Ethics charges dismissed against Athens lobbyist

ATLANTA -- The State Ethics Commission today dismissed ethics charges against Athens lobbyist Willie Green and one-time NFL wide receiver, who had made an $80,000 loan in February to disgraced former state Rep. Ron Sailor.

Green, who was lobbying for the payday-lending industry, lent the money to Sailor weeks before the House voted on a bill to legalize payday lending.

The bill failed, and Sailor was later snared in a federal corruption probe in which he agreed to launder what he believed was drug money from an undercover agent. Sailor has since been convicted.

Green did not disclose, until after the vote, the loan which he believed was for a real estate deal.

State ethics law, which requires lobbyists to report expenditures related to their lobbying activity, makes an exception for expenditures that are made in the course of business. The commission agreed the loan fit that exception.

Even then, Commission member Emmett Bowers suggested Green’s loss of the $80,000 was punishment enough.

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