A Fulton County jury acquitted State Senator Don Balfour Thursday on charges he filed fraudulent expense reports. The state was unsuccessful in its attempts to argue Balfour knowingly took legislative pay when he wasn’t on official state business. His defense successfully argued the errors were innocent mistakes. It took the jury about three hours to decide the Snellville Republican was innocent of all charges. He was accused of trying to bilk the state by falsifying travel vouchers. His defense argued Balfour wasn’t trying to steal because he often didn’t collect all of the reimbursements owed to him.
A jury has acquitted a state lawmaker accused of illegally claiming mileage and expense reimbursement from the state. The Fulton County jury on Thursday found Sen. Don Balfour not guilty on all 18 felony counts against him. The Snellville Republican was indicted in September on charges of making a false certificate, theft by taking and a count of false statement and writing.
A Fulton County jury will begin deliberations again Thursday on the fate of State Senator Don Balfour. He faces charges he filed fraudulent expense reports. The Snellville Republican’s three-day trial in Fulton County Superior Court ended Wednesday with his testimony that the case was the fruit of political enemies plotting against him. His defense argued the errors in travel vouchers he filed between 2007 and 2012 were innocent mistakes. His attorneys also showed he often didn’t collect reimbursements owed to him, and the amounts in question were small.
Day two of state Senator Don Balfour’s trial begins Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court and jurors will likely hear more of the defense’s depiction of Balfour as a sloppy, harried, overworked executive who pays little attention to detail. His attorneys even hinted that he has attention deficit disorder. The state, for its part, will aim to show Balfour was a seasoned legislator who kept careful records and who knew what he was doing when he submitted erroneous expense reports.
State Senator Don Balfour’s trial has begun in Fulton County Superior. He ‘s accused of defrauding the state. Prosecutors say Balfour sought reimbursements to which he wasn’t entitled. The Snellville Republican is charged with submitting false expense reports to claim reimbursements when he wasn't on official state duty. In one instance, he allegedly billed the state and his employer, the Waffle House, for the same item. Balfour’s attorneys say he didn’t intend to cheat, and plan to argue that he mistakenly claimed reimbursements when he wasn't on official state duty.
The Senate Ethics reform package which would place a $100 gift cap on lobbyist gifts to legislators is now in the hands the Senate Rules Committee. But ethics watchdog groups say that’s a way to stall, if not kill, the bill altogether.