Commission to review charges June 28 against Rep. Brooks
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, and Attorney General Sam Olens will meet June 28 at 11 a.m. at the state Judicial Building, 40 Capitol Square in downtown Atlanta, to review charges against District 55 Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, whose district includes parts of Fulton County and formerly included parts of Douglas County.
The commission hearing is open to the public.
Brooks, 67, was charged by a federal grand jury May 1 in a 30-count indictment including charges of mail, wire and tax fraud.
The indictment charges that, from the mid-1990s through 2012, Brooks solicited contributions from individuals and corporate donors to combat illiteracy and fund other charitable causes, but then used nearly $1 million in charitable donations to pay personal expenses for himself and his family.
The nonprofits he allegedly defrauded are Universal Humanities, a charity Brooks founded in 1990, and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, of which he is a past president.
Charges filed against Brooks by the U.S. attorney’s office triggered a provision in the state constitution that requires the governor to appoint a commission consisting of the state attorney general, one state representative and one state senator.
Gov. Nathan Deal appointed the commission June 14.
It will decide whether the indictment relates to and adversely affects the administration of the office of the indicted public official and whether the rights and interests of the public are adversely affected.
The panel’s ruling is final.
If the commission makes such a determination, then Deal will suspend Brooks immediately.
He will continue to receive his legislative pay and benefits but will be unable to act in an official capacity.
A suspension would not call for a special election and the seat would remain vacant until the next regularly scheduled election.
Brooks would resume office if the case against him was adjudicated in his favor.
If the panel determines that Brooks should stay in office, he’ll continue in his official duties for the remainder of his term.
Brooks ran unopposed in the 2012 general election, winning 100 percent of more than 22,000 votes for a term ending Dec. 31, 2014.
He was first elected in 1980.