About Us

Our Board and Staff

The staff of the Victims Compensation Division works with providers, advocates and others across our state to meet the needs of crime victims. As passionate champions of victims and victim rights, they strive to see that all requests for compensation are reviewed quickly and professionally. For those requests that are not initially approved, the Crime Victims Compensation Board meets quarterly to review each claim individually.

OUR BOARD

Braxton Cotton Braxton Cotton serves the citizens of the state of Georgia as a board member of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. In November 2013, he was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to serve a seven year term on this constitutional board. At the age of 32, Mr. Cotton is the youngest board member to serve. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Cotton had an impressive career in law enforcement and state government. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and is currently completing his capstone project for a Master of Administration focusing on public administration, from Central Michigan State University. Mr. Cotton is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, American Correctional Association, Parole Association of Georgia, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. He has a deep commitment to serving the citizens of his community and volunteers with local non-profits including Helping Hands, Hosea Feed the Hungry, and Habitat for Humanity.

Brian DiNapoli Brian DiNapoli has worked for the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) since 1999 and currently serves as a Program Representative. He is responsible for performing on-site monitoring of housing agencies throughout the state for compliance with financial management, data collection, data quality, beneficiary eligibility, housing and service quality, and contractual requirements for program outputs and outcomes associated with DCA’s programs. Mr. DiNapoli is currently the President of DCA Toastmasters and has also served on the Georgia Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Committee. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Georgia Leadership Institute’s Pre-Supervisory Program, which is a leadership program at DCA. Working in the community, Mr. DiNapoli often speaks to youth on combating school bullying and underage drinking. He graduated from the University of Georgia and with a degree in Political Science.

Nikki Berger Nikki Berger is the Prevention Educator for the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. Using Darkness to Light and Stewards of Children training, the Center is leading a statewide child abuse prevention initiative. As a result, more than 85,000 adults in Georgia are now better able to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Ms. Berger provides support to 7 Regional Coordinators and over 400 volunteer facilitators. She previously served as the Director of the Victim Witness Assistance Program with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and worked at the Rape Crisis Center with Grady Health Systems. In both of her previous positions, she provided valuable services directly to victims of crime as she guided them through the criminal justice system. Additionally, Ms. Berger supervised and managed a staff of victim advocates.

Janis Mangum Sheriff Janis Mangum has 30 years of law enforcement service, including 27 years with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and three years with the State of Georgia. She was certified as a Peace Office in 1987, working in every division of the Sheriff’s Office. She worked for 19 years as an Investigator prior to becoming Sheriff, specializing in crimes against children. In 2012 and 2014, Sheriff Mangum was recognized by the American Legion for law enforcement commendation and meritorious service, and was Hudson Lodge #294 Civil Servant of the Year. Additionally, in 2015, Sheriff Mangum received Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award and the Rotary Club Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. She was recognized by the Georgia House of Representatives with a resolution in 2014 for being the first Republican-elected female Sheriff and in 2016, Sheriff Mangum was also recognized with a Resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives for her service to the State of Georgia.

Juliette Scales The Hon. Juliette W. Scales was appointed by the Fulton County Superior Court to serve as Presiding Juvenile Court Judge in May 2013, having been selected to serve as an Associate Juvenile Court Judge in June 2002. Prior to her judicial appointment in 2002, Judge Scales was in private practice with emphasis on family law, while contracting to provide legal representation for the Division of Family and Children Services in dependency and termination of parental rights matters. She is a former Fulton County Assistant District Attorney, having experience in litigation and appellate matters. She has served as legal counsel for the State of Florida, as an Assistant State Attorney in both criminal and civil (abuse/neglect) matters, also. Judge Scales is a graduate of American University, Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, The Florida Bar and The Bar of the District of Columbia. Judge Scales has been involved in high school mock trial competitions and youth lacrosse leagues.

Bryan Tyson Bryan Tyson was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal as the Executive Director of the Georgia Public Defender Council in April 2015. In that role, he is responsible for overseeing the public defender system in the state. To provide counsel to indigent individuals charged with crimes, the Public Defender Council employs more than 400 attorneys and 400 staff and investigators in 43 circuit offices across the state, along with over 200 contract attorneys. The Council also represents clients through the Office of the Capital Defender and the Office of the Mental Health Advocate. Mr. Tyson serves as an advisor to the Indigent Defense Committee of the State Bar of Georgia and is the former chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar. He has represented clients before the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Tyson earned his J.D. magna cum laude from the Oak Brook College of Law. He is a member of the Georgia and California bars and the Federalist Society. He was selected for inclusion in the 2011, 2014, and 2015 Georgia Super Lawyers—Rising Stars list.
MANAGEMENT TEAM

Division Director: Aisha Ford
Program Directors: Juanisha Lawson, Kristina Martin
OUR STAFF
Customer Service Representatives
Tiffany Lemons, Kristen Washington
Supervisor: Sandra Barrett

Document Processing Specialist
Fertesica Usher
Supervisor: Gary Fields
FME/FI Claims Processing Specialists
Lorraine Johnson
Supervisor: Shennill Gray
FME/FI Intake Specialists
Asha Abdi, Linda Gray
Supervisor: Shennill Gray
Victims Compensation Intake Specialist
Sabrina Tyler, Subrenia Ferguson
Supervisor: Willie Allen
Victims Compensation Verification Specialists
Tangela Lowe, Stacey Smith, Arnetta White
Supervisor: Willie Allen

Claims Investigators
Ken Crawley, Winter Grimes, Tiffane Liverman, Keishia Morris, Cecilia Reese, Angela Sutton
Supervisor: Reshunda Boyd

Program Advocates
Sandra Barrett, Ana Reyes Belcher, Jeffrey Trimble
Supervisor: Sandra Barrett
Training and Outreach Coordinator
Dannielle Lewis
Quality Control Specialist
Edmund Bazar
Program Coordinator
Carolyn McCombs