Sun., October 18, 2009 9:16pm (EDT)

Tax Problems May Have Lead To Suicide of Warner Robins' Mayor, Widow Says
By Emily Green
Updated: 4 years ago

WARNER ROBINS, Ga.   —  
Donald Walker's widow says tax problems may have lead to Walker's suicide last month (photo courtesy of City of Warner Robins).
Donald Walker's widow says tax problems may have lead to Walker's suicide last month (photo courtesy of City of Warner Robins).
Former Warner Robins Mayor Donald Walker's widow says tax problems may have lead to his suicide last month.

Walker was in the midst of a heated re-election campaign when he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Patricia Walker told WMAZ-TV that her husband was upset after reading in a Houston County newspaper that the Internal Revenue Service had placed $33,845 in liens against his property. That news came three days before Walker committed suicide.

The liens were against Mr. Walker's mother's estate. Ms. Walker says the tax problem appeared in 2007, but her husband thought the issue had been resolved. A week before her husband's death, Ms. Walker says she paid the full amount due the IRS.

Walker's long-time personal accountant, E. Richard Ganas, says he talked to the IRS about the liens and their possible impact on Walker's re-election bid. Ganas says the IRS promised to lift the liens by October 19.

Walker served as Warner Robins mayor since 1994, but his bid for re-election was uncertain. He faced three opponents in his re-election campaign. All three opponents told WMAZ-TV that they did not know about the liens.

However, Ganas says he believes they were aware of the liens and were weighing whether to raise the issue in the campaign.