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Atlanta Mayor Bottoms’ campaign fails to appear at ethics commission hearing

By Stephen Deere, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

No representative of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ mayoral campaign appeared at a state ethics commission hearing on Thursday that was supposed to determine if the commission should take charges that her 2017 mayoral bid violated campaign finance laws to an administrative judge.

Nevertheless, the commission — whose formal name is the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission — agreed to continue the case until its next meeting on Dec. 10.

Commissioners said given the nastiness of current political environment they wanted to ensure the process appeared as transparent and impartial as possible.

Bottoms campaign has continued to refuse to respond to an ethics commission subpoena for her campaign bank records, said David H. Emadi, executive director.

The commission alleged in December that Bottoms’ 2017 mayoral campaign accepted $382,773 in contributions from individuals that exceeded the maximum allowable under state law, allegations the campaign has denied.

Earlier this month a spokesman for the campaign called Emadi an “untruthful and over zealous prosecutor.”

Emadi said the commission spent six months negotiating with the campaign over the records, explaining the nature of the violations. He said that rather than turning over the bank records, the campaign requested that the commission provide details on every single instance of a violation. The campaign would then review its records and confirm whether a violation had occurred.

“At that point, I felt like talks had broken down,” Emadi said.