Former Rep. David Lucas has kept much of his campaign spending off the radar over the years, moreso perhaps than any other Georgia legislator. Since 2010 his House campaign committee reported spending more than $78,000 — 46 percent of all disbursements — for unspecified purposes. Lucas has also kept some private business interests off the radar, including his wife’s consulting business and his role as an officer in the non-profit Bowden Men’s Golf Association, which has received payments from his campaign and from a political action committee that employs lobbyists at the Capitol. Lucas still hasn’t filed a disclosure for 2012.
Records show NewTown Macon Inc., a non-profit promoting development in downtown Macon, paid Lucas and his company $24,350 — an amount he has declined to disclose — to campaign for passage of a 1 percent local option sales tax in 2010. NewTown also played a role in a small land transaction that netted Lucas a $3,400 profit in 2008.
Paris hadn’t filed her 2013 disclosure of her personal finances, due six weeks earlier, when we talked last week. “I have not done it yet, but it will be done,” she said. “We’ve just been running a race, and it keeps slipping off the radar.”
Her most recent personal disclosure, filed in 2012, omitted her membership on two non-profit boards — the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and NewTown Macon Inc.
Nov. 13, 2013 — Don Balfour was suspended from the Georgia Senate today over expense account discrepancies first reported by Atlanta Unfiltered in February 2012. Our examination of the senator’s 2011 expense account found Balfour had claimed per diem and mileage reimbursements for several days when he was out of state and therefore ineligible for them. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution later dug up similar examples from prior years.
The Senate Ethics Committee order Balfour to pay a $5,000 fine over the discrepancies, and a Fulton County grand jury indicted him in September for 18 counts of making false expense claims. Records show Balfour’s campaign committee last year paid nearly $80,000 in legal fees to defend him in those cases.
July 24, 2012 — For a guy who votes to pass laws, Rep. Rashad Taylor sure has a hard time obeying them. Under Georgia law, Taylor’s disclosure of personal finances was due June 9. Six weeks later, he hadn’t filed it. (UPDATE: He filed it July 25, a day after this article was posted.) He’s filed just two of seven disclosures of campaign finances due since June 2010. Neither reports any contributions, even though registered donors reported giving him $15,000-plus in that time. Nor do Taylor’s disclosures report any expenditures, so the public has no clue what he may have done with the money that he hasn’t reported collecting.
Ronnie Chance has neglected to disclose several aspects of his personal finances in recent years, most notably a condo in downtown Atlanta that he purchased from lobbyist Christina Searles Tai. Chance also omitted his service on the boards of directors of three local non-profit groups. (After the Transparency Project asked him about the omissions, Chance corrected several years’ disclosures to include the condo and his board memberships.)
Taylor, a political consultant, has stayed busy running other candidate’s campaigns, but he’s cut a few corners in running his own. Five times since 2008, Taylor failed to disclose his personal or campaign finances, neglecting to report receipt of at least $11,225 in campaign contributions as a consequence. “There’s really no excuse for not having filed my disclosures that are missing,” Taylor said. “I just haven’t gotten it done.” Taylor also fell behind on his state income taxes, incurring liens totaling $3,161 for 2008 and 2009.
Rep. Ralston, who championed a 2010 law that he touted as ethics reform, accepted a $17,279 lobbyist-funded trip to Europe later that year for himself, his chief of staff and their families. Ralston has had recurring tax difficulties, facing state and federal tax liens of more than $500,000, and he’s needed a little help paying off those debts.
Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, a south Georgia judge soon will no longer be a convicted felon. In court filings, federal prosecutors say a 2010 ruling by the high court leaves no choice but to vacate a 2009 guilty plea by former Alapaha Circuit Superior Court Judge Brooks E. Blitch III.
DeKalb County State Court Judge Barbara J. Mobley, who resigned today, allegedly misused her power to help herself, her church and a male companion, investigators say. News reports had raised questions about Mobley’s travel and possible misuse of state crime computers, but new court filings include an allegation that Mobley intervened in a child support case so a male companion could go with her on an overseas trip.
For a man who cherishes his privacy, the attention Jeffry Picower received on Thursday must have made him wince. On the same day that Forbes revealed he had earned a coveted spot in the magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, a new court filing added $2.1 billion to the $5.1 billion he is alleged to have earned from his participation in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Former Grady Memorial Hospital CEO Otis Story has settled a lawsuit over his 2008 firing. Story will receive “less than a year’s pay,” as well as a bonus and moving expenses that were included in his employment contract but never paid, Grady general counsel Timothy Jefferson said. No total was disclosed, but “it won’t be an earth-shattering amount,” Jefferson said.
By MAGGIE LEE Ex-Grady Hospital CEO Otis Story claims state Rep. Pamela Stephenson secretly rewrote his contract so she could take his $600,000-a-year job and cut him out of his severance pay. In newly filed court papers, Story contends that Stephenson deleted three pages from his employment agreement and inserted a six-month probationary clause without […]