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The Blaze/Conservative Review: Fani Willis under fire again, this time for terminating whistleblower who called out possible misuse of federal grant: Audio

  |   By Polling+ Staff

(Photo by Dennis Byron-Pool/Getty Images)

Fani Willis – again.  The Blaze over at Conservative Review reports:

“On the heels of accusations that she had a lavish affair with a fellow prosecutor in the case against former President Donald Trump, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is now facing heat for another possible scandal. According to exclusive audio released by the Washington Free Beacon, Willis fired a woman who warned her that another office employee planned to take federal grant money and spend it on computers, “swag,” and “travel” instead.

Amanda Timpson began working as the director of gang prevention and intervention for the Fulton County DA’s Office in December 2018. Two years later, Willis defeated longtime incumbent Paul Howard and appointed Timpson to serve on the 2021 executive leadership team, tasked with “rebranding” and “changing” the office culture.

At first, Timpson was excited about the new direction the office had taken, but her feelings changed when Willis appointed Michael Cuffee to be her direct supervisor. Not only did Timpson and Cuffee sometimes butt heads, but Timpson soon learned that Cuffee apparently intended to take some of the $488,000 of federal money earmarked to establish the Center of Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention and spend it elsewhere.

In November 2021, Timpson went to Willis with her concerns about Cuffee and the federal funds. ‘He wanted to do things with grants that were impossible,’ Timpson told Willis, according to audio footage Timpson secretly recorded.

He told everybody … ‘We’re gonna get MacBooks. We’re going to get swag. We’re going to use it for travel,’’ she continued.

Timpson explained to Willis that she knew such expenditures would be illegal since she ‘helped write the grant.’ When Timpson confronted Cuffee about the issue, he demoted her, she claimed.

I said, ‘You cannot do this. It’s a very, very specific grant.’

[He] took me off,’ Timpson said.

 During the conversation, Willis never denied Timpson’s allegations against Cuffee and the DA’s office in general. In fact, she told Timpson, ‘I respect that is your assessment. … And I’m not saying that your assessment is wrong.’

BREAKING: @FreeBeacon has obtained audio of a whistleblower privately warning Fani Willis in 2021 that her top aide was trying to misuse federal funds.

Willis did not dispute the allegations.

56 days later, Willis fired the whistleblower and perp walked her out of the office.

‘I have been humiliated and retaliated against for doing the right thing,’ Timpson wrote in an email to Willis just a few weeks later, ‘trying to protect your administration from scandal and advocate for the youth I was charged with working on behalf of.’

Willis never responded.

Cuffee left the DA’s office in December 2021 for ‘personal’ reasons. The Center of Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention was never established, and the building that was intended to house it has been ‘padlocked’ shut, the Free Beacon said.

The recording also alludes to another intra-office issue regarding federal funds. In July 2021, Timpson informed Willis that students from out of state had participated in a federally funded program designated for Atlanta and Fulton County public middle school students only. 

Rather than address the issue, Willis cut Timpson off and ‘demoted’ her ‘to a file clerk,’ claimed Timpson, who was underperformance review at the time. She told the Free Beacon that Willis’ behavior during the July 2021 conversation prompted her to record the November 2021 conversation about Cuffee.

Whistleblower lawsuit against Fulton DA claims misuse of funds

A former employee of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, saying she …

I knew it was me against the entire office, she said. ‘If I didn’t get any hard evidence about what I was saying, everyone was just going to write me off.’

Willis fired Timpson in January 2022, just two months after the recorded conversation, and had her escorted out of the office by armed guards. “I am 4’11” on my best day,” Timpson recently told the Free Beacon. “Who is so scared of me that you have to walk me out of the building by seven armed investigators?”

Timpson later filed a wrongful termination suit in Fulton County Superior Court. That case is in discovery. Timpson told the Free Beacon that, between her case and the claims that Willis had an affair with Nathan Wade, Willis has shown a “pattern” of “ethical violations, abuse of power, and the misuse of county, state, and federal funds.”

Willis’ office issued a statement regarding Timpson’s whistleblower lawsuit: ‘This employee was a holdover from the prior administration. Management attempted to find a role she could fill, but was unsuccessful after transferring within the office three times. All of her supervisors found her performance to be inadequate. Her failure to meet the standards of the new administration led to her termination. We have not been served with the lawsuit and will not comment further except in court.’

Cuffee told the Free Beacon that Timpson’s lawsuit was ‘a money grab.’ ‘She can do what she needs to do,’ he added.”

One suspects this turmoil in the Fani Willis office is not going away any time soon.