Rep. Clay Cox threatened to sue his rival Woody Woodruff, for House 102:
In his direct mail piece, Woodruff accuses Cox of illegally collecting $178,434 in taxpayer funds through the company he runs and of pushing legislation to eliminate criminal charges against court clerks who fail to collect surcharges on fines from defendants.
The flier also accuses Cox of using taxpayer money to pay for an Atlanta City Court Christmas party but doesn’t explain how the GOP state representative attempted to protect his company from criminal charges.
Cox is CEO of Probation Professional Services, Inc., a private company that contracts with local governments to manage their court probation programs. In 1997, Cox sold the company to Universal Health Services Inc., which, he said, also is contemplating a suit against Woodruff.
Cox said the $178,434 were warrant fees the City Court of Atlanta ordered his company to collect for future exclusive use by the court, some of which the court decided to spend on a Christmas party.
“It’s the court’s money. We can’t remit it; we can’t make interest on it. We can only remit it to the court as directed by the court,” Cox said.
In the letter from Cox’s lawyer, the incumbent GOP legislator said he is demanding that Woodruff publicly retract the letter and send voters another mailer acknowledging that his accusations were false.
Cox called the flier an “absolute, total lie, and this time it’s going to cost him.”
Democrat Torry Lewis criticized his opponent, incumbent state Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Duluth), who also was not present (at last night’s Gwinnett Chamber Forum), for failing to advocate meaningful anti-gang legislation.
Lewis has also taken Marin to task over his lack of support for the tough illegal immigration law passed this year. In fact, Lewis, though he’s only 22 and just out of college, gained the endorsement of the AJC’s Gwinnett division.