Augusta mayor responds to inquiry on campaign financial filings

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 4:53 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. is responding to an investigation by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

He’s facing two complaints.

One of them deals with what the state is calling a dark money ballot committee that tried to sway voters on a 2018 ballot question.

Back in 2018, billboards showed up asking people to vote yes on a new James Brown Arena in south Augusta.

Now the investigation is tying him directly to those billboards, a claim he denies.

“I want to challenge everyone who’s talking about it,” he said during a news conference Wednesday. “Instead of focusing on a billboard, I want us to focus on building an Augusta that provides opportunity for everyone.”

Davis also denies that he was part of the group, Concerned Citizens of Richmond County, that paid for the billboard.

The commission filed a complaint Aug, 18 against Davis alleging he didn’t file his campaign contribution disclosure reports on time once in 2017, twice in 2018 and again in 2019.

It also alleges he didn’t file one at all in June 2019. The complaint also alleges he failed to file his personal finance statements in 2017 and 2020 and didn’t do it in time in 2018.

Davis filed a response to the complaint on Sept. 17 stating, in part, that the commission is supposed to send notices when reports are filed late or not at all and that the commission failed to do so.

“The Respondent prays that this Complaint be dismissed’ based upon the complainant’s “failure to comply with the ‘Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act of 2010,’” Davis’ response states.

Haley Brown, communications director for the commission, said all cases have an open timeline, and Davis’ will be placed the commission’s March 2022 calendar. After reviewing the evidence, the commission will decide whether there needs to be prosecution.

Brown said the investigation grew out of a third-party complaint.


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