A Carrollton physician known for his forays into civic affairs has been charged with computer crimes by city police.
Police said Brent Harris, 41, a general practitioner, was arrested June 22 and charged with five counts of computer crimes — specifically computer invasion of privacy — and one charge of violating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Database.
Harris' U.S. MedClinic has three offices: one at 414 Old Stone Road in Villa Rica, another at 714 Cedar St. in Carrollton, and another in Rome, Georgia.
Details of the events that led to the charges were unavailable. A spokesman for Carrollton police referred all queries to Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herb Cranford.
When contacted by the Times-Georgian, Cranford declined to comment except to say that Carrollton police are continuing to investigate the case. When they have finished, Cranford said, his office will review the case for possible presentment to a grand jury.
The investigation has been ongoing for several weeks, according to law enforcement sources.
An attorney for Harris could not be reached for comment.
Police said Harris is accused of five counts of computer crimes as defined by the Official Code of the State of Georgia, specifically code section 16-9-93 paragraph “c.”
That paragraph deals with “computer invasion of privacy,” which is defined as using a computer or computer network “with the intention of examining any employment, medical, salary, credit, or any other financial or personal data relating to any other person with knowledge that such examination is without authority.”
He is also accused by police of one count of violating Georgia code section 16-13-64 paragraph “c,” subparagraph “3,” which deals with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which is an electronic database that tracks prescriptions.
The code section says, “any person who obtains or discloses PDMP prescription information not specifically authorized in this part with the intent to sell, transfer, or use such information for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm shall be guilty of a felony.”
Harris is a well-known figure in the community, having sought public office and being someone who has involved himself in civic affairs.
A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Harris unsuccessfully sought the Ward 2 City Council seat in 2019. He maintains a “political page” on Facebook. In April, Harris declared that he had no future plans for political office, although in March he announced an exploratory plan to run for Governor of Georgia.
Along with his medical practice that has two offices in Carroll County and one in Rome, Harris also owns property, particularly in the area of Cedar Street and the Bankhead Highway.
When the city proposed reducing the lanes of Bankhead to rehabilitate that entrance into town, Harris was among several vocal critics of the plan. Harris also fought with the city over the paint scheme for his Pelican’s Snoballs business, which clashed with the city code, although that matter was dropped in December.
Harris also owns the former Carver High School on Alabama Street. His plans for that building have sometimes been in conflict with the wishes of the former students of that segregation-era, all-Black school.