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Ethics panel probes Williams' finances
Al Williams Mag
Rep. Al Williams - photo by Courier file photo
State Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) has 30 days to begin negotiating a settlement with the State Ethics Commission, stemming from allegations he misused campaign funds and failed to disclose campaign contributions and personal finances, as required by law.
The ethics panel said Thursday its investigation of Williams found he used campaign funds for personal use, failed to report some campaign donations and neglected to tell the state about real estate holdings and fiduciary positions he held in 2004 and 2006.
According to reports published Friday, one of the six allegations leveled against the Midway resident accuses him of spending $4,200 worth of campaign contributions on mileage to fulfill his legislative duties, while receiving $1,164 in mileage reimbursements from the Georgia General Assembly. Commission staff said Williams claimed he travels about 45,000 miles a year to perform his official duties.
The commission also accuses the three-term representative, who is running unopposed for re-election, of underreporting one campaign contribution by $250 and not providing required information in campaign contribution reports.
Repeated attempts were made to contact Williams by phone and e-mail. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ethics probe.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Williams said he was not prepared to discuss the matter and had "no idea what (the State Ethics Commission is) talking about."
The ethics report is the most recent of a string of bad publicity for the local lawmaker. Reports early this month said Williams missed a high number of roll call votes during this year's session. He said most of them came on the next to last day, which he missed because of an allergic reaction.
And recently, the Journal-Constitution reported that Williams' dispute over unpaid taxes continues. The paper says the state is contending that Williams owes more than $180,000 in back taxes.
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