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21 February 2014

$100,000 Goes Missing from Fulton County Commissioner's Campaign Accounts

Some not so good things seem to be going on with the campaign accounts of Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards.

A Georgia Unfiltered review of Edwards' campaign contribution disclosure reports (CCDR) filed with the state Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (better known as the State Ethics Commission) show the Fulton County Democrat missed two filing deadlines between 2012 and 2013. During that time period, $102,586.64 contained in Edwards' campaign account disappeared.

Prior to 2014, candidates for any public office were required to file CCDRs with the State Ethics Commission. In the candidate's election year, those campaign finance reports were due 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, 25 October, and 31 December. In candidate's non-election year, the reports were due 30 June and 31 December.

Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards did not file his 31 December 2012 CCDR with the State Ethics Commission. He also failed to file his 30 June 2013 campaign finance report with the state.

According to his 30 June 2012 report, Edwards had $102,586.64 cash in his campaign account. Edwards' next campaign contribution disclosure report, filed 31 December 2013, show an account deficit of $3,056.93 -- with no record of where the $102,586.64 from June 2012 went or how it was spent between 30 June 2012 and 31 December 2013.

Lawmakers changed Georgia's campaign finance rules again, last year, relieving county and municipal campaigns from filing with the state beginning in 2014.