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‘Delinquent dozen’ GA legislators still haven’t filed disclosures
A dozen Georgia legislators still haven’t filed financial disclosure statements for 2008 as required by state law, according to State Ethics Commission records.
Four of them haven’t filed disclosures for 2007 either, meaning the public has had no clue about their financial interests for nearly two and a half years. They are Reps. Roger Bruce of Atlanta, Winfred Dukes of Albany, Henry “Wayne” Howard of Augusta and David Lucas of Macon.
All 12 are Democrats.
The “delinquent dozen” soon may be joined by several others. Former legislators Ron Dodson, elected last month, and Donzella James, who is in today’s runoff election, haven’t filed disclosure statements that were due in September. (James’ opponent, Torrey Johnson, hasn’t either.) Nor have Rusty Kidd or Darrell Black, the top two vote-getters in a House race in the Milledgeville area. One will win today’s runoff.
As a practical matter, there’s not much of a penalty for failing to file a disclosure statement. The Ethics Commission routinely assesses a late fee of $75, but makes little effort to collect it.
Georgia law requires elected officials once a year to file a public statement summarizing their financial interests and those of their spouses. What’s the point? The reports give constituents basic information to help them figure out whether an official’s public and private interests conflict.
Earlier this year, for instance, Rep. Clay Cox of Lilburn filed a bill to change oversight rules for private probation firms. Cox’s disclosure showed he was CEO of Professional Probation Services Inc. Reporting by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed Cox’s business had run afoul of the County and Municipal Probation Authority Council for writing contracts that didn’t meet state guidelines.
Cox dropped the bill after the AJC broke the story.
The law requires elected officials by July 1 to file a disclosure report of financial interests for the previous year. Candidates must file within 15 days of qualifying to run for an elected office.
Three legislators filed delinquent reports since the last time we checked: Sen. Dan Weber of Dunwoody (Sept. 23), Sen. Curt Thompson of Tucker (Oct. 24) and Rep. Keith Heard of Athens (Nov. 3). You can look them up, and those of hundreds of other state officials, here.
Legislators who haven’t filed 2008 reports are:
Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale)
Steve Thompson (D-Marietta)
State House of Representatives:
Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta)
Bob Bryant (D-Garden City)
Winfred Dukes (D-Albany)
Carol Fullerton (D-Albany)
Henry “Wayne” Howard (D-Augusta)
Sheila Jones (D-Atlanta)
David Lucas (D-Macon)
William Quincy Murphy (D-Augusta)
Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland)
Al Williams (D-Midway)