Canton Tea Party chair may be reattached to state ethics complaint
August 08, 2013 10:37 PM | 1875 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Joshua Sharpe

jsharpe@cherokeetribune.com

CANTON — Canton Tea Party Chairwoman Carolyn Cosby may have her name reattached to a complaint filed with the state ethics commission against the Citizen’s Review and Recommendations Committee by a former county commissioner.

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission — formerly the the Georgia Ethics Commission — is set to consider adding Cosby’s name back to the complaint during its meeting Aug. 23 after removing it April, said former county commissioner Karen Bosch, who made the complaint against the group in 2012.

Kelly Campanella, assistant attorney general with Attorney General Sam Olens’ office, which is investigating the complaint, confirmed Thursday the commission will consider the action during the meeting.

Cosby said Thursday she is aware of the potential move by the ethics commission, but has not decided how to proceed.

“My first reaction (is that) it’s kind of double jeopardy,” Cosby said, because the commission has already removed her from the complaint.

Cosby added she isn’t even sure of the nature of the complaint.

“It’s not clear to me just exactly what the complaint is about,” she said. “I think it’s more about taking up my time than it’s about trying to chase down anything that’s authentic. It’s like the harassment people are suffering right now in the tea party under the hands of the IRS.”

Bosch filed the complaint against the Citizen’s Review and Recommendations Committee in 2012, along with another against Cosby’s Canton Tea Party.

Within the complaints, the former commissioner accused the groups of campaign violations in the months leading up to the 2012 election.

In April, the ethics commission found “probable cause” to send both complaints to the Attorney General’s Office for further investigation.

Campanella said the investigations are ongoing.

If violations are found in the investigation, Campanella said Cosby would likely be fined on behalf of either group, assuming her name is reattached to the complaint against the Citizen’s Review and Recommendations Committee.

“We can try to enter into a consent order with her in which she’d admit violations of the law and pay a fine of some sort,” Campanella said. “If she doesn’t want to do that, then it will go to a mini trial before the Office of State Administrative Hearings.”

Campanella declined to speculate on when the investigations will be finished.

Cosby has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

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