Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow just paid an ethics fine for spending $5,420 of taxpayers’ money to boost her 2009 re-election campaign. But taxpayers also picked up the tab for nearly $29,000 more in spending that promoted Winslow’s name in the final weeks before last year’s voting. The payments blurred the line drawn by the city’s Ethics Code to separate city-sponsored events and campaign activities. Winslow collected reimbursements from her city expense account for jazz musicians, a disc jockey, an inflatable bouncer, a popcorn machine and other equipment, plus $8,000 worth of barbecue and side dishes. Click here for my full story on ajc.com. Click here for supporting documents for this story.
Longtime Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow will pay a $1,500 fine and $5,420 restitution for using city funds to print campaign literature and pay campaign workers to hand it out, under terms of a consent order OK’d Thursday. The order has no effect on the outcome of the November 2009 election. Winslow squeaked by to win a fifth term, avoiding a runoff by about 120 votes.
Two candidates — Gloria Bromell-Tinubu of Atlanta and Delvis Dutton of Glennville — qualified for open seats in the Georgia Legislature last week with no Democratic or Republican opposition. If their races don’t draw a write-in or independent candidate, they’re in.
Kasim Reed hasn’t even been sworn in as Atlanta’s next mayor, but one of his key supporters has already been promoted. Scott Kreher, the police sergeant who was on desk duty four months ago for talking about wanting to tenderize the mayor’s head with a baseball bat, is now a lieutenant. Kreher runs the Atlanta police union, which endorsed Reed two weeks before he won a Dec. 1 runoff election.
Atlanta voters can choose between two big-name tax delinquents this fall among a large field of candidates hoping to replace longtime City Council member James Maddox. Property records are littered with dozens of liens, cancellations and transfers of debt to private collection services naming former Fulton County Commissioner A. Reginald Eaves and former City Councilman Morris Finley. Many of the debts remain unpaid. Each has accumulated liens totaling more than $20,000 since 2004.
Two years ago, Davetta Johnson Mitchell was accused of stealing $40,000 of public money six to nine years ago. When she will go to trial – if ever – is anybody’s guess. Last week marked the second anniversary of her indictment for writing allegedly unauthorized checks to herself when she ran the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority. It took years to seek criminal charges, prosecutors say, because the authority’s records under Mitchell were a shambles. “They were not organized in any way,” assistant district attorney Kellie Hill said. “They were simply boxes of paper.”