Ga. Dem. chair to step down
by The Associated Press
June 03, 2013 11:40 PM | 923 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — Georgia’s Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon announced that he will be stepping down on Sunday.

Berlon announced his resignation last week, citing concerns by Democratic leaders that his personal issues were becoming a distraction as a major election year approaches.

The attorney became chairman in 2011 and has been dealing with several issues in recent weeks, including a reprimand by the State Bar of Georgia, a lawsuit filed by a client and the release of a report showing weak party finances ahead of the 2014 statewide and congressional elections.

The state Supreme Court issued an order May 20 agreeing to a reprimand after Berlon acknowledged violating State Bar of Georgia rules. The maximum sanction could have been disbarment.

Court records show Berlon filed a petition for voluntary discipline after a client filed a complaint against him claiming Berlon failed to file paperwork as requested and paid an investigator without permission. At the time, Berlon told The Associated Press he took responsibility for the miscommunication on legal strategy with the client.

Berlon is also being sued by another client who accuses him of failing to distribute almost $1 million from a trust he created for a friend and his son.

Recent reports have also shown the Democratic Party of Georgia had $30,734 in cash on hand at the end of April, compared to $631,960 in cash for the Georgia Republican Party.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called for Berlon to step down at just hours before he announced his resignation.

Vice Chair Nikema Williams, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood’s Southeast affiliate, will assume leadership of the party until a permanent chairman is elected.
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