Chesley V. Morton

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Chesley V. Morton
Chesley V. Morton.jpeg
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 47th district
In office
Preceded by Joseph A. Burton
Succeeded by Tom Sherrill
Personal details
Born (1951-08-21)August 21, 1951
Miami, Florida
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Children Tamara Gayle Morton
Alma mater Florida State University
Occupation Stockbroker
Profession Politician

Chesley V. Morton is an American stockbroker, securities arbitrator, and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives.


Early years and education[edit]

Chesley V. Morton, Jr. was born in Miami, Florida on August 21, 1951 to Chesley V. Morton, Sr. and Anne M. Morton (unrelated). In 1953, Morton, Sr. moved the family to Fort Lauderdale where he established a law practice. Morton attended Broward County schools. While studying in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1968, Morton and other American students were among the first foreigners evacuated after the military invasion of that country by the Warsaw Pact. He graduated from Nova High School (Davie, Florida) in 1969 and was accepted to Florida State University, majoring in Broadcast Communications. After graduation, he worked for the Florida Public Broadcasting Service program Today in the Legislature covering political events as still photographer and TV cameraman.[1] In 1976 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Woodrow Wilson College of Law, later transferring to Atlanta Law School. While attending night law school, Morton worked as a paralegal, and later served as a Deputy Sheriff in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Morton married in 1986 and divorced in 1990. The couple had one child. Since 1985 he has worked as a stockbroker and as a securities industry arbitrator for the dispute resolution forums of the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD now FINRA).

Georgia House of Representatives[edit]

Chesley V. Morton was elected to four terms in the Georgia General Assembly beginning in 1983, serving as State Representative from the 47th District for eight years.[2] The district included portions of Chamblee, Doraville, Tucker, and unincorporated DeKalb County. He was a member of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Banks and Banking, Regulated Beverages committees. During his tenure, he was the ranking republican on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee.

Animal protection & humane euthanasia[edit]

Representative Morton sponsored the Georgia Animal Protection Act of 1986, one of the earliest comprehensive animal protection measures in the United States. The law was enacted in response to the inhumane treatment of companion animals by a pet store chain in Atlanta.[3] The Act provided for the licensing and regulation of pet shops, stables, kennels, and animal shelters, and established, for the first time, minimum standards of care. The Georgia Department of Agriculture was tasked with enforcing the law through the Department's newly created Animal Protection Division. Representative Morton then sponsored an additional provision, added in 1990, known as the Humane Euthanasia Act, which was the first state law to mandate intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital in place of gas chambers and other less humane methods.[4][5] Commissioner Tommy Irvin and the Georgia Department of Agriculture were required, in their licensing of animal shelters, to enforce the new humane euthanasia law. However, Commissioner Irvin failed to abide by the terms of the law,[6][7] and instead continued to license gas chambers. In March 2007, Morton sued the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Commissioner Irvin.[8] The Fulton County Superior Court ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs,[9] validating the terms of the Humane Euthanasia Act, with an injunction prohibiting the Department from issuing licenses to shelters using gas chambers in violation of the Act. When the Department continued to license a gas chamber in Cobb County, Georgia a second court action was brought, which resulted in the Department being held in contempt.[10][11] The cases received widespread coverage in the media, casting Irvin in an unfavorable light.

Penny Stock Law[edit]

The State of Georgia was the first state to codify a comprehensive penny stock securities law.[12] Secretary of State Max Cleland, whose office enforced State securities laws[13] was a principal proponent of the legislation. Representative Morton, the only stockbroker in the Georgia General Assembly at the time, was a principal sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives. Georgia's penny stock law was subsequently challenged in court. It was eventually upheld in U.S. District Court,[14] and the statute became the template for laws enacted in other states. Shortly after enactment of the Georgia law, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted comprehensive revisions of their penny stock regulations. These regulations proved effective in either closing or greatly restricting broker/dealers, such as Blinder, Robinson & Company, which specialized in the penny stocks sector.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roy, David J. (1974). ""Today in the Legislature" The Florida Story". Journal of Communication. 24: 92–98. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1974.tb00395.x. 
  2. ^ "HR1285.html". 2002-06-15. Archived from the original on 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  3. ^ "Animal Protection - Ga Dept of Agriculture". Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Georgia Humane Euthansia Act, O.C.G.A. §4-11-5.1". Animal Law Coalition. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Judge Issues Permanent Injunction Against Illegal Use of Gas Chambers in Georgia". Animal Law Coalition. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  9. ^ "Judge Orders Georgia to Enforce Law Preventing Use of Animal Shelter Gas Chambers". Fox News. 
  10. ^ "Georgia in contempt for gas chamber use". The Augusta Chronicle/Associated Press. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  11. ^ "State: Shelter Illegally Gassing Pets". 
  12. ^ "Georgia to OK Tough Law for Penny Stocks". Los Angeles Times. 
  13. ^ "Georgia Secretary of State". 
  15. ^ "Penny-Stock Fraud, From Both Sides Now". 16 February 2003. 

External links[edit]