GA Prosecutor Spent Drug Proceeds On Staff Parties


The Fulton County prosecutor’s money in Atlanta was supposed to help crime victims or go to enforce drug laws, but some of it was spent on banquets, ballsm and balloons, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. About $5,500 was used for staff Christmas awards celebrations, including $89 for a Superman-style red cape, with “super lawyer” printed across the back, that a prosecutor was encouraged to wear at the affair. About $6,650 from the account – which contained state and federal asset forfeiture funds and victim assistance money – was spent on dinners, college football tickets, fund raisers and “galas.”

District Attorney Paul Howard defends the expenditures. He says they are tools for fighting crime and that employees who are happy in their jobs are more likely to do more to win convictions. The expenditures are questioned in a county audit. Documents obtained by the Journal-Constitution under the Georgia Open Records Act said auditors complained of commingling of funds. After questions were raised by the newspaper, Howard opened a separate account for federal dollars. County auditors found that Howard may have violated federal rules that govern agencies receiving a share of seized assets, mostly from federal drug crimes. A U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman said any agency that violates the rules may have to return the money or could be kicked out of the program. A conservative think tank official said about how the drug money was spent: “I didn’t see anything related to drug awareness or treatment [or] a program to reach kids and encourage them not to do drugs.”


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