It’s been a long time coming. Too long. Jim Galloway breaks the news:
We’ve learned that a grand jury has indicted state Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, on 18 counts associated with misuse of his legislative expense account.
The official announcement is to come in the next few minutes.
Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to name a three-member panel to recommend whether or not Balfour, once the all-powerful Senate Rules Committee chairman, should be immediately suspended.
Some might think those of us that have pursued this story will look at this as a happy day. It is not. It took too much effort from too many people over too long of a time just to get to this point. Of course, he’s innocent until proven guilty. Let’s get on to officially proving that as soon as possible please.
Updated: Here’s a press release from Sam Olens, and a copy of the indictment:
Fulton County Grand Jury Indicts State Senator
On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, a Fulton County Grand Jury charged Donald K. Balfour, II, with 16 counts of Making a False Certificate (O.C.G.A. § 28-1-8), one count of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-1) and one count of False Statement and Writing (O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20). A certified copy of the indictment was received from Fulton County Superior Court this morning.
These charges stem from Balfour’s submission of Georgia General Assembly expense vouchers indicating that he was entitled to reimbursement for mileage and per diem expenses to which, it is alleged, he was not entitled.
Making a False Certificate is punishable by one to five years imprisonment and/or up to a $1000 fine, Theft by Taking is punishable by one to ten years imprisonment and False Statement and Writing is punishable by one to five years imprisonment and/or up to a $1000 fine.
Assistant Attorney General Laura Pfister and Senior Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin are prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Special Agent Wesley Horne and Forensic Auditor Laquintus Perry of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.