Monday, September 23, 2013

Archibong to pay $250 fine for undisclosed payments to brother's company

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong

Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong has agreed to a settlement with Atlanta's Board of Ethics for failing to disclose payments to her brother's consulting firm.

The board has ordered Archibong, who represents Kirkwood, Edgewood, and other southeast Atlanta neighborhoods, to pay a $250 fine. If she does, the councilwoman will avoid facing a probable cause determination.

According to the settlement, which was approved last Thursday by Board of Ethics Chair Caroline Johnson Tanner, Archibong acknowledges her failure to disclose $11,013.46 between 2007 and 2008 to HSI Systems & Consultants. Her brother, Warren Mosby, owns the company, which was hired to handle some of the councilwoman's constituency services.

Last month, the ethics board launched an investigation into the 12-year southeast Atlanta representative after receiving the complaint. The claim noted that elected officials are required to report if a spouse, domestic partner, or family member stands to benefit from transactions with the city, either directly or through a majority-owned business.

"Archibong was very aware that payments to family members were against the Code of Ethics but failed to rectify or address the issue in any form," the claim said.

While Archibong says in the report that she didn't intentionally violate the city's code of ethics, she admits she might have "violated the spirit" of the rules. Because of that error, she wanted to take responsibility for her past actions.

In a press release, Archibong said she's "pleased" with the ethics investigation's resolution. Following this experience, she plans to introduce legislation "to expand the definition of the word 'benefit' under Section 2-814 [a] (3)."

"I am pleased that through this process we have been able to highlight an area where the code may require further refinement," Archibong says. "I see this as an opportunity to provide clarity and guidance to all of us who are governed by the Ethics code going forward."

Archibong has up to 10 days to pay the $250 fine.

NOTE: This story has been updated to include Councilwoman Archibong's response.

UPDATE, September 25, 6:32 p.m.: Christian Enterkin, who's vying for Archibong's Council seat, has released the following statement:

As a resident and taxpayer, I'm very disappointed that Incumbent Natalyn Archibong paid her brother over eleven thousand taxpayer dollars ($11,013.46, to be precise) and failed to disclose it until an ethics charge was filed against her. Archibong (an attorney) should easily understand basic ethics laws. The voters in District 5 deserve a councilmember who will maintain high ethical standards and who will not put family members on payroll. After committing such an egregious ethical lapse, I am dismayed that the head of the Ethics Board would agree to such a meager $250 fine. Archibong's settlement and admittance speaks volumes about her priorities. I encourage all residents of District 5 to think long and hard about who best shares their values as they prepared to cast their ballot on November 5th.

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