Reed appoints former councilman Lamar Willis to land bank authority

Lamar Willis, a former attorney and Atlanta councilman who lost both his license to practice and seat in office two years ago, soon could have a say in the city’s real estate dealings.

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.

Councilmembers must now decide whether to confirm their former colleague, who lost his re-election bid 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.

Reed, who supported Willis during his last election, said in his recommendation that he’s confident the three-term councilman will serve with “integrity and dedication.”

But a taxpayer watchdog group sees cronyism at play.

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