Less than a month after his acquittal on charges of falsifying expense reports, Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) was back in his Senate seat as the Georgia Legislature gaveled into session.
Balfour blames “a few people” in the Senate for what he calls a witch hunt against him.
“Ask any prosecutor in the state of Georgia… if they’ve ever indicted someone for a felony for $11,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
While he says forgiveness is difficult, he is willing to move on and go about the business of his constituents of Gwinnett County.
Balfour spoke on the floor of the Senate, not to apologize for the inadvertent errors he made on his expense reports, but to thank both Republicans and Democrats alike for the support they showed him during the trial.
He also alluded to those he blames for the criminal charges.
“Trust can be restored but there should be a line between political gamesmanship and trying to destroy someone’s life and trying to take their liberties away from them.”
Balfour received a standing ovation from all but a couple of senators, including Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) who requested the GBI investigation of Balfour. He was not satisfied with Balfour’s remarks.
“I think that the citizens expect more from their state Senators than simply escaping criminal conviction,” he says. “I certainly think they would expect that somebody that’s been through this episode would, at a minimum, acknowledge personal responsibility.”
McKoon plans to review not only Balfour’s remarks on the Senate floor, but also the GBI files which are now public. He says although Balfour has been cleared criminally, he believes disciplinary actions should still be taken against him by the Senate.
“I would say everything is on the table, nothing is off the table at this point,” he says.