An Atlanta city councilman who tangled with the city’s ethics officer last year wants to place that job under the council’s control. Lamar Willis‘ proposal calls for the Board of Ethics to give the council three names to consider, rather than just one, to fill a vacancy pending since September. Ethics advocates fear the plan would politicize the appointment process and jeopardize the board’s independence. Former ethics officer Ginny Looney won settlements against Willis and five other council members since 2008
. Willis said his proposal has nothing to do with his $3,500 ethics fine nor his complaint that the board’s case against him was “piling on” and not even “remotely necessary.”
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.