A government watchdog made the first move Monday in a lawsuit alleging misappropriation of government funds from the county commission and school board.
Sabrina Smith, of Citizens for Responsible Government, sued the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Partnership Gwinnett and the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Monday seeking access to chamber records regarding how funds are spent.
For months, the Suwanee women has criticized the government and school board for giving money to the chamber’s Partnership Gwinnett effort, since the chamber has been involved in lobbying efforts.
“They are spending money on lobbyists and advertising,” said Smith’s attorney. “It’s against the law for them to use your tax money to defeat your will.”
While public records show that the county government has given $500,000 annually to the Partnership Gwinnett effort for years, and the school board has funded two employees at a rate of $150,000 annually, Smith has requested Chamber of Commerce records on how the money is spent.
“I’m very suspicious that they are fighting so hard to keep these records undisclosed,” [Smith’s lawyer] said, adding that he intends to eventually sue commissioners, school board members, School Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks and Chamber of Commerce President Jim Maran personally, seeking that they reimburse the governments the millions of dollars “misappropriated.”