Deal’s jobs program helps one more underemployed lawmaker
By JIM WALLS
State Rep. Tim Bearden, previously known for collecting a $94,500 public paycheck with no contract or evidence of work, is Gov. Nathan Deal’s choice to run the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. If Bearden lands the job, he will have parlayed a razor-thin electoral victory seven years ago into a six-figure state salary plus benefits.
The ex-cop won his House seat by 39 votes in a 2004 Republican primary runoff. He trounced a Democratic challenger and has since been re-elected twice without opposition.
By late 2005, Bearden had an office at Carrollton City Hall and a $2,100-a-month city stipend. The arrangement lasted until Carrollton blogger D. Tim Clark blasted it all over his website; city officials told Clark that Bearden had a verbal contract only and no written work product.
Two city councilman soon complained they had no clue what, if anything, Bearden did to earn his money.
Mayor Wayne Garner, a lobbyist and former state senator, responded that Bearden had performed a variety of “community policing” chores for the city, including liaison work with Toys for Tots, Fans for Seniors and “Save a Life … Stop on Red.” That claim rang a bit hollow when local Toys for Tots organizer Carlis Baker told the Carrollton Times-Georgian that Bearden had done nothing for the program:
“Toys for Tots has no record of contributions, or support ever being received from Wayne Garner the Mayor of Carrollton, or Tim Bearden the State of Georgia Representative for District 68. Any and all support provided to needy children in West Georgia by Toys for Tots is entirely due to tireless volunteers and the wonderful contributions of the community and will remain so.”