Henry Mathis re-instated to office - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Henry Mathis re-instated to office

Albany--Indicted City Commissioner Henry Mathis takes back his seat on the commission, saying, "I'm glad to be back, and glad to have some input into some critical issues that face the City of Albany."

The Governor suspended Henry Mathis in February after he was indicted for extortion and lying to GBI agents. But Friday, Judge Louis Sands postponed Mathis' trail until June because prosecutors want to change their indictment.

State law says if the prosecution seeks a continuance, theGovernor must re-instate Mathis.

Henry Mathis rejoined his fellow city commissioners at this morning's work session. He jumped back into business, zealously speaking out on several issues. And after the meeting, he spoke to the media for the first time since his indictment.

Henry Mathis took back the Ward Two seat on the Albany City Commission this morning, relieving interim commissioner Dorothy Hubbard who sat in on only three meetings. "I'm elated to be back on the board. I think my experience and leadership, that I've worked on over the years, is certainly needed at the table."

Mathis hasn't sat at the commission table since February when he was indicted for extorting money from night club associate, in exchange for voting for an alcohol license for the club. Governor Perdue suspended Mathis until his trial which was set to begin yesterday. But on Friday, the prosecution asked for a continuance, against Mathis' objection.

State laws orders Mathis be re-instated to office until the new trial, tentatively set for June. Tuesday, Mathis came back with a vengeance. He spoke out on many issues and even argued with commissioner Arthur Williams. "I will make decisions that will be helpful and vibrant for the City of Albany and my constituents of Ward Two," he said.

Prosecutors are seeking a superseding indictment against Mathis. They claim Mathis also extorted hundreds of dollars from Dora Wilson, a woman who had a waste contract with the city. She was recently found guilty of trafficking drugs. When asked if he's worried about new indictments, he replied: "No comment."

Mathis wouldn't comment on the case, but was quick to answer a question. concerning the people of Ward Two trusting him, he said: "They trusted me for 27 years, and that's all I have to say about that."

Mathis also said today he plans to run for re-election come November. He will serve at least until his June trial. The Governor's office is now looking into whether Mathis could be re-suspended if he's indicted on new charges.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com

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