Monday, June 30, 2008

Francisco Responds to Freeman Comment

A while back, a comment from "Angela" was posted on this blog on the post "Speaking of Allen Freeman." The poster claimed to be Angela Freeman, Rep. Allen Freeman's wife. Of course, because of the vagaries of blog world, there is no easy way for me to know whether or not it was actually Angela Freeman who posted the comment. You can read the original post and the comment here. In the comment, some pretty specific allegations were made about Bubber Epps, Freeman's primary opponent. Regardless of the exactly identity of the poster, Elizabeth Francisco, who was the Twiggs County attorney at the time of the alleged events, took exception to the content of that comment and called me last week. Francisco said the allegations in the comment were inaccurate and asked for an opportunity to respond. Here's her response exactly as it was provided to me:

I read the allegations of Angela Freeman on GEORIGA WOMEN VOTE concerning James "Bubber" Epps' actions while Chairman of the Twiggs County Commission. I was the Twiggs County Attorney for a period of about 13 years both preceding, during and after Mr. Epps's service on the board. One of the major functions of the Commissioners of "Roads and Revenues" of Twiggs County during the entire period of my tenure was the maintenance of dirt roads in the county and attempts to get as much of the road system as possible paved. It was the major concern that citizens would bring to the Commission meetings, and the major function of each and every Commissioner during my tenure. Contracts for paving were handled by sealed bids, opened in public meetings, with contracts granted to the lowest bidder. Based on my memory, Mr. Epps never participated in the determination of the contractor on any project in which a company with which he was associated had presented a sealed bid or was involved. Monies received from any Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) were spent in accordance with the intended purposes set out in the referendum authorizing the tax, and were audited every year by independent auditors in accordance with Georgia law. I understand and appreciate that Ms. Freeman supports her husband. However, the insinuation in Ms. Freeman's letter, unsupported by specifics, that Mr. Epps did something shady while a Twiggs County Commissioner is precisely the type of negative campaign rhetoric that voters, particularly women voters, have become sick and tired of . Let the conversation be about what knowledge, experience, skills, and proposals for the future each of the candidates for an office brings to the table, not more of this nonsense.

Elizabeth R. Francisco