(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Georgia’s state ethics commission has accused the New Georgia Project, a voting rights group founded by failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, for failing to disclose more than $3 million in expenses.
The commission is also investigating more than $4 million in undisclosed political contributions between 2017 and 2019, Axios reported.
This is one of the largest cases the Republican-led commission has taken on.
The first hearing is set to happen in the months leading up to the contentious rematch between Abrams and incumbent Governor Brian Kemp.
The George Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission tentatively scheduled hearings in August against the New George Project.
There is a second, separate ethics investigation into Abrams’ campaign, which is also lead by the commission.
The commission alleged that in 2018 the New Georgia Project and Action Fund for fundraising for “#teamabrams” using phone bank scripts. Because the New Georgia Project is a nonprofit and may lose its tax-exempt status if it engages in partisan advocacy or endorses and candidate.
The commission argued that the the Project and Action Fund operated as one entity. Due to its failure to register as a super PAC or independent committee and failed to disclose electioneering expenses.
The upcoming hearing is the latest happening in an ongoing battle between the New Georgia Project and the Republican-majority state government, including the ethics commission and the Secretary of State’s office.
The commission is planning to hear both sides of the argument in August to determine whether there is cause for a second hearing, which would then determine guilt or innocence.
It is unclear what punishment would take place if Abrams and her team are unable or unwilling to account for the funds.
However, the commission does have the power to compel entities to “cease and desist” to pay a fine, or forward the case for criminal prosecution to the state’s Attorney general.