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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lamar Willis addresses fines, garnishments, blah, blah…

It hasn't been a good couple of weeks for Atlanta Councilman H. Lamar Willis, who stands for reelection in a little more than three weeks. First, the AJC reports that he owes nearly $44,000 in back taxes. Then, Secretary of State Karen Handel trumpets the fact that Willis just got socked with a $25,000 court fine due to his squirrely scholarship foundation.

The most recent AJC story mentions, for good measure, that the state filed yet another lien against Willis in late August to recover about $1,500 in unpaid sales taxes relating to a car he bought four years ago.

So today Willis released a statement trying to put his many financial missteps into, um, context. Here's a taste:

The [$25,000] fine is related to a failure to properly register as a charity as required by Georgia law. The Court specifically found that there was insufficient evidence that the Foundation had used any artifice or scheme to defraud contributors. The Court also found there was insufficient evidence that the moneys’ [sic] raised were misappropriated. In fact, not a single contributor was called as a witness by the Secretary of State in support of the allegations put forth in her complaint. I did not use any contributions for my personal benefit.

Certainly, it should come as a big relief that "there was insufficient evidence that the monies raised were misappropriated." Doesn't that make you breathe a little easier?

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