Ralston gets reprimand; DeKalb’s Ellis gets law license back
By JIM WALLS
Dec. 8, 2016 — The Georgia Supreme Court today approved a reprimand for House Speaker David Ralston for advancing $22,000 to a client in violation of State Bar rules.
The court also reinstated the law license of suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, whose 2015 conviction on corruption charges was overturned last week.
In Ralston’s case, the justices accepted a request for voluntary discipline. He’d said he was willing to accept a suspension of his law license for up to three months.
The speaker maintained he was unaware of the rule against cash advances and would not ask that the money be returned.
According to the court, a special master Jon Peters who recommended the reprimand found the following mitigating factors: “absence of a prior disciplinary record; absence of a selfish or dishonest motive; full and free disclosure to the disciplinary authority and cooperative attitude toward the proceedings; remorse; and Ralston’s lengthy career in public service as a legislator and legislative leader. The sole aggravating factor found by the special master is Ralston’s substantial experience in the practice of law.”