Longtime State Rep. Tryone Brooke (D-Atlanta) says he’s been offered assistance by former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes in a federal probe looking into whether Brooks misappropriated money as president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.
“He is going to be on standby for any legal representation I might need,” Brooks told reporters Tuesday at the State Capitol.
So far two people connected with GABEO have been subpoenaed including the treasurer of the organization.
Brooks has been president of GABEO, which is made up of both elected and non-elected members, for the past 20 years.
Its members pay $250 annually and number over 1,000 according to Brooks.
He was surprised to learn he was the target of a federal investigation looking into whether he took money from the organization for his personal use.
“If I had done something wrong, I think my members would have informed me that I’ve done something wrong,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish. “They asked me to be president, I didn’t campaign for it. I didn’t seek it.”
He believes the probe is backlash over his own investigation into the lynching of two black couples on the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Walton County in 1946. He suspects FBI involvement in the crimes.
“I’m used to the tactics and how they operate... suggesting there’s something wrong with me because we won’t drop this case,” says Brooks.
In a statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says it does not believe GABEO is involved in any wrongdoing.