City of Atlanta elections are just around the corner. The mayor is unchallenged but some city council races are shaping up to be quite interesting. One that has emerged from the ether is City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong’s reelection. Her district is at the center of Atlanta’s demographic shift. She once had a safe seat, now her race has drawn three challengers. Archibong has the Mayor’s support, but ethics issues have her opponents nipping at her heels.
Archibong paid $11,000 to her brother’s company for city work. That’s only a problem if she didn’t disclose this payment to her family, which she didn’t. She received a $250 fine for this transgression, basically, a slap on the wrist.
Archibong defended herself by saying that her brother’s company acted merely a pass through to pay a printer, Clifford Dill, for his work. She said she had to pay him that way because Dill was in bankruptcy (even though he was being paid directly by the City at Archibong’s behest at the same time). These payments were the subject of a AJC piece this weekend.
The explanation of her brother’s company as a pass-through seems to have answered the official ethics concerns, hence the slap-on-the-wrist. “We presented what we had, but at the point she acknowledged what occurred, we began to talk about a resolution,” the Ethics Hearing Officer is quoted as saying. It might be good enough for them but other questions remain.
Like why does someone in bankruptcy require a straw man payment? Maybe we should ask Dill’s bankruptcy attorney?
Oh, how convenient! IT’S NATALYN ARCHIBONG. Dill Case Info
Here’s the way bankruptcy law works: Archibong represented Dill. As his attorney she’s required to certify the truthfulness of the bankruptcy documents including his income and assets. While she represented Dill she also represented Atlanta taxpayers. So while she signed off on papers that certified the amount of assets Dill had, she was making payments to him under the table.
Strange enough right? Well let’s see what Dill owned. What debts were unsecured and and likely went unpaid as a result of the bankruptcy? Check out the Dill Statement of Financial Affairs
Oh, good, nearly $2k owed to the City of Atlanta. So, if I understand this correctly, and please correct me if I don’t, Archibong directed the City of Atlanta to pay her brother so that he could then pay someone she represented in bankruptcy court, and in so doing allowed her client to avoid the unsecured debt of the City of Atlanta.