Four years ago, a lobbyist and a state senator completed a casual real estate deal at an iconic Atlanta-area restaurant. No money appeared to change hands, suggesting a gift worth tens of thousands of dollars, and the senator did not disclose he had acquired a condo in the deal. Both parties now say the paperwork was incorrect. The circumstances illustrate the frequently close relationships between the lobbyists and the lobbied and underscore the importance of fully understanding the information conveyed in public records.
Former Georgia House speaker Terry Coleman has tentatively settled — for $2,900 — an ethics charge that he used campaign money to buy a condo. Coleman’s campaign made $38,120 in payments on the unit, a practice ruled improper by the State Ethics Commission in 2004. Coleman later reimbursed the campaign, but an ethics complaint on the matter has been pending since 2002. “My lawyer called and said they had come up with some sort of settlement,” he said Friday. “I wrote the check.”
May 11 — Congressman Sanford Bishop’s stepdaughter did not report income that is the subject of a GBI investigation in Columbus, DeKalb County court records show. Aayesha Owens Reese and her husband were paid a total of $14,850 since 2007 by the Junior Marshal program of Muscogee County Marshal Greg Countryman, according to published reports. […]