I just filed my first ethics complaint…

…Today, I filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission asking for an investigation into whether Fulton County Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards violated the state Ethics in Government Act by failing to register his campaign committee, using commonly accepted Fulton County logos on literature advocating against the creation of the City of South Fulton, and failing to disclose who paid for anti-city hood information currently being distributed from his office.

“Having voted for Commissioner Edwards in the past, I regret having to file this ethics complaint. However, I have observed actions and activities, in regards to the pending City of South Fulton referendum, that have led me to believe that provisions of the state Ethics in Government Act were violated by my county commissioner.

In filing the complaint, I requested that the State Ethics Commission investigate whether there is any merit to my findings, and also asked the state ethics officials to take swift action if it is indeed found that Commissioner Edwards violated Georgia’s ethics laws.

I believe that as residents of unincorporated South Fulton County head to the polls to determine if their destiny is to incorporate as the City of South Fulton, the highest standards of ethics need to be maintained, so that whatever the outcome of the South Fulton City referendum is, voters feel comfortable with their decision.”

This was cross-posted at Georgia Politics Unfiltered.

10 comments

  1. JRM2016 says:

    Just thought you would like to know, the average wait time to get to the preliminary hearing phase of an Ethics Complaint investigation is 18 months.

  2. AlanR says:

    Its not easy to actually stick your neck out.

    In the mean time, if you can, see if you can id the printer of some of the materials. If a union shop was used there is likely a little union bug on the material. It will give you the local and that often leads to the printer. The printer may actually tell you who paid for the job.

    Just a thought. Again, I admire your willingness to file.

  3. I admire your willingness to file too. I’ve stuck my neck out big time in Georgia and have now been told I’m going to be a scapegoat. I make fun of it here: http://www.facingthesharks.com/?p=30 but it’s really not funny. In my complaint to the Court of Federal Claims, I talk about my unethical findings of contract awards for the City of Macon, but even though people complain about how the mayor awards contracts, no one seems to get anywhere. Does it matter any more if people complain about ethics? Your mention of the Ethics in Government Act gives me something else to read now.

  4. Andre Walker says:

    Unfortunately, there’s no union bug on the flyer. The good thing, however, is that I’ve spoken to two reporters about the complaint, so…

  5. SouthFultonGuy says:

    Just a reminder for those of you who don’t know the real reason why Andre Walker is pushing soooo hard for a city of South Fulton.

    He wants to be a city councilman for the City of South Fulton.

    Regarding Andre’s “1st ethics complaint”, Bill Edwards the Commissioner Andre filed the ethics complaint against, just happens to be against forming a new city of South Fulton and wants unincorporated South Fulton to remain unincorporated.

    I’ve no doubt that Andre will indeed acknowledge this desire, but its important to remind folks of “the rest of the story” as they weigh his arguments in his BLOG.

    I am sure that the fact that Edwards opposes his aspirations has absolutely nothing to do with the ethics complaint.

    Here’s the Peach Pundit link
    Andre Walker: I

  6. Icarus says:

    Does Bill Edwards oppose the City of South Fulton so he can remain the sole commissioner? Seems like the same logic to me. Do all commissioners get to hand pick the erosion control inspectors to send to “special jobs” and collect cash and Red Lobster gift cards?

    Seems to me more decentralized government with more eyes on what’s really going on in South Fulton might not be a bad thing.

  7. Andre Walker says:

    Well, Icarus, I’ll tell you that at a town hall meeting at the Georgia International Convention Center, Bill Edwards was the first one to put forth the idea of the City of South Fulton.

    In fact, here’s a direct quote from the 2005 AJC aritcle “To many, cityhood looks like south Fulton’s best option “:

    The prospects are so dim that Bill Edwards, the south Fulton commissioner, held a rally last week to encourage residents of south Fulton to create a new city even though it would further reduce the power and influence of a county commission handing over more and more of its operation to cities.

    “I don’t know what else to do,” Edwards told about 1,000 residents who packed into College Park’s Georgia International Convention Center.

    Then, after he got re-elected last year, he switched positions, and said, “I AM 100% against annexation by anyone! I am 100% against becoming the City of South Fulton! I am 100% in favor of remaining unincorporated.”

    Icarus, you’re right, this is all about Bill Edwards remaining the sole commissioner for South Fulton County and retaining all the power that comes with it.

  8. SouthFultonGuy says:

    Andre has posted the same tired argument that Bill Edwards was for the city and now is against it. I presume that because he’s examined more of the facts and numbers, somehow this reversal is sinister. Ooooooooh!

    What he does not mention is that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since that initial kick off meeting.

    We have the track record of 4 north Fulton cities who incorporated since then and the financial woes they have all experienced. All of these cities have substantially more commercial development that south Fulton.

    We have also seen over 15,000 acres of the original tax base of the city annexed into existing cities because the owners did not want to be a part of this fledgling city of SF. That loss of tax revenue has made the likelihood of the city being able to sustain itself questionable.

    There are substantial rational reasons why one could change their mind on forming a city that even before all this had questionable financial viability.

    Unlike the north Fulton cities a City of South Fulton will only have a year of transition services. Hence it will have to acquire all of the equipment and assets to build and create its own Police and Fire Departments among other city services by October 2008. It took and is taking north Fulton cities longer than that to build their own.

    With or without the city Bill Edwards will remain only one of seven commissioners in Fulton County. To suggest that he runs south Fulton is disingenuous and inaccurate since Commissioner Nancy Boxhill and Emma Darnel also have portions of South Fulton in their district.

    In order to pass anything in Fulton County you need FOUR commissioner’s votes – so someone even those not up on Fulton Government tell me how Edwards is running South Fulton folks?

    Andre continues to play on those that do not know all of the facts who might conclude why not for a new city with yet another layer of government. That’s hardly a surprise coming from a liberal Democrat.

    Of course Edwards would like to remain in office. Can anyone out there name any politician that does not?

    There are lots of winners and losers with a new city. The reality is residents for the most part will be on the losing side.

  9. SouthFultonGuy says:

    Andre,

    1) Creating the City of Sandy Springs was hardly the brainchild of a few politicos. It was the vision for residents there for 30 years

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