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.”
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Former Atlanta City Attorney Clifford Hardwick IV will give up his license for six months for failing to represent a client accused of illegally downloading music. Today’s announcement marked the latest round of intrigue for Hardwick, who had been disciplined twice previously by the State Bar and who was shot and critically injured in a Cascade Road Starbuck’s in 2008.
Atlanta NAACP leaders have accused former executive director Judith Withers-Hanson and an aide of stealing $275,000 over a six-year period, according to a police incident report. The pair allegedly charged personal expenses including tuition, dental work, meals and furniture, then covered their tracks with false entries in the organization’s books, the report said.
(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.
(UPDATE: Atlanta’s municipal clerk has posted PDF files of 2009 campaign disclosure reports for mayor and council candidates here.)
Four years ago, Atlanta city government did a nice job making campaign disclosure reports available online for candidates for mayor and City Council. In 2009, a tight budget apparently will keep the city from posting details on the millions of dollars raised by Atlanta candidates. So Common Cause of Georgia, the good-government advocacy group, is filling the gap with its Moneywatch site. You can search for yourself to see where the special interests, elected officials and aides to former Mayor Bill Campbell are lining up in 2009. (What? You thought I was going to do it for you? Maybe a little later.)
A judge has ordered Atlanta City Councilman Jim Maddox (right) to pay a $6,650 fine for failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in campaign expenditures. Maddox, a councilman for 32 years, filed three reports indicating his campaign spent no money during the last six months of 2005. He amended the reports several months […]