Georgia Supreme Court disbars Atlanta city councilman - New York News

Georgia Supreme Court disbars Atlanta city councilman

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Atlanta City Councilman Henry Lamar Willis held a press conference on Monday. Atlanta City Councilman Henry Lamar Willis held a press conference on Monday.
ATLANTA -

The Georgia Supreme Court has ordered Atlanta City Councilman Henry Lamar Willis to be disbarred as an attorney. 

The high court's ruling says Willis deposited $30,000 that was supposed to go to a client into his personal or business account. That money was never repaid, according to the high court.

The Review Panel of the State Bar of Georgia found that Willis' claim that his depression led him not to respond to the claim against him to be "not credible."  

"Having reviewed the record, we agree with the Review Panel that the facts in this case demonstrate Willis's extreme disregard of his duty to safeguard the property of a client, which undermines the public trust," the opinion says. "Accordingly, we hereby order that the name of Henry Lamar Willis be removed from the rolls of persons entitled to practice law in the State of Georgia."

In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Willis issued an apology.

"Two years ago, when I was facing tremendous personal challenges, I made a grievous professional error," Willis said. "I acknowledge that error, I apologize for it. I apologized for it then and I apologize for it now. Today, I accept the repercussions of that error."

Willis made no attempt to defend himself.

"While my clients were not able to receive the very best I had to offer because I was not at my best personally, the defendants have been repaid," Willis said. "Regrettably, I was not in a place emotionally to answer the complaint in an appropriate manner, which brings me her today."

The 12-year veteran of the City Council, said he still intends to run for re-election.

Andre Dickens, who is running against Willis for the city-wide seat, issued a statement on Monday saying lawyers who have been disbarred for unethical behavior should not be allowed to serve as lawmakers.

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