top of page



Outstanding Georgia Citizen




Updated Definition, Scope and Responsibilities of Ethics Board:


With the input of our previous Chairman Buzz Ahrens, the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the Cherokee County Delegation (House and Senate members) the Board moved to update and revise the old legislative organ to reflect more contemporary and current responsibilities and scope of the Cherokee County Board of Ethics.

Digitized Ethics Files:

All paper files were organized by date, scanned to a searchable format and now all files are digitized.  Decades of files are now in very good order making transparency and expediting request for  requests more expedient. 

Central meeting location to assist citizens:

Transparency and accessibility is important.  When Debra joined this Board, the meetings were held in different county facilities to offer access to residents in differing parts of the community.  In order to make the meetings a predictable location, unchanging, the decision was made to hold them consistently at The Bluffs meeting room.

Sunshine Law:

New and established members were trained on Georgia's "Sunshine Law" in an effort to make sure all citizens had access to information.

Board of Commissioners Honor Debra

"To be a trusted part of our communities leadership and serve the citizens of Cherokee County was a great honor and one I took seriously. Thank you!"

  • Cherokee County Chairman Buzz Ahrens

  • Commissioner Brian Poole

  • Commissioner Scott Gordon

  • Commissioner Steve West

  • Commissioner Ray Gunnin

A Cherokee County Proclamation recognizing Debra contributions to the State and County, was presented to her by Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens and the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners  at the May 16, 2017 at the BOC meeting.

10 Years of Service on Cherokee County Board of Ethics
Child Seatbelt Restraint Law
1996 Olympics - Secured Appropriations to Build Venues Across the State of Georgia

Debra voted to help bring the Olympic Games to Georgia supporting Georgia backed based bonds for capital improvements building venues including two dorms at Georgia Tech (Olympic Village) Track and Field structures, and acquisition of land which became the "Centennial Park" (State Institutions And Property Committee)(Supported and voted "YES" for Appropriations).

Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 8.11.25 AM.png
Billy Payne ACOG President.jpg

Billy Payne and Debra Frieden

"Debra, Thanks always for your help.  Billy Payne"

Committed to protecting Georgia citizens and offering safe havens. Debra and along with her colleagues in the Cobb delegation, and local leadership, they secured a $100,000 for Open Gate.  

Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 7.09.52 AM.png

Article courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal, Friday May 3, 1991

A Bill - Child Restraint Legislation

Debra introduced a seat belt law in 1991.  It did not gain traction at the time.  However good legislation tends to find it's way through the process even though it may take several years.  A bill was later re-introduced and gained support and momentum from Safe Kids of Georgia, and the insurance industry to help lobby legislators.  The bill finally became law.

Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 8.25.16 AM.png

Debra introduced and passed the "Year and a Day" law 162-0. An outdated law made it possible for murderers not arrested prior to a year and a day of killing a person, ineligible for arrest and prosecution; with bi-partisan support this loophole was closed.

Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 7.07.39 AM.png

Article courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal, Friday March 6, 1991

Protecting businesses, Debra helped pass the computer crimes bill HB 822. Supported by industry leaders and members of the Georgia High Tech Alliance, Inc. comprised exclusively of Chairmen, Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of technology based companies in Georgia, Debra helped passage of legislation which reflected the Federal Computer Crimes Protection Act and within this the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1981.  It created specific new crimes and provided additional penalties.  It passed.

Marietta Daily Journal Mills Sponsors Computer Bill
Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act

Articles courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal, Mills Sponsors Computer Bill 


Article courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal, South Cobb's Mills crusades for infants

100K for Battered Women and Children Shelter
Closed loophole to prosecute murderers
Computer Crime Bill - Protecting Businesses Intellectual Property
Death Investigation Act
Debra Hill Villaveces Mills Frieden 1989

Article courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal, Personal crusade, Cobb woman challenges state coroner system. 

Helped create the HOPE Scholarship

HOPE Scholarship

Debra voted "yes" to help create the funding and mechanism to help bring the HOPE SCHOLARSHIP to Georgians.  


Debra's nephew and HOPE recipient for 4 years, Austin Biggers, recently graduated from Georgia Southern University December 2018. He was hired on as a Game Warden for the Georgia  Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Governor and friend Zell Miller won an election in the same year.  This was his first year as Governor and her first year as a legislator. With an ambitious agenda, they worked together on education issues for Georgias Children.  Debra served on the Education committee, her father was a college professor, and being Zell Miller was a college professor as well, bonded them early in their terms.  

note: His term was so new the stationary has a sticker over previous "Joe Frank Harris Governor".  His stationary had not arrived yet!

Helping Cancer Patients Receive Off Label Drug Therapies
Helped make Off Label Drug Therapy available for Cancer Patients

Debra helped the passage of "off label drug therapy" legislation to offer cancer patients alternative treatment options not available before.

Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 9.18.48 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-01-04 at 9.18.16 AM.png

Cover and article courtesy of Oncology Issues, Spring 1993

Mammograms and Prostrate Exams
Mammograms and Prostate Screenings Finally Insured!

It is hard to imagine a time when an annual mammogram and prostate exam was not covered under health care insurance.

Debra helped and voted for the passage of House Bill 1427 in 1992 for mammograms, Pap smears and prostrate examinations o become covered under insurance plans.

In the early 90's The George Ford Senior Center in Powder Springs needed a new roof. With the help of Governor Miller, funds were allotted from the Governor's Discretionary Fund and the new roof went on!  It was a great day! 

Secured funding for new roof on local Senior Center (Cobb)
Stalking Crime Bill

In 1992 Debra asked her Police Chief what law did they need to help citizens of Georgia.  Her Police Chief mentioned Georgia was in desperate need of a "Stalking Crime" Law.  She worked diligently to make sure that a piece of legislation was drawn up, which was Constitutionally sound, and worked to garner support for it's passage in the 1993 legislative session.  The bill was handed off to her friend, Chairman of Appropriations and future Speaker of the House, Terry Coleman (Eastman GA) and Senator Mary Margaret Oliver who was just appointed to the Rules Committee and served on Judiciary Committee.  They carried this bill to passage. Although Debra's name is not on the final bill which passed, she spent 7 months working to develop what is now the Georgia "Anti-Stalking Crime Bill."

bottom of page