Atlanta/ Politics & Govt
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Published on February 23, 2024
Fulton County DA Fani Willis Faces Ethics Board Scrutiny Over Alleged Misconduct and Conflicts of InterestSource: Facebook/Fani Willis

The Fulton County Board of Ethics has set March 7 as the date to examine allegations lodged against District Attorney Fani Willis, entangled in an ethics quagmire over her conduct in the investigation involving former President Donald Trump's alleged election meddling. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, the complaints stem from a purported conflict of interest with Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade, financial profiteering from the high-profile case, and the mismanagement of funds allocated for youth and gang prevention programs.

The core of the controversy revolves around Willis' romantic involvement with Wade, which they both admitted began after Wade's engagement as special prosecutor in November 2021. However, critics question the timing of their relationship and its alleged influence on case spending, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Gregory Mantell, founder of the Substack blog Investigative News Service, and resident Steven Kramer are the primary instigators of the ethics complaints, alleging that Willis has acted unethically and illegally withheld records under the Georgia Open Records Act.

While the ethics board deliberates on the matter, Willis and Wade continue to be scrutinized, with Willis providing staunch defense of their actions during a courtroom drama last week. Standing firm, they insisted their personal expenditures were shared and unrelated to Wade's hiring. Nevertheless, Mantell and Kramer challenge the transparency of transactions and the propriety of expenses that the two engaged in—expenses that could ultimately be footed by the taxpayers.

The disputes extend beyond county borders, with Willis also facing Republican-led inquiries both in the state and at the U.S. Capitol. Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis has also requested records from Willis for a potential audit, indicating the scope of the scrutiny Willis is under. In the courtroom, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has yet to rule on the motion to disqualify Willis and the entire DA's office from the case, Emory University School of Law Associate Professor John Acevedo told FOX 5 that the chances of Judge McAfee disqualifying Wade or Willis aren't huge, but the political and legal battles brewing will likely intensify as the hearing date approaches.

The trial date for Trump and his co-defendants has not been scheduled yet.