Justice is Bitter-Sweet | Stonecrest Citizens Coalition

July 19, 2022



The Stonecrest Citizens Coalition (SCC) extends its gratitude to all who brought justice to the city of Stonecrest in light of the suffering caused by Mr. Jason Lary.

Though grateful, SCC also fundamentally understands that justice is frequently bittersweet. By its very nature, justice is often desired but rarely uniformly defined. On one hand, justice is holding our former mayor accountable for his illicit behavior and betrayal, and sentencing him to 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and $120,000 in restitution. On the other hand, the effect of justice will result in the loss of the physical presence of a father, a husband, a fellow citizen, and an advocate for this community at the highest levels of Georgia government.

As the Stonecrest community moves forward, it will be critical for us to accept that while we received justice, we may never know the full truth. The truth of why greed was prioritized over our community’s trust. The truth of why our national reputation did not matter. And, for some, the truth of why a show of faith in Mr. Lary’s vision, in the form of our vote, seemingly meant nothing. However, to collectively reestablish our belief in the future success of this city, and its representatives, we now need to focus on our healing.

Our healing is not passive. It will not occur in the midst of conspiracy theories, gossip, and prolonged and undue mistrust. Instead, our healing is an active process. It requires us to vote, understand our charter, demand transparency from our elected officials, advocate for ourselves through our public comments, and attend and/or watch our council, committee, board, and commission meetings. Our healing also requires our intentional kindness. We will not progress unless we embrace the fact that mistakes are inevitable. As such, our collective efforts to restore our community and pursue greatness must be rooted in civility, mutual respect, and forgiveness.

The members of SCC are optimistic, yet cautious, about the beginning of Stonecrest’s new chapter and committed to the hard work of healing while building. We implore our fellow citizens of Stonecrest to do the same.