Friday, June 28, 2013

Panel won't suspend state Rep. Brooks from Gold Dome

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Rep. Tyrone Brooks at a recent press conference at the Moores Ford Bridge
  • Joeff Davis
  • Rep. Tyrone Brooks at a recent press conference at the Moores Ford Bridge

A panel appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this month has unanimously decided against suspending state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, from office following his recent federal indictment.

The three-person panel that included Attorney General Sam Olens, state Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, and state Sen. Steve Henson, D-Atlanta, were required to submit a report on its findings by today, given the governor's prior executive order.

Deal spokeswoman Stephanie Mayfield confirmed the report's findings, which say the charges against Brooks aren't related to his duties as an elected official.

"After hearing from interested parties and reviewing the federal indictment, the Commission determines that the indictment against Representative Brooks does not relate to the performance or activities of the office of the Georgia State Representative," the panel's report says.

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Brooks on 30 counts of mail, wire, and tax fraud and filing false tax returns. The Atlanta lawmaker had allegedly misappropriated more than $1 million from two nonprofit organizations, Universal Humanities Inc. and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. He's been accused of using that money to pay for his own personal expenses.

Brooks has repeatedly stated that the government has pushed for his indictment because he and others were "getting close to proving federal involvement in the lynching massacre" known as the 1946 Moore's Ford Bridge killings.

His current lawyer, former Gov. Roy Barnes, told reporters recently at a press conference that Brooks "did not break any laws," had never taken a salary from either charitable group, and had only used donations to his pay for related expenses he incurred.

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