Why the Double Standard?

PHOTO CREDIT: AAbdulRashiphoto

In 1987, Senator Gary Hart withdrew from the presidential primary.

In 1998, Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers’ gubernatorial bid was derailed by revelations about his personal life.

Earlier this year, Democratic Party State Chairman, Mike Berlon, was urged to step down by Mayor Kasim Reed and other Georgians after it was revealed the State Bar of Georgia had suspended his law license.

Yesterday, Willis was banned from practicing law in Georgia after it was revealed that he pocketed $30,000 in settlement funds meant for a child that he represented. His disbarment came on the heels of a laundry list of other ethical challenges – forming a fake charity, allegedly spending taxpayer dollars to fund his campaign for re-election, and using his influence to push through a sole source contract for a company now under a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation just to name a few. His habitual ethical offenses never seem to end.

Why is Lamar Willis’s ethics case different? It shouldn’t be.

Apparently neither his colleagues nor friends have advised Willis to resign from office. His friends are not obligated to be objective, but the public and other elected officials have a responsibility to expect honest, ethical behavior from public officials and candidates. Disappointment is appropriate in this case. Only the fool hearted thinks this pattern of behavior by a sitting member of the Atlanta City Council and a prominent candidate for public office holds promise for a successful city.