An Atlanta City Council committee swiftly approved Tuesday the appointment of disbarred former councilman H. Lamar Willis to an authority that oversees the redevelopment of blighted properties.
The decision must now receive approval from a second council committee before it heads to the full council for confirmation next week.
Mayor Kasim Reed recently informed the Atlanta City Council that he is appointing Willis, a political ally, to the Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority. The authority helps redevelop abandoned and blighted properties and return them to productive use.
The move has raised the ire of taxpayer watchdog groups who say voters sent a clear message when he was ousted from office in the last election.
Willis lost his 2013 election to Andre Dickens just a month after he was disbarred for depositing roughly $30,000 intended for an injured child into his own coffers. At the time, Willis blamed the error on an administrative mix-up during a period of personal struggles.
All but Dickens, who chairs the committee vetting Willis’ appointment, voted in his favor on Tuesday.
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