Balfour indicted for $2,700 in false expense claims
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By JIM WALLS
Sept. 27, 2013 — State Sen. Don Balfour was indicted today, based largely on Atlanta Unfiltered’s February 2012 report on sketchy entries in his expense account, for claiming per diem and mileage reimbursements that he wasn’t entitled to.
The 18-count indictment alleges that the Snellville Republican submitted false expense vouchers from 2008 to 2011 for 29 days that he shouldn’t have. Most of the said expenses were for days that Balfour was out of state, a discrepancy that I spotted by comparing his expense reports with those of lobbyists who’d paid for his meals and entertainment.
The allegedly false claims amount to about $2,700. No sum is cited in the indictment, but 10 days of per diem equals $1,730 and 64 roundtrips from Snellville adds up to $950 to $1,000 (depending on the mileage rates those years, which I haven’t looked up.)
Balfour has said the false claims were accounting errors. He amended his claims and paid back about $800 for those errors in April 2011.
But two counts in the indictment allege more than a simple oversight. The grand jury charged that Balfour falsified a roster of the Senate Rules Committee in April 2011 to seek payment for three days that January. A separate count alleges that he accepted a state check for more than $500 in 2009 for expenses that were also reimbursed by his employer, Waffle House.
(There’s more to come a little later, but I gotta go pick up my daughter at school).