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Friday, September 27, 2013

State Sen. Don Balfour indicted on 18 counts

State Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville
State Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, has been indicted on 18 counts "associated with misuse of his legislative expense account," reports Jim Galloway.

The Gwinnett County Republican and former Rules chairman's expense reports came under scrutiny in 2012 by Atlanta Unfiltered's Jim Walls. He was later slapped with an ethics complaint by a Lawrenceville resident. He later repaid $800 in mileage and per diem expenses he charged to taxpayers. However, an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation followed.

So says a spokeswoman for Attorney General Sam Olens:

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, a Fulton County Grand Jury charged Donald K. Balfour, II, with 16 counts of Making a False Certificate (O.C.G.A. § 28-1-8), one count of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-1) and one count of False Statement and Writing (O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20). A certified copy of the indictment was received from Fulton County Superior Court this morning.

These charges stem from Balfour's submission of Georgia General Assembly expense vouchers indicating that he was entitled to reimbursement for mileage and per diem expenses to which, it is alleged, he was not entitled.

Making a False Certificate is punishable by one to five years imprisonment and/or up to a $1000 fine, Theft by Taking is punishable by one to ten years imprisonment and False Statement and Writing is punishable by one to five years imprisonment and/or up to a $1000 fine.

Assistant Attorney General Laura Pfister and Senior Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin are prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Special Agent Wesley Horne and Forensic Auditor Laquintus Perry of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Galloway says Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to name a three-member panel to recommend whether Balfour should be removed from office.

We've embedded the indictment after the jump.

Fulton County grand jury indictment of Georgia State Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville by thomaswheatley

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