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Spotlight on Don Balfour’s $29K condo, 123 committee days

Spotlight on Don Balfour's $29K condo, 123 committee days
February 6, 2012 --

Sen. Don Balfour in 2011 spent more than $29,000 given to him by political supporters to rent a downtown Atlanta condo that he could use year-round. For eight-plus months of the year, though, records indicate he drove home to Snellville, rather than stay in the condo, on each of the 103 days that he worked on public business. Most of those days were charged to a committee — Rules — that never met.

Ex-Sen. Ronnie Chance: Undisclosed condo, non-profits

Ex-Sen. Ronnie Chance: Undisclosed condo, non-profits
December 21, 2011 --

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.)

The curious case of the underwater condo

The curious case of the underwater condo
December 21, 2011 --

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.

Federal jury to get reverse-bias case, could cost College Park big bucks

Federal jury to get reverse-bias case, could cost College Park big bucks
September 3, 2009 --

(UPDATE: Jurors got the case Thursday and deliberated for three hours or so. They’ll resume at 9:30 a.m. Friday.)

More than a year ago, the city of College Park rejected settling a fired employee’s reverse-discrimination lawsuit for $740,000. Now the city is in federal court, where a jury’s pending decision will determine whether that was a good call. Christopher Jones, the city’s former director of economic development, sued in 2005 after a three-member majority of the City Council voted to let him go.

APD stats: Assaults up 52% in intown zone, burglaries up in SW & Buckhead

APD stats: Assaults up 52% in intown zone, burglaries up in SW & Buckhead
July 30, 2009 --

Aggravated assaults climbed by more than 50 percent in intown Atlanta this year, and residential burglaries were up sharply in Buckhead and southwest Atlanta, police statistics show. Year-to-date statistics posted online show overall crime was down citywide through April. But the numbers also show pockets of the city where certain types of violent and property offenses have risen sharply.

Pat Swindall

Pat Swindall
June 2, 2009 --

Swindall, a former two-term congressman from DeKalb, was convicted in 1989 of lying to a grand jury in a federal sting investigation. An undercover IRS agent testified that Swindall discussed the possible use of $850,000 in illegal drug proceeds to finance cost overruns in the construction of his Stone Mountain house. He served a year […]

ATL auditors: Too many cops downtown?

May 15, 2009 --

Atlanta police may be overstaffed on downtown patrol beats and understaffed in south and west Atlanta, a recent city audit suggests. Auditors looked at patrols in each of the department’s six zones and compared the length of “blackout” periods — the times when all patrol officers are tied up on a call — to assess […]

State board details Fulton elections violations

May 14, 2009 --

Fulton County elections officials mishandled thousands of absentee ballot applications last fall and failed to secure voting equipment at several precincts, state investigators say. The State Elections Board voted Tuesday to forward the findings to Attorney General Thurbert Baker’s office, which has opened a case file on the incidents outlined in the investigative report. That […]