Fani Willis Secures the Bag, Gets $600K in Taxpayer-Funded Cars While Stonewalling County Audit

Fani Willis (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
February 22, 2024

Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis (D.) on Wednesday secured over $600,000 in taxpayer funds to buy her staff a fleet of brand new cars—even though lawmakers don’t know what she plans to use them for.

Four of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners’ Democratic members voted to approve Willis’s request, with one Democrat joining the board’s two Republicans to block the request. The trio objected that the embattled district attorney, who has already spent over $1.2 million on vehicles for her office since 2021, gave no justification for the purchase of 16 additional vehicles.

The Republicans also objected to giving Willis the funds as she stonewalls the county audit committee, which is investigating her potential misuse of taxpayer funds to hire her lover to prosecute former president Donald Trump.

"So we’re just supposed to blindly approve vehicles without knowing exactly what they’re being used for?" commissioner Bridget Thorne asked during Wednesday’s recess meeting.

"I’ve got a list of all the vehicles in her pool. It looks like a lot of them have been unassigned. She has over 20 that are unassigned here. I don’t know why she would need more vehicles if she’s not using the vehicles she has."

As Willis secures the taxpayer-funded bag, Judge Scott McAfee is weighing whether to boot her off the Trump case over her relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who used his earnings from the case to take Willis on lavish vacations. Willis testified in court last week that her relationship with Wade began after she hired him in 2022, and that she repaid Wade with cash for her share of the vacation expenses. But a former friend of Willis testified that the district attorney began her relationship with Wade years before, in 2019. McAfee is expected to rule on Willis’s disqualification as early as next week.

Willis’s written justification for the request stated only that she would use the funds to purchase 16 various 2023 Ford model law enforcement administrative vehicles for her office. "The County is able to save money by participating in volume buying," Willis wrote in her request.

Commissioner Bob Ellis, the chair of the county audit committee, added that the board should not consider Willis’s requisition request until she complies with his Jan. 19 letter demanding information on her office’s transactions with Wade.

"There is an outstanding request to the district attorney from the audit committee that’s been outstanding for over a month now and there has not been a cooperative response to that," Ellis said.

Willis also faces scrutiny at the federal level over her use of taxpayer funds.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Willis on Feb. 2 for documents related to allegations she fired a whistleblower, Amanda Timpson, who tried to stop the district attorney from misappropriating a $488,000 federal youth gang prevention grant to pay for "swag," travel, and computers.

Timpson recorded herself warning Willis during a November 2021 meeting about the attempted misuse of funds. Willis did not dispute the whistleblower’s claims during the meeting, but she fired Timpson less than two months later and had her escorted out of the office by seven armed investigators, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Willis refused to accept the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena by email, forcing the U.S. Marshals Service to hand-deliver it, according to the Daily Caller. Willis has until Friday morning to respond to the subpoena.