Kennesaw Planning Commission member Debra Williams, who has worked on the mayor’s past campaigns, prompted an ethics complaint against Mathews in June with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh, who filed the complaint, alleges misuse of campaign funds just after the election in November 2011 after Mathews participated in a raffle at a banquet of the Kennesaw chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Mathews won a Rossi 20-gauge shotgun in that raffle valued between $350 and $400.
Mathews also is said to have spent $420 in leftover campaign funds to buy restaurant gift cards for city department heads just before Christmas 2011. The mayor said the gift cards were given simply as a measure of thanks for a job well done.
Williams would likely be a key witness in the ethics case because she was working as a volunteer at the Ducks Unlimited event.
Mathews says he did nothing wrong and has strictly followed the state law pertaining to election contributions.
Williams also provided the MDJ with text messages from more than two months ago between herself and the mayor, in which Mathews mocked late Councilman Bill Thrash for wanting his wife, Suzanne Thrash, to serve out the end of his term this year.
“We cleared the air,” Williams said, declining to comment on the specifics of the conversation.
Williams said she will serve the remaining two years of her term on the planning commission.
Mathews, too, declined to share details of their conversation, but said he is moving on.
“We met, had a very good conversation and we’ve come to terms on our differences,” Mathews said. “We’re moving forward.”