Church attends council meeting: Judge modifies bond to allow attendance
by Ricky Leroux
August 05, 2014 04:00 AM | 4462 views | 5 5 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Leonard Church
Leonard Church
KENNESAW — Councilman Leonard Church attended Monday night’s Kennesaw City Council meeting, but only after a judge accepted a change to his original bond permitting him to do so.

The former Kennesaw mayor was arrested in June and charged with child molestation.

According to a source at the Cobb County Magistrate’s Court Warrant Division, Church filed a motion to modify his original bond agreement Thursday. A hearing for the motion was set for August 12.

The hearing has been canceled, though, because the bond modification was signed by Judge Frank Cox, the court’s chief magistrate, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The source said they were notified about the modification Monday, but did not know when the order was signed.

The source also said Judge Cox signed the order on the condition Church enter the council chamber through the back door. Additionally, the source siad Church is not permitted to interact with anyone under the age of 18.

Church followed these conditions during Monday’s meeting. He entered through the back of the chamber and took his assigned seat on the dais. While other council members went into the audience to speak with the citizens in attendance, Church busied himself with paperwork and waited for the meeting to begin.

He refused to answer any questions unless they were related to the night’s agenda.

During the meeting, Church remained quiet.

He spoke only once and declined to speak during the portion of the meeting meant for comments from the councilmembers. After the meeting adjourned, he exited through the back of the chamber.

The terms of his initial bond stated he “shall not initiate contact with nor continue uninitiated contact with a child under the age of 16” and “shall have no contact with any child under the age of 16, and shall not linger in any location at which children under the age of 16 are present.”

At the City Council’s work session Wednesday, Church was not in attendance, nor did he call in to participate in the session by phone, as he did at the council’s meeting on July 21. There were children present at the July 21 meeting, however, as members of the Swift-Cantrell Kilometer Kids, a local community organization encouraging healthy lifestyles for children, were in attendance to thank the council for its support of the organization.

There were also children present at Monday night’s meeting. Two Boy Scouts sat in the back of the room, and three teens arrived 10 minutes into the meeting.

Mayor called out by


During the public comment section of Monday’s meeting, Ann Pratt, a Kennesaw resident for more than 30 years, took the opportunity to address a recent exchange between Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews and Eileen Alberstadt, also a Kennesaw resident.

At the July 21 City Council meeting, the council was discussing the closure of Lewis Street, and Mathews brought up a posting on a social media website he said was written by Alberstadt. Mathews said the post claimed he didn’t care about voters and that he had stated only 678 cars drive on Lewis Street each day. Mathews requested Alberstadt change and correct the online posting.

“There were a couple of different sources that had put out information, one actually was impersonating me, that was brought to my attention by a citizen, who also pointed out that some of the residents believed that I had made those statements directly,” Mathews said Monday night. “And that was inaccurate. And so that had to be addressed.”

On Monday night, Pratt said she believed Alberstadt was “intentionally mocked” by Mathews during the July 21 meeting and said his comments were “out of line.” Pratt also said the matter seemed personal and should have been handled outside the council’s chambers.

Mathews said he addressed the matter during the meeting because the post could be seen by the public and he wanted to address anyone who might have seen it and believed it was his actual position. Because the information expressed online as his was inaccurate, he said, he felt it was important to clarify the issue.

Pratt didn’t take issue with Mathews wanting to clarify the issue, but for the way he did so.

“You directed it directly at her. You said you didn’t know who all (have) seen it, but you directed it directly at her. And if that had been me, it would have embarrassed the heck out of me. I was embarrassed for her. … I’m sorry, Mayor. I respect your office, but I think you were respectfully wrong,” Pratt said.

After the Pratt’s comments, Mathews thanked Pratt for her feedback and said he appreciated her input.

Later, during the portion of the meeting set aside for councilmembers’ comments, Councilmembers Cris Eaton-Welsh, Tim Killingsworth and Debra Williams also thanked Pratt for speaking to the council.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
miss georgia
August 09, 2014
Leonard Church is guilty. How dare you call a nine year old boy/ son of a police officer a liar! Have a little compassion for the child and his family

Resign already...
August 05, 2014
This is so typical, so Church now can attend meetings and leaves out the back door. He is getting his retirement from his 8 years as a Cowboy mayor and only stays now so he can add to that retirement, shameful!!! His buddy Dowdy, (who image his signs for Church's campaign) was the same way, only concerned about his benefits, not the embarrassment he was bringing to the city they both said they loved(?). This was clearly Mayor Mattews choice in the recent election, (everyone saw them together) and we are paying the price with headline after headline of this type of thinking. Shameful, on any one who supports this, obvious Mattews is trying to make himself look good with his recent nonfat article and police photos, thin or fat, a snake is a snake, it's time to get resignations ready for Church and Matthews. This is one lady that likes a clean house, the benediction has been sounded, "Church-Time" is OVER!
August 08, 2014
A very rude and misleading statement. Why criticize John Dowdy? Printing is his business. Me Church is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. And to say Leonard was the mayors choice for city council is ridiculous . People saw me with all the candidates . Are you implying I supported all of them? Nope, I didn't , but two of the three I supported got elected , Debra and Leonard and I am proud of both of them.
Be Careful
August 05, 2014
The next election cannot come soon enough.

Not only the "vocal minority", that Mathews so frequently blames for "upseting" the last election when 2 of his golf buddies were thrown off council, but also the silent MAJORITY, are anxiously waiting the chance to throw Mathews out of office.

He has over stayed his welcome.

Mark said in his speech to the KSU class that he would not run if the environment for the next election started off like the last one.

Dont't worry, it will.

So you may as well not even put your hat in the ring this time.

Same for Timmy K.

The residents of Kennesaw started to sweep clean city council last election, and they'll finish the job next election.
Bill in Kennesaw
August 05, 2014
While I did not attend the referenced meeting and can not comment directly on what was said, I would point out that several citizens, myself included, have posted online regarding the various actions of our 'ethically challenged' mayor. It may be that there is some confusion as to who the mayor was 'calling out'.

The language used by the mayor in describing 'comments' posted online are similar to those the City Attorney and his firm Bentley, Bentley and Bentley used when drafting a June 20th, 3 page 'Cease and Desist' letter to me at the mayor's behest.

This letter cost the City at least $1,055 (final billing by BBB is not in yet) and was never served. I obtained a copy via a FOIA request to the City.

3 efforts were made for service:

1) Certified Mail,

2) process server, and when these did not work

3) the mayor asked various people who know me to invite me to lunch, let him know when and where, so I could be served with the letter.

The matter of major complaint seems to have been my quoting his comments to a KSU Journalism class in March. The mayor claimed to the City Atty he had not made the 4 comments which he claimed defamed him, thus the Cease and Desist letter. Unfortunately for the mayor the comments were both reported in the publication CapstoneQuarterly and his 1 hour 28 minute address was also posted online.

When this was made known to the City Attorney the 'service' efforts on the expensive letter ceased. You can see the letter at:
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