By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on January 26, 2024
An Editorial Opinion
Fani Willis’ Financial Disclosure Report for 2022 fails to list thousands of dollars in airfare, hotel bookings, luxury vacation packages, and other gifts that special prosecutor Nathan J. Wade lavished upon Willis during 2022.
On her “Fulton County Income and Financial Disclosure Report” for 2022, Willis was asked in Section B (3) whether she received a “gift or favor from a single prohibited source in the aggregate amount of $100.00 or more.” A “prohibited source” is any person who is “doing business with the county” or “has interests that may be affected by the performance or non-performance of official duties by the officer or employ” who received the gift.
In Willis' answer to this question, she reported, “None.”
Willis’ Financial Disclosure Report is an annual filing mandated by the Fulton County Code of Ethics (2004). It applies to all elected officials of Fulton County.
The Report for 2022 was signed by Willis and filed on April 17, 2023.
Nathan J. Wade's Credit Card Statements Contradict Willis' Negative Answer to the Question of Whether She Received "Gifts" from a Fulton County Vendor
Credit card statements disclosed earlier this month in Nathan J. Wade’s divorce proceedings document thousands of dollars in "gifts" from Wade to Willis in 2022.
Willis hired Wade as a special prosecutor in November 2021 to work on the Donald Trump RICO case in Atlanta. Since then, Willis has personally approved nearly $700,000 in payments to Wade and his law firm.
The lavish gifts from Wade to Willis started after he was hired by Willis.
Willis and Wade are reportedly "lovers," as well. There is no provision in the Fulton County Code of Ethics that exempts a "lover/public official" from reporting his/her receipt of gifts of $100 or more from his/her "lover/romantic vendor partner."
Fani Willis’ receipt of thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from Wade in 2022 is a huge legal problem for both Willis and Wade. There is no provision in state or federal law that authorizes a prosecutor to commit an ethics violation in the pursuit of a criminal prosecution against any individual.
Typically, the Fulton County District Attorney's Office would be responsible for enforcing the Fulton County Code of Ethics. In this case, however, the District Attorney, herself, is one of the apparent violators.
It is unknown whether the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta is investigating this matter. They would have jurisdiction to do so.
The situation with Fani T. Willis and Nathan J. Wade is one hot mess.