JUNE 25, 2009
A Georgia congressman who already served jail time for perjury has again been indicted for lying to authorities and making illegal campaign contributions in a key Atlanta City Council race.
Pat Swindall, who represented Georgia’s 4th District in the U.S. House during the 1980s, has been charged in state court with one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and four counts of false statements. The charges are related to an illegal campaign contribution scheme involving a 2005 Atlanta City Council race.
A Fulton County grand jury found that the former two-term Republican congressman and two businessmen made thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd because they hated her opponent in the race. The donations were reported on Sheperd’s campaign disclosure forms as coming from other sources and the councilwoman claims she doesn’t even know Swindall.
Prosecutors say Swindall arranged to contribute around $8,000 to Sheperd’s campaign through eight conduit donors, each giving the maximum allowable contribution of $1,000. So far, Councilwoman Sheperd has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Her election was a big victory for popular Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, who easily won a second four-year term in the same 2005 race. The mayor had vigorously campaigned for Sheperd and other allies she wanted back on the council.
Swindall’s political career was essentially ruined in 1988 when he was indicted on perjury charges relating to a federal money-laundering probe of his shady business dealings. A year later he was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison after losing two appeals.
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