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A Gwinnett County political consultant admitted Wednesday he hired a detective to videotape a county commissioner in Las Vegas and anonymously distributed the hidden-camera footage to voters.
Bill McKinney said he spent $28,000 of his own money to hire a private investigator to follow three-term Commissioner Kevin Kenerly and that he used the name beatkevin.com to mail three attack ads during Kenerly’s recent re-election campaign. The mailings included video of Kenerly gambling and dining with Gwinnett developers.
“It was an effort to discredit, gaslight, expose, humiliate, embarrass Kevin Kenerly and attract law enforcement,” McKinney said. He said he considers Kenerly “dishonest.”
Kenerly on Wednesday dismissed McKinney’s attack. “If he believes I’m dishonest, why didn’t he stick behind the video and put his name on it in the first place?” Kenerly asked.
Kenerly, a three-term incumbent and real estate investor, faces challenger Jodie Rosser, a real estate closing attorney, in the GOP primary runoff Tuesday. Homeowner activist Butch Poss finished third in the July 18 election.
During an 85-minute interview Wednesday at the Decatur office of his lawyer, Jonathan Weintraub, McKinney acknowledged he and beatkevin.com are the subject of an investigation by Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter. McKinney on Wednesday accused Porter of trying to influence the election.
Porter would not confirm or deny Wednesday that his office is investigating McKinney or beatkevin.com. But he said he’d make a statement on the case at 11 a.m. today. Court records show investigators have completed a search warrant in the case. The warrant and the court papers describing the search have been sealed.