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    Ethics agency probing ex-speaker’s $220K fund transfer

     

    Former House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s transfer of nearly $220,000 to a political committee under his control is now the focus of a state investigation.

    The State Ethics Commission opened a preliminary inquiry Jan. 27 to see whether the transfer violated state law.

    Richardson cleaned out his re-election campaign account Dec. 31, a day before his resignation from the House took effect, by giving $219,915 to the MMV Alliance Fund. The day before, MMV filed new registration papers naming Richardson as its chairman.

    State law says candidates may give excess campaign funds to other candidates, political parties, and educational, philanthropic or non-profit corporations.

    MMV does not appear to be any of those. Atlanta Unfiltered reported Jan. 8 that MMV did not show up in the Georgia Secretary of State’s online look-up of corporations or in the IRS’s online database of tax-exempt organizations. It still doesn’t.

    Said the Ethics Commission:

    “Therefore, the transfer of campaign funds … needs to be investigated to see whether it violates O.C.G.A. § 21-5-33 [the Ethics in Government Act].

    “To the extent that any circumvention serves as a knowing violation of the Act, such conduct may constitute a misdemeanor.”

    The MMV Alliance Fund has raised $865,000 since it was created in late 2004, after the GOP took control of the state House of Representatives. The money has been used primarily to defray campaign, office and travel expenses.

     

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