Will Albany Commissioner Henry Mathis be re-suspended? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Will Albany Commissioner Henry Mathis be re-suspended?

Albany - Friday, Albany Commissioner Henry Mathis was indicted on two additional counts of extortion for demanding money from a man who owns a trucking company and a woman who had a trash contract with the city. He already faced charges for extorting another man after helping his business get a liquor license. Mathis was initially suspended but was re-instated to the commission after his trial was delayed. Now that he's been indicted on more charges, what exactly will happen next is unknown and a little confusing.

"Nothing's new to us," said Henry Mathis's attorney, Rick Collum. Collum wasn't surprised when a federal grand jury handed down a superseding indictment for his client. "The government had alleged that James Hadley and Dora Wilson were involved in some capacity, before the superseding indictment."

In fact, Dora Wilson and James Hadley's allegations that Mathis extorted hundreds of dollars from them lead prosecutors to ask federal Judge Louis Sands to put Mathis's initial trial on hold. Mathis is also charged with demanding money from Joe McDonald, an associate of an Albany night club.

Collum says Dora Wilson is accusing Mathis of extortion to get a lighter sentence, she's serving prison time for drug charges. He says Hadley is her boyfriend.

"Dora Wilson has already been sentenced, and she didn't come out with any of these allegation before she had been sentenced. So obviously, she's trying to get a better deal. And, James Hadley I question his motives as well," said Collum.

He went on to say, "He contends that he is not guilty, and that he's going to face whatever the government throws at him."

The question now - will the Governor throw another suspension his way? Collum says no. "Technically he shouldn't be re suspended because it's the same exact case. If the government had dismissed then re indicted, then there would be grounds to re suspended. But since it's the same case, the same rules apply that have since the very beginning. They shouldn't be able to suspend Mr. Mathis."

The Governor's Office was closed Monday for Confederate Memorial Day, so there's no word yet on whether Governor Perdue can and will re-suspend Mathis until the new trial.

Rick Collum says Mathis plans to attend Tuesday's city commission meeting. Mathis's arraignment is set for Wednesday afternoon. He will once again plead not guilty. Mathis's new trial is set for June.

posted by kathryn.murchison@walb.com

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