Photo: Fulton County Website
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY FANI WILLIS -
VIOLATION OF OPEN RECORDS LAW
Atlanta, GA June 13, 2023: Barrow County resident Debbie Dooley filed a lawsuit against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her office for violating Georgia’s Open Records Act. Dooley's Attorney Jared Craig filed the lawsuit electronically with Fulton County Superior Court at 1:30 pm on June 13, 2023.
• March 21,2023 - Dooley filed an Open Records Request with the Fulton D.A. requesting information on federal grants or federal monies their office has received the past 5 years and how the funds were expended. Ms. Willis office had 3 days to respond to the request. The only communication was acknowledging they received the request.
• April 4, 2023 – Dooley messaged the Fulton D.A.’s office for an update. She received no response.
• April 13, 2023 – Dooley filed a complaint with the Georgia Attorney General’s online portal.
• April 19, 2023 – Dooley received an email from Kristen Settlemire with the A.G.s office requesting documentation so she can begin working on the case.
• April 21, 2023 – Dooley sent the requested information.
• April 24, 2023 – Dooley received an email from Ms. Settlemire informing her that the A.G.’s office is unable to mediate complaints with District Attorneys.
Dooley stated, “The last thing I wanted to do was file this lawsuit. I worked within the system and waited patiently for the law to be followed and my request to be filled. When it became apparent D.A. Fani Willis and her office had no intention of abiding by the law, I filed this lawsuit as a last resort.
District Attorneys prosecute individuals that violate Georgia law, and it is disappointing that Ms. Willis and her office believe they are above the law.”
Attorney Jared Craig released the following statement, "Filing a Writ of Mandamus against the Fulton County District Attorney, Fani T. Willis, today is an effort to hold her accountable as a public servant.
Georgia Law provides, "All official duties should be faithfully performed, and whenever, from any cause, a defect of legal justice would ensue from a failure to perform or from improper performance, the writ of mandamus may issue to compel a due performance if there is no other specific legal remedy for the legal rights" O.C.G.A. section 9-6-20.
Willis' office has completely ignored the open records requests made by the Petitioner, Debbie Dooley. Dooley complied with the formalities of making such a request in writing.
Dooley specifically identified what information and/or documents she was requesting: 1) Records relating to Federal Grants received by Fulton County DA's Office for the past 5 years; 2) Records relating to any Federal Funding Received by the Fulton County DA's Office for the past 5 years; and 3) Records of Accounting or Tracing of how any of the Federal Funds Received were spent during the same 5 year period.
When a public servant fails to perform their duties, they are violating their oath of office, they are exposing their office to civil penalties, and they are violating Georgia law. Holding public officials accountable should be the norm, not an extraordinary act. We the People have been ignored for too long."
Willis has received attention for her two-year pursuit of evidence against President Trump regarding a call he made to Brad Raffensperger in 2020. At the same time crime has continued in South Fulton in some cases contributing to Atlanta's notoriety as one of the most dangerous cities in the Southewast U.S>
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