right. He and McCarty made the proposal for term limits. Hearn, Horgan, and Frady voted against it, as usual.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the deputy sheriff who arrested Horgan, and Horgan, himself, were both officers of Fayette County. Had Horgan been a deputy sheriff when arrested, even off duty, he would be gone. But because he was a commissioner, he is still with the county even though he violated his probation. Hardly a slap on the wrist, yet it made the Atlanta TV news when it happened.

It makes Fayette County look very bad when "good ole boys" get a free pass on their conduct. If politicians were held to the same conduct standards as law enforcement officials, we'd all be a lot better off.

Josh Bloom's picture

Does anybody have a reference to this hidden treasure of a law?

Don Haddix's picture

Violation of oath and ethics are often used but are usually false accusation. As well as recall.

It was used against me but there was no recall or ethics charge. The excuse was it would cost taxpayer money. The reality is there were no actual grounds.

Same here. Accusations without grounds.

State law prohibits elected from even commenting on referendum items they placed before the voters. If there were a prohibition from commenting on any referendum, then Mayor Reed, Governor Deal, Mayor Bodker, etc would also be in violation of law by promoting the referendum.

After a referendum passes or fails, there is no prohibition on commenting on the outcome.

As for the 2004 SPLOST projects, in PTC they are part of every Retreat, Budget, etc hearings every year. Same for every other city and county in the State who have such projects. We most assuredly comment, prioritize and even defund spending to certain projects.

There is a law that if projects are no longer viable, etc, the money can be used elsewhere.

There are projects in the County the money could be transferred to, eliminating any need for any TSPLOST funds. Neither the East or West Bypass have to have another penny paid toward them. Or, every penny could be spend on one or the other.

How are those decisions made? By discussion, debate and vote of the County Commission.

Chairman Frady is saying a many things to a lot of people, including me. It isn't holding up materially or legally.

All know I do not support the West Bypass or the TSPLOST.

I haven't commented on the East Bypass before. From what I have been told and read, there isn't enough money to build it, so why spend money on it and not other projects that would benefit the County economically?

Projects in PTC would enhance economic development of the Industrial Park, thus financially benefiting the whole County. There are intersection and road improvement throughout the County that would enhance transportation without adding another bunch of roads for developers.

What is truly needed is debate, discussion and actual facts, not political positions. That requires what Chairman Frady is opposing.

Once voted on, while a elected official must enforce what is on the books, it is a totally false claim they must support the law.

Really, how do changes come about? By elected challenging and questioning what is and arguing for change.

This is another false avenue some like to attempt against those seeking change or a different course. They are attempts to silence people. Some even take it beyond words. It is not service to the community.

Those who try such tactics should not be office.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Josh Bloom's picture

If I may say so Mayor. Those comments deserve a 90% pay RAISE for the month of July.

Don Haddix's picture

I appreciate it.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

Robert W. Morgan's picture

"State law prohibits elected (officials, I guess that was the word you left out) from even commenting on referendum items they placed before the voters." Your quote, Mr. Haddix.

Did he not place this referendum before the voters? How is he exempt from the law? Should we not charge him with an ethics violation?

Oh, OK, we are going to stick with the technicality that Brown was not present at the ARC meetings where this was discussed and he had no hand in putting it on the ballot? Is that right? If the publicity-seeking bloodsucker was at those meetings, then he is responsible for the meeting's outcome. Why else would he go?

What say you, Mr. Haddix? Is Brown a violator? How about you?

Live free or die!

Don Haddix's picture

No, I didn't leave "official" out by mistake.

The SPLOST was placed in 2004. Today, it is no longer a referendum, but a passed tax. Therefore Commissioner Brown can comment on it all he wants.

As far as allocations of funds go, that is a Budgetary vote, not a referendum. Again, he can comment all he wants.

The TSPLOST was placed on the ballot by the RTR, no one else. Which makes it interesting to see the elected (officials), who authorized it commenting on it. A legal question on whether it is a violation or not one I cannot answer, since the RTR was dissolved.

No, attending an RTR or ARC meeting does not make one responsible for the vote or putting it on the ballot.

Brown is not a violator. Whether I agree with all his positions and comments is a different matter.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think every single elected official that served on ARC or RTR when this ugly duckling transportation tax was hatched should be ineligible from discussing it. After all, they have the deep-pocket corporations funding a multi-million dollar ad campaign touting the "advantages". Why do we need to hear from the politicians that created this thing - or even those that fought against it and lost?

Sooner the better this thing gets voted down we can focus on truly local issues - most of which will require cutting budgets and services as city and county revenues decline. Hope you are prepared for that.

Live free or die!

Don Haddix's picture

First of all, the sitting ARC members were the RTR members. Only them and no other Mayor or Chairman in the Region.

You say they should be ineligible. I said I don't know, legally speaking. So what is to disagree with? Your opinion or my legal question? Neither of us actually know for certain.

My personnel opinion is they should be silent. But that is not a legal opinion.

Ugly duckling or complete disaster, we agree the tax in s non starter.

We agree on the deep pockets as well. That includes the Chambers of Commerce.

As for not hearing from elected and groups who support and oppose, how else are you going to understand it? By just looking at the slanted, biased and incomplete materials post by the ARC and RTR?

Why do you think I was removed? One big reason I was exposing what was going on outside the public view. Sending materials to opponents not on the sites. Saying what what was not to be shared. Showing the connection between 2010, 2040 and the RTC.

Yes, we agree this needs defeated. But if you think that means it is over, you are sorely mistaken.

At the District 3 Meeting at the annual conference, not public or press allowed, they leadership is expecting it to fail and are already looking to bring it back in 2 years. They are pushing forward on the RTC.

It isn't over, Morgan. Not by a long shot.

I am prepared to cut the City Budget, the majority is not. Read my letter for details.

We need to do a Needs Assessment, but the majority has no interest because I believe they know the outcome will not be what they want.

Pick what to back in this mess. More taxes or setting realistic goals.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Robert W. Morgan's picture

But of course I must pick at 2 little nits:

1. The Chamber of Commerce didn't support passing the transportation tax with donated money - like the corporations. What they (and the Realtors) did was have a Board of Directors meeting and took a vote and actually endorsed the stupid TSPLOST!. So maybe 8 or 9 Board members made a decision for 500 or 600 members - a decision that any fool can see is contrary to how the members themselves would actually vote. I chalk that up to the Board members own political ambitions and the arrogance that comes with leadership i.e. "We know what is best for you, etc." I hear there is a group of Chamber members preparing a petition protesting this action and trying to oust the President, but they are waiting until after the actual vote tomorrow. The NO vote, I believe.

2. Nope, TSPLOST can't come back in 2 years without the State Legislature voting to allow it. Unimaginable with the current configuration. Now if you think there is going to be a Democrat takeover of Georgia legislature in 2 years, well then maybe.

Good luck with budget cutting. Consider user fees and staff reductions. In a couple of years everybody will be doing it. We are not growing, we are shrinking as kids move away. You might consider that in decisions made about recreation. Do fewer kids need more soccer fields? No, I didn't think so.

Live free or die!

Don Haddix's picture

Clarifications and answers are good to have.

Nit 1. Yes, the Fayette Chamber did give financial support to "Untie Atlanta." I have the hard copy booklet and scanned it into jpg files. Glad to send you or anyone else a copy. They are listed on the sponsor page.

Nit 2. Yes, it requires the Legislature. But it still can be brought back and since Atlanta and the ARC were key in its development, setting different rules from the other 11` Districts, the ARC carries a lot of leverage.

So, my statement is accurate. It can come back.

Remember, the Transportation Act of 2010 was passed by Republicans.

On the Budget, we have already raised Rec fees, but not enough. We are still spending over $2 million more than is being brought in.

On Staff reductions, where?

Your Rec comments are right on the mark and why we require a Needs Assessment. Meet the needs of PTC and then focus on uses that cost less and or generate income. I know the Hotels, Motels and CVB want to go that direction.

Right now trying to provide for County and Out of County usage confuses the issue.

An Assessment will give us a pretty accurate accounting of where the citizens are. In example, less than 1.5% of PTC uses the Bubble and about 7,000 total use the Rec fields.

The only known area of under-service has been Senior Services.

We need accurate data across the board. We do not actually know what PTC wants in fact.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Rec. money? Spending rec. money on a "plan to stay" logo on the floor of the gym? How much did that criminal act cost the city in staff time, outside of the cleanup crew that the insurance paid for? Was there a deductible on the insurance money that the city had to pay?

Don Haddix's picture

I do not know the amount since we didn't see a breakdown or vote on that aspect.

To find out ask Betsy at info@peachtree-city.org along with any other questions you have.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

Mike King's picture

"In example, less than 1.5% of PTC uses the Bubble and about 7,000 total use the Rec fields."
If we know this for fact, why go to the trouble of a needs assessment? After all, you have already spent a huge chuck of change toward placating that 1.5% with the bubble. Now how much have you spent this year on those recreation fields? Somehow I don't believe the percentages will correlate which lends credence to the futility of a needs assessment.

mudcat's picture

of the President and the entire Board. It is bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors supported the T-SPLOST without consulting it's members, but spending member's dues money with financial support on top of that? No way that is appropriate. Time to clean house and teach some people accountability.

Don Haddix's picture

The booklet was placed online as a PDF minus the sponsor page. The Sponsor page was scanned to a jpg image, on which you can see part of the front page. Both are here:

http:// donhaddix.com/showthread.php?t=156

Also a sponsor is the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

Mike King's picture

"Once voted on, while a elected official must enforce what is on the books, it is a totally false claim they must support the law."

You should have used the ten grand on an effective writing class which might just clear up what you mean to say. That is, of course, assuming you have the cognitive skills to know what it is you wish to say. Perhaps Imker and the council women will let you enroll.

"Those who try such tactics should not be office." How about those that try to hide ten grand in legal fees?

Don Haddix's picture

From all the errors you keep stating on many subjects and people, I believe you need a reading comprehension course.

Nothing was hidden. The City Attorney knew before I did the payment was coming. I informed the City Manager and H/R plus Finance personnel all saw the bill.

As well, I knew the reporting of legal fees was becoming part of the Monthly reports, so everyone would know.

Your inability to know what you are talking about is why I do not reply to you. I only did so here to inform others.

Bye.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mike King's picture

Face facts yourself, mayor. Ten grand in PERSONAL legal fees caused by an imbecilic act. Was it your ego, delusional mindset that you're always right, or was it simply because you're stupid that caused you to write the e-mail?

rolling stone's picture

I would like to point out that the email in question was sent to one person only, a city employee. It was the result of that person's actions, that is, broadcasting the contents, that caused the conflagration. Consider what would not have happened if said content was not distributed. I suppose one could say that Don provided the fuel and the email recipient, as a city employee, provided the match. In my view, the city was liable for Don's legal fees, in that the city was liable for the actions of the employee. A whole lot different than Don being labeled a thief in public forums by people in their official capacity, when if fact the burden of proof of thievery had not been met. I'm just sayin'.

NUK_1's picture

All the emails sent and received by public officials from their government email addresses are public record. It was simply stupid and had nothing to do with conducting city business for Haddix to send that email to anyone.
Blame the ex-employee all you want, but after seeing the treatment he received from Haddix's wife and her pitiful defense of it in the newspaper where she interjected herself right into the mess....yeah, payback can be a real b****

The man's huge ego and pettiness got in the way once again of performing his job that he wanted he so badly that he's managed to alienate every other councilmember and a lot of PTC residents with his desire for control and power. He always has thought the PTC charter somehow granted him powers of a King when it doesn't, and he's had to learn that the hard way over and over again.

Mike King's picture

"I would like to point out that the email in question was sent to one person only, a city employee." Correct, and done so on a venue that is available for public scrutiny which makes the act all the more imbecilic. Honorable people will take responsibility for their shortcomings. Our mayor is simply not among them.

rolling stone's picture

[quote] ...a venue that is available for public scrutiny...[/quote]
Can anyone post the link so one can avail themselves to scrutinize these emails? This I gotta see because I have to know how much fun a tan man can stan'.

just fine and dandy?

Are you serious?

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

yellowjax1212's picture

Pay back the $10,000 you owe the PTC taxpayers

Josh Bloom's picture

BTW, Does anyone know if Mr. Horgan is apart of the Rotary Club. I thought one of the commisioners was apart of the orginization, but I forget which one.

I read where he was a member of the Peachtree City Rotary prior to being elected--don't know about now.

ginga1414's picture

Along with a bunch of other folks, I received an email from Commission Chairman Frady yesterday. I thought a portion of his email needed clarification. So, I emailed him back and asked for clarification.

The portion of Mr. Frady's email that I am referring to had to do with the Fayette County 2004 T-SPLOST, and Phase II of the West Bypass, and Commissioner Brown's negative votes concerning Phase II of the W. Bypass.

Mr. Frady's original email said: "... every elected official takes an oath to uphold the Federal, State,
and yes, Fayette county laws. The tax referendum for traffic that passed in 2004 became
Law. The funds must be spent for traffic improvements. We have commissioners who are now
breaking the oath of office by voting against these projects..."

My questions are: If it is "breaking the oath of office by voting against these projects" and thereby breaking the law, why is a vote called for in the first place?

Also, my understanding of having the commissioners vote on an issue is to see whether or not that issue will pass. If it is illegal for a commissioner to vote "no," then why would a vote be required? And, why have commissioners who voted "no" in the past not been told by the commission chairman that their negative vote was unlawful at the time they voted?

I am assuming that Mr. Frady's diatribe was his opinion. If so, he only said "commissioners" (Brown and McCarty?) had broken the oath of office by not supporting a project that Mr. Frady said was Law. He didn't, however, address whether or not it was his opinion that Commissioner Horgan had broken his oath by breaking the law.

NUK_1's picture

He's been in office so long that I think he's getting to the point of senility. Well, BEYOND that point, actually.

Everything that he states WAS true....until GA Bill 240 passed. I'm not a practicing attorney these days and realize that in fact Bill 240 could be challenged and wasn't guaranteed to be ruled as constitutional by the GA Supreme Court, but it did give a great opportunity to at least TRY and re-allocate already collected SPLOST funds to other uses besides the original intent of the SPLOST itself, something that would have been in fact not possible before 240.

In FC, there was a chance to forget the goofy WFB and EFB, neither of which are needed now and won't be anytime soon, and instead address some really basic county needs that have been ignored with that money. But, NOoooooooo, NOOOOOOOO! Heresy!

FC could have made a great test case for why 240 was passed in the first place because it sure seemed to address the problem of collection for transportation projects in the past and then realizing they weren't needed while other needs existed. Yeah, this could also be a slippery slope with politicians and could have some unintended consequences that could be a nightmare in the future, but there's a lot of "maybe's" "if's and "but's" there. IMO, it was worth pushing it under bill 240 to re-allocate that money and there is no shortage in FC of where it could have been better used than WFB or EFB.

Frady wasn't too popular upon leaving PTC and going to the county and now isn't going to win any popularity contests against anyone else either. Just like Horgan, the sheer arrogance of thinking that his opinion matters at all or is in any way a "positive" towards another person is completely laughable and shows just how detached from reality some people become once they win a local election.
Sort of like Eric Maxwell pimping for goofy Stephen Ott for Judge....yeah, that's really some endorsement there!

EDIT: I left out Lee Hearn and his bit about "God knows what is in my heart." I had no idea this was even a subject of debate to begin with as I think that's already an assumed fact. Oh.....I forgot...he was trying to rationalize away his very unethical action of nominating and praising a relative and neglecting somehow to mention that to anyone else on the BOC or the public. That's OK, God told Lee he knew he had only had pure motives. PUKE.

Steve Brown's picture

I had a card stuck in my car window for Lee Hearn while I was in church. I pulled the card and read the back and just shook my head.

The card reads "Lee's Priorities Continue to Be"

"Manage Our Tax Dollars Wisely" - Oh my! This guy has been deficit budgeting all four years in office! He let the county's Fire Fund crash and he kept funding the West Fayetteville Bypass.

"Support Transportation Improvements" Oh my, again! He supported every project but the highest ranked projects. Hearn thought the Road to Nowhere was the best project (Do I need to say more?).

Most people do not know this, but the real reason Lee is running again is so that he can qualify for the county government's Defined Benefits Pension Plan. Lee was formerly in charge of the county Public Works Department, got into a heap of trouble, was about to be terminated and he resigned.

If he wins this primary, he will be soaking us for his pension too.

Randy Ognio got my vote because the guy is completely honest and selfless. We need more people like that in government!

Steve Brown's picture

It appears that Brooks mayor Dan Langford and Mike Hofrichter's plans are backfiring on them. The two started a nasty mudslinging campaign on opponents of county commission incumbents Lee Hearn and Robert Horgan as well as former commission Jack Smith.

The weekend version of the Today in Peachtree City has an article entitled, "Newspapers, readers scammed by political ad.” Hofrichter, a local attorney in Fayetteville, is now trying to distance himself from the brutally harsh political ads. Hofrichter’s friend Dean Howard, whose name also appears on bottom of the ad as the funding source, implied there were other people involved in paying for the ad as well, but no other names were listed.

Now questions of illegal activity are being raised with the possibility of the undisclosed funding sources not being listed on the ads and a political action committee not being formed in accordance with Georgia law.

According to Today in Peachtree City, Howard “refused to divulge the names [of the others involved].” Howard claimed, “I’m not at liberty to give that information.”

Mayor Langford began a distracting campaign in an attempt to dilute the response from a mailer sent by a local citizen’s advocacy political action committee named Take Back Fayette County. Langford claimed the facts listed in the flyer were divisive even though most of the items were covered in local newspapers for months.

Hofricther and his friend Howard tried to protect Horgan, Hearn and Smith by purchasing full page color ads in local newspapers blasting Take Back Fayette County’s Harold Bost. The ads ridiculed Bost for supplying factual material reflecting the negative impacts Hearn, Horgan and Smith have had on Fayette County. Hofrichter and Howard callously placed photos of Bost next to a photo of the Boss Hogg character from the 1970s television series The Dukes of Hazzard.

Hofrichter and Howard also launched several conspiracy theories in their ads in an attempt to discredit opposition candidates Charles Oddo, Randy Ognio and David Barlow.

One source near the Oddo, Ognio and Barlow campaigns claimed the venomous backbiting newspaper ads from Hofrichter and Howard “were an extremely desperate attempt at trying to save the campaigns of the two incumbents and one former commissioner who have tried to ruin our quality of life in Fayette County.”

There is no way to determine whether an investigation will be launched to uncover all the parties responsible for the ad and whether they followed state law because the District Attorney’s office is closed on weekends.

There has been no public comment from campaigns of incumbents Robert Horgan and Lee Hearn, as well as former commissioner Jack Smith regarding the vindictive political ads.

Is it me or is this web site really slow? Anyway, when I saw that nasty political ad in the Citizen I thought one of the candidates was probably behind it.

Cal Beverly is right about Jack Smith's arrogance! If I was a betting person, I'd say Jack Smith used Michael Hofrichter and Dean Howard as a front to throw the mud and innuendo.

The Horgan, Smith and Hearn people have done a lot of finger pointing. Now it looks like it's on them! Good!

Well, I have been reading all the BS about Hearn, Horgan, and Smith. Guess what Boss Hog your take back Fayette County is a bunch of crap. All Steve wants is to be the chair, power, power, power, that's what Steve is thinking about at night when all other men are thinking about more meaningful thoughts and actions. When you hear him in the meetings all he can do is make sure he keeps things stirred up. What a loser. Yes he was ran out of P'tree city after totally screwing that city up. Then you have the one other commissioner oh what is his name, well lets just sat he is the lap dog for Brown. The yes man for Boss Hog and the gang.

If the voters of this county do not vote for the three best which is Hearn, Smith and Horgan then the next two years will be a joke, kinda like p'tree city was and is now.

If you vote for any other candidates then you will be voting for behind the scenes Boss Hog and his merry men. All this election is about is how to get a foothold back into the county for the good old boys. Remember them, Dunn, Boss, Linda, and all the rest?

DONT BE FOOLED. I'm telling you this is as important election as the election coming up in Nov. The three commissioners listed above could be equated to Romney such as Brown the clown and his Boss Hogs could be equated to Obama and his Chicago thugs, nothing but me, me ,me. One of the commissioners already said he would be voting yes with Brown. Hum now how can that be since he doesn't even know what he would be voting about.

Think it over citizens

suggarfoot's picture

I didn't see the add, but it sounds like a bad case of sour grapes to me.

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