Woman Lobs Ethics Complaint at DA

     (CN) – The man who prosecuted convicted DeKalb County, Ga. CEO Burrell Ellis on corruption and perjury charges has financial skeletons in his own closet, a woman alleges.
     In ethics complaints filed with the DeKalb County Board of Ethics and Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, a woman named Beatrice Williams accuses DeKalb District Attorney Robert James of intentionally failing to disclose his campaign finances.
     According to a Channel 2 Action News report, Williams, of Lithonia, is a fellow church parishioner of Burrell Ellis, who recently began serving an 18-month prison sentence in Savannah after a jury found him guilty of attempted extortion and perjury in June.
     James, who became DA in November 2010, was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Judicial Nominating Commission in January 2011.
     In the cover letter of her complaint, Williams alleges James “has neglected his own ethical obligations and failed to provide transparency into his campaign funds.”
     “It is time that DeKalb County residents learn about Mr. James’ own glass house,” the letter states. “Further, it is possible that Mr. James has sought to intentionally withhold from DeKalb voters key information that may influence decisions, namely the source(s) of his financial support and management of his personal finances.”
     The three-page complaint accuses James of failing to file personal financial disclosures from 2011 to 2014. During that time period, the complaint claims James also failed to file affidavits he is required to file as a member of the Judicial Nominating Committee.
     Furthermore, the complaint accuses James of underreporting his campaign debt and lists discrepancies in his campaign contribution and disclosures reports.
     “Mr. James’ failure to file the personal financial disclosure is even more troubling given that Mr. James allegedly has had personal financial trouble previously, yet he purports to have had the financial wherewithal to loan his campaign for DA more than $23,000,” the cover letter states.
     “Something does not seem to add up with Mr. James’ finances,” the letter continues. “Given that Mr. James has failed to provide the required financial affidavits, people could be led to one conclusion: Mr. James does not want DeKalb citizens to know about his finances (or lack thereof) or to provide a paper trail for how he could loan his campaign more than $23,000 (and his campaign has not paid him back more than $19,500).”
     Erik Burton, James’ spokesman, told Courthouse News that James is aware of the complaint and was “already addressing this issue prior to this complaint being filed.”

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