Ethics panel’s Proctor sued for alleged lease default, fraud
Robert Proctor, who resigned a week ago from the State Ethics Commission, is being sued for allegedly defaulting on his law firm’s office lease and fraudulently transferring its assets to a new firm.
Proctor Hutchins P.C. left its Sandy Springs offices in October owing more than $450,000 on the remaining three years on its lease, according to the complaint, filed Dec. 8 in Fulton County Superior Court.
The law firm became insolvent after selling most or all of its assets to a newly organized firm, Proctor Hutchins Porterfield, based in Alpharetta, landlord APG Sandy Springs alleges in the suit.
When a property manager called Proctor about the firm’s abrupt departure, the suit alleges, he
bragged that Proctor Hutchins had been left with no assets other than ‘doubtful receivables’ and that, therefore, Proctor Hutchins could not and did not plan to honor the remaining rent liability to APG for the Leased Premises.
Proctor Hutchins filed an answer with the court that denied the allegations and said it may have overpaid on its rent because the landlord had not complied with the lease terms.
The suit seeks relief under the Georgia Fraudulent Transfer Act, alleging that “the Sale and Transfer were made with the actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud APG.” It seeks general and punitive damages, an order voiding the transfer of the law firm’s assets and appointment of a receiver to manage those assets.
State Rep. Mark Burkhalter, on his last day as interim Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, named Proctor to the Ethics Commission on Jan. 11. Democrats quickly called for Proctor’s suspension because he had refused to pay a years-old ethics fine. Proctor resigned last week citing health reasons.