Mathis awaits panel's ruling - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mathis awaits panel's ruling

February 1, 2005

Albany-- Tuesday's commission meeting may be the last for indicted Albany commissioner Henry Mathis, if an investigative panel forces him to step down while he's awaiting trial.

As early as Friday, the Governor will appoint two city commissioners from across the state to sit on the panel with the attorney general. The panel will decide if the Mathis can continue serving on the city commission before and during his trial.

Mathis is accused of extorting money from Joe McDonald, an Albany businessman, and lying to GBI agents.

We asked Commissioner Mathis if he took the money from Joe McDonald. "No Comment," was his answer.

"Are you guilty of the charges that you're facing?" we asked. Against, he said, "No comment."

Once appointed by the Governor, the panel has 14 days to announce its decision.

Prosecutors continue to mount a case against Mathis. According to court records, prosecutors have video tapes showing Joe McDonald handing Mathis money and recorded conversation between Mathis and McDonald, as well as between Mathis and GBI agents.

No trial date has been set.

posted at 3:30PM by dave.miller@walb.com