Fulton County Official Says Board Wouldn’t Have Approved Fani Willis’ Public Relations Spending Revealed By DCNF


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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Georgia Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert questioned Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, on Friday about whether his board would have approved of District Attorney Fani Willis’ office spending funds on a service to monitor her media coverage.

Cowsert questioned Pitts on the appropriateness of the contract and whether the board would have approved it, had it been asked for permission. Willis announced in a letter on February 11, 2021, that she had opened a criminal probe into Trump for alleged election interference, and her office contracted with Critical Mention, a New York-based media monitoring service, a few days earlier, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported in January, based on invoices and emails.  (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Fulton County Commissioner Requests Fani Willis Produce Info On Alleged ‘Misuse’ Of County Funds)

“Mr. Chairman, is that something that the board of commissioners would ordinarily approve, or budget for, for various departments?” Cowsert asked.

“That’s not something that we would, as a matter of course, routinely, be aware of and I can’t recall ever of a request like that coming before the board, but if it’s in a department’s budget, particularly a constitutional officer’s budget and he or she feels that that’s what they need, then if they have the funds under this umbrella of constitutional officer, they can do it,” Pitts answered.


“But you’re the one who has to approve those funds, ’cause I can assure you that’s not in our state budget. We don’t give PR money to DA’s offices,” Cowsert said.

Pitts clarified that the board would not approve funding for that specific contract. However, he added that Willis could have hired the firm using other funding for which she had already received approval, since she is a constitutional officer.

“Would you approve that type of funding if she had specifically requested it?” Cowserts asked, clarifying he was referring to the board.

“I can’t speak for the entire board but knowing the board as I do, probably not. For the purpose that you’ve outlined, probably not,” Pitts answered.

Willis was interested in tracking media coverage of herself and her office as she launched her investigation into Trump, the DCNF reported. The first invoice charging $10,000 for the annual contract is dated February 8, 2021, and emails show that her office was in talks with the firm as early as Feb. 1.

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