Fani Willis allegations raise questions about misuse of taxpayer funds

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved its 2024 fiscal year budget on Wednesday, but much of the meeting was spent discussing funding for the Office of District Attorney Fani Willis.

Many of the residents who spoke during the public input portion called for an investigation into how Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has used county funds as part of her investigation into the Georgia election interference case involving former President Donald Trump and co-defendants.

Related: Legislation proposed to create special senate committee to investigate Fulton County DA

"It is clear we have abuse in the DA’s office," said one resident.

How much did DA Fani Willis spend in 2023?

In the approved budget, funding for the DA's office is marked at just over $36.6 million. That comes at about $200,000 lower than what the DA’s office actually spent in 2023.

Commissioner Dana Barrett commented that the criminal justice sector needs more funding, and public scandals should not impact those decisions.

"There’s headlines right now, and there’s all this salacious stuff going around and a lot of conversations about the DA … and over the past year, the sheriff and the jail," exclaimed Barrett. "We’d be remiss if we use our budget as a means of punishment."

Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis writes letter to Fani Willis

Meanwhile, Commissioner Bob Ellis is focusing on past funds. He sent a letter to Willis demanding transparency on how she spent county funds while prosecuting Trump. Specifically, he narrowed in on Willis’ alleged romantic relationship with Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade.

"These were fairly straightforward requests which any elected official who is entrusted with public funds should supply that information back," said Ellis. 

Ellis, a Republican, says the inquiry into Willis, who is a Democrat, is non-partisan.

"We’re talking about numbers, we’re talking about dollars, we’re talking about facts," said Ellis. "We’re not talking partisan, we’re not talking race. We’re talking about the citizens' money and whether it is being used in the way it was intended."