15 March 2013

How They Might Govern: Troup County Democratic Party Chair Removed from Office After Uncovering Corruption

Katie Harris is no longer the Troup County Democratic Party Chairman.

Thursday night, Harris was unceremoniously removed from office by Georgia Democratic Party executive committee member George Johnson. Johnson also de-certified the entire Troup County Democratic Party and appointed Elliot Smith as acting chair.

All this came about after Katie Harris uncovered corruption within the ranks of her county Democratic Party.

An investigation showed that former Troup County Democratic Party Treasurer William Joseph Crosby had embezzled over $3,000 from Party bank accounts. Crosby was arrested by LaGrange Police, charged with theft by conversion and taken to jail. Following his arrest, William Crosby resigned as Troup County Democratic Party Treasurer.

The LaGrange Citizen reports Georgia Democratic Party executive committee member George Johnson appeared at a February Troup County Democratic Party meeting and told the organization not to prosecute Crosby for stealing.

"I think you all should pull the plug and stop it. It’s creating a big, huge scandal," Johnson said. "I’m saying don’t prosecute at all. Let him go."

Johnson, according to media reports, then called a special meeting for 14 March 2013 and booted Katie Harris from office for not following his orders.

Mike Smith, who serves as Secretary of the Troup County Democratic Party, protested George Johnson's emergency meeting, calling it, " nothing more than an attempt by him to punish the local party."

This is a sad state of affairs, folks. An individual discovers fraud, and gets punished for it.

Again, this Troup County scandal raises questions of how Democrats might govern the state of Georgia. Would Democrats punish a whistleblower for uncovering fraud, waste and abuse?

Katie Harris is a whistleblower. She doesn't deserve retaliation or reprisals from state Democratic Party executive committee member George Johnson for shining a bright light on dark deeds done by a member of her own Party.