Ethics Board discuss hearing on complaint filed against Valdosta’s mayor

Valdosta Ethics Commission meets to discuss complaint against mayor

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - On Thursday, the Valdosta Ethics Board met to discuss the complaint against Mayor Scott James Matheson.

A group says he violated the city ethics code, in his radio show comments.

Valdosta Ethics Board meeting
Valdosta Ethics Board meeting (Source: WALB)

It was the first time this committee met, though it was more of a planning session.

The mayor wasn’t there but one complainant was.

Former Lowndes County Solicitor, General Richard Shelton, Former Judge Jim Tunison, and Robert Jefferson joined City Attorney, Tim Tanner.

Also, members of some groups the mayor allegedly spoke about on his show were there.

They didn’t want to comment, but tell me they plan to speak at the next hearing.

The coordinator of the Mary Turner Project, Mark George, took part in making the complaint.

“Today, we were set up to basically fail. They are going to assess our complaint on the prohibitions listed on the code of ethics that covers things like extortion, embezzlement or hiring your family, and kind of nepotism. We are not alleging that the major did any of that. On the first page of the code of ethics, we are alleging that the mayor violated the spirit of the very code of ethics,” said George.

George says he wasn’t expecting much from this meeting.

He also says he has not heard from the Mayor.

“I think if nothing else, the public will know who the Mayor of Valdosta is. That he has said a number of things that implicate a large percentage of his constituents. That he didn’t think were wrong at all, has offered no apology,” said George.

The next hearing is set for April 14 at 10 a.m.

Both parties will be allowed to take the stand.

They can present proof and have witnesses speak as well.

The case will be dismissed if it’s not deemed credible. If it is, a second hearing will be scheduled.

The city attorney, the ethics committee, and Mayor Matheson could not comment.

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