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29 September 2008

Karen Handel Joins Suit Against Atlanta City Council Member

Last week, Georgia's Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, filed a lawsuit against Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis seeking to re-coup the more than $150,000 in donations given to the H. Lamar Willis Foundation that Willis allegedly Willis took and used for his personal and political use [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "State sues Atlanta city councilman", September 26, 2008].

Today, Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel announced that she has filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court against H. Lamar Willis as well.

The complaint alleges that Willis is in violation of Georgia’s Charitable Solicitations Act for establishing an unregistered charitable foundation; accepting charitable contributions to the foundation; and comingling funds donated to the foundation for charitable purposes into both personal and election campaign accounts.

"When Georgians donate their resources to charities, they trust that their contributions will be used as promised. When one charity breaks this bond, especially one led by an elected official, it can harm the ability of legitimate organizations to raise resources and fulfill their missions," said Handel. "We will continue to aggressively investigate and pursue charities fraud cases to protect both legitimate charities and their donors."