Speaker David Ralston faces an inquiry from the Supreme Court of Georgia regarding a complaint filed by a former client. The complaint alleges that Ralston did not get the client a speedy trial because his service as a legislator conflicted with the trial calendar, and that Ralston had a duty to turn the case over to another attorney. The complaint also accuses Ralston of advancing the client money from his trust account to cover the client’s expenses, which is probably the biggest no-no in the legal world. But there are a couple of points to consider:
1) David Ralston has just finished a very bitter and personal campaign where the (very sore) losers vowed to continue fighting to bring Ralston down. Debbie Dooley says “This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have a whole list of people that may be filing complaints and getting in front of a camera.” So even if the primary campaign is over, it’s still ok to file complaints and preen for the cameras? Got it.
2) How much “there” is there? Aaron Gould Sheinin of the AJC caught up with Lester Tate, the former Georgia Bar Association president and chairman of the Bar’s investigative panel, who said that “it appears as if the Bar’s investigators “added every charge they possibly could“…” -which is something you will have to work hard to find published anywhere else.
3) Can a sitting legislator in a rural area with a circuit court (that is, a sitting legislator outside of the metro Atlanta area) effectively manage a caseload? How many legislators are lawyers?
May 20th was a speed bump to Ralston’s opponents. Their
crusade campaign continues. Along the way, however, they may have discovered some accounting issues that constitute a real problem. And while there is a presumption of innocence in court proceedings and State Bar investigations, there’s only the opposite in politics. Which is what this is.