Why Josh McKoon wanted tougher punishment for Don Balfour in ethics case

State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, the only dissenting vote on the Senate Ethics Committee last week in the matter of Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, has sent a copy of his “minority report” laying out his position for a harsher punishment.

Balfour was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $300 and change in additional restitution. Read the entirety of McKoon’s report here. This appears to be the gist:

Without getting into the question of intent on the part of [Balfour], the facts are that false reports were filed with the Legislative Fiscal Office by [Balfour] and that [Balfour] received monies he was not entitled to under the law. The Committee decided it was sufficient to fine [Balfour], ask for further restitution to be paid and that the Audit Subcommittee be appointed and begin meeting.

The Minority [i.e., McKoon] reviewed the case of State Senator Roscoe Dean, who was censured by the State Senate in 1976 for similar offenses, namely filing false expense reports, including claiming trips from his home in Jesup, Georgia[,] to Atlanta on dates when in fact he was registered at a hotel in the Bahamas.

Senator Dean was prosecuted on theft charges, and while those charges ended in a mistrial he was still censured by the Georgia State Senate on February 5, 1976.

In addition to charges of filing false expense reports in this case, [Balfour] also admitted to violation of O.C.G.A. 28-1-8 which provides for the Audit Subcommittee to review the expense reports of all Senators. In the view of the Minority, this compounds the other offense as by [Balfour’s] failure to appoint the Audit Subcommittee he removed the safeguard against false filings, not just in his case but in the case of any Senator that might have done so over the last decade…..

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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7 comments Add your comment

Ralph

August 21st, 2012
6:26 pm

Josh is certainly going all out to make himself persona non grata in the State Senate. If he ever stumbles on anything, the long knives will be out for him.

oldfart

August 22nd, 2012
1:16 am

I am shocked, shocked I tell you that the Republican leadership has really played nice with one of their own. Completely ignoring transparency promises they waited until after the primaries to hold a closed door meeting of the Ethics Committee to deliver his spanking. This virtually ensures his re-election as in his Gwinnett District winning the primary is tantamount to being elected.

Sen. Balfour’s degree in Accounting from Bob Jones and his MBA somehow didn’t train him well enough to avoid filing false expense reports. He claimed 103 “committee” days outside of the legislative session during 2011 even though his Rules committee actually has no need and didn’t meet outside of the session. The only “mistakes” laymen have been able to determine were due to dates claiming per diem and travel when lobbyists bought him meals proving he was out of town at the time. Check out this report by the unbiased Georgia Transparency Project:
http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2012/02/06/spotlight-on-don-balfours-29k-condo-123-committee-days/

Kudos to the freshman Josh McKoon who actually has a set, hope it doesn’t hurt him.

GaBlue

August 22nd, 2012
8:35 am

I am at a loss to understand why so many Georgia voters ascribe virtue to the corruption that is rampant in this (or any) one party regime. The whole point of having two parties — and real challengers in any election or legislative cycle — is that they confront and check each other, forcing each legislator to be accountable for his or her actions and votes, on threat of losing the privilege of serving the people in this capacity.

And yet… this isn’t happening here. WHY? What exactly is the benefit to us of having unchallenged corruption at the helm?

spaceman109

August 22nd, 2012
10:25 am

gablue….since georgia really does not have a functional democratic party, this is essentially a one-party state. as for “real challengers”, there are no credible challengers in most georgia counties to go up against the g.o.p.

Scott Fresno

August 22nd, 2012
10:53 am

Who makes the decision on whether to prosecute these as crimes? I assume that it is not the Senate. Is it the A.G. or a D.A.? Or are the heads of our state’s law enforcement agencies too cozy on this and the feds need to come in?

Debbie Dooley

August 22nd, 2012
8:51 pm

Throw the BUM out !!!!!

another comment

August 22nd, 2012
9:09 pm

go get them. At least one honest Republican. This reminds me of my self and another women who were on the board of a Panama City Beach Condo with former Republican Rep Tommy Davis of Columbus in the early 80’s. K and I found during our term that Tommy Davis who ran for Condo Board President based on his past experience in the Ga. House, being a member of the Banking Committee and being a so called builder. K. and I uncovered all sorts of accounting errors by the Condo Management Company who was closely aligned with the Developer. They wanted to raise the condo fees and thus their management fee. At the same time they were doing nothing to bring in indivual owners any rentals, just sending them to their next new complex. K and I thought that this former Ga. Legislator would be so happy that we as part of the board had uncovered this wrong doing before any outside auditors. We were even willing to let the Big Ego take the credit. We were shocked when all of a sudden he is plotting to have us removed from the board. Turns out we uncovered the life of the Good old Boy system. He had been dealing with the developer this whole time to trade his two “owned” parking spaces into two side by side spaces, that were beachfront right under the building. There were only 16 of these, the by-laws only allowed a unit to own one of these. He didn’t even own the unit out right he was the silient partner, his doctor daughter and her doctor husband actually owned the unit. We suspect he was getting some on the side from the female manager on all his visits without his wife. After the membership voted for self management he hired a manager who had been fired from another complex for embezzelment ( but they didn’t report it and gave the fool glowing reports). His Good Olde Boy selection Committe we don’t think even bothered doing reference checks. He violated Florida Condo law by letting this Condo manager have signature authority on the checking account, he didn’t want to be bothered. Well he later pleaded guilty to over $38K in embezzelment, Tommy Davis’ self selected successor was going to sweep it under the rug and actually went on a cruize wen it happened but a home owner that was a Tennesse equivalent of a GBI agent was there at the time and got wind of it and he and an Atlanta Attorney board member made them prosecute. So after seeing up close and personal how either out right dumb, stupid, ignorant, alcoholic ( drank an entire bottle of wine alone in my condo and then drove back to Columbus) and corrupt these GOP legislators are from the State of Georgia. I don’t doubt that Doug McKoon was so shocked and outraged. I wish I lived in your district. Luckily, I will still get to vote for Stoner, one of the guys that make a difference. These nasty hypocrates will be out for vengence and will try to get him back. Hopefully, folks will start opening their eyes by seing the nut case they have put up in Missouri.

Just like what is a Morman? My cousin’s Aunt Betty, will be glad to tell you the tragic story about how her naive youngest daughter Susan has been basically kidnapped and brainwashed by that cult since the 1970’s.