Many posters here on the Beat and elsewhere have wondered if it is really in the interests of the community of Rome. GA to spend money to prosecute Gordon Lee for two years. Couldn’t that money be used to prosecute drug pushers at the schoolyard or something else that’s more of a direct threat to our nation’s children than a bookseller who made a simple one-time dumb mistake?
It seems gadfly at large George Anderson feels the same way. Anderson, who is another bookseller in Rome, has filed an open records request with the county to find out the cost of prosecuting Lee, as well as a separate case involving the owner of an adult bookstore.
It’s not a first for Anderson, who has become something of a local legend.
What Anderson does is file ethics complaints against government officials. Not one or two complaints, or even a dozen, but 125 last year alone. Since 1997, he’s filed more than 200.
The second-place filer, Cobb Countian Patricia Fuller, wheezes in with a paltry 56. In just one year, the State Ethics Commission’s six-person staff saw the number of complaints it handles triple, from 65 in 1999 to 215 a year later.
Teddy Lee, executive director of the commission, attributes the upward trend almost entirely to Anderson. “He has increased our workload tremendously,” Lee acknowledges.
We know one thing, when Anderson finds out, we’d like to know, too.