EXCLUSIVE: Fulton County Commissioner Wants To Boost Fani Willis’ Budget Despite Corruption Allegations

At least one Fulton County commissioner is advocating for the district attorney’s office to receive a budget increase, despite allegations that Fani Willis misused public funds in appointing her romantic partner to work as special prosecutor in the case against former President Donald Trump, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners will review the county’s 2024 budget at a meeting Wednesday, and at least one commissioner intends to propose increases to the district attorney’s funding, according to the proposal reviewed by the DCNF. The proposed budget for fiscal year 2024, as of Jan. 10, includes $36.6 million for the district attorney’s office, but Commissioner Natalie Hall’s proposal would add an additional $9.7 million. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Fulton County Commissioner Requests Fani Willis Produce Info On Alleged ‘Misuse’ Of County Funds)

A Trump co-defendent claimed in a motion that Willis awarded Nathan Wade, her alleged lover, “lucrative” contracts without approval from the commissioners and benefited from doing so when he took her on trips and vacations using funds he earned from his position. Bank statements included in a Friday filing in Wade’s divorce case revealed that he purchased two tickets in Willis’ name to Miami and San Francisco.

“Despite the scathing allegations, on Wednesday, we will be approving our 2024 budget,” Commissioner Bridget Thorne told the DCNF. “Commissioner Dana Barrett is proposing adding $4+ million to DA’s budget. Commissioner Natalie Hall and Commissioner Marvin Arrington are proposing that $9.7 million are added to her budget.”

Barrett’s proposal could not be obtained.

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The proposed additions in Hall’s enhancement include $2.2 million to go towards keeping 74 employees on the Project Orca — a project to clear COVID-19 related case backlogs — through Sept. 2024, $1.84 million for “10 attorneys,” $732,792 for “7 investigators,” $542,868 for a paid internship program and $4.4 million for “operational funds,” according to the proposal.

In fiscal year 2023, the budget included $41.6 million for the District Attorney’s Office.

Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis requested on Friday that Willis disclose information relating to her potential “misuse” of county funds in appointing Wade, who has earned nearly $654,000 from the county since 2022, per county data.

“I have been asking questions about the DA’s hiring of outside attorneys for nearly 6 months now,” Thorne said. “I have asked specifically about Nathan J. Wade and the [Bondurant] firm. I have not gotten answers, but I am going to keep pressing.”

Willis falsely stated during public remarks at Big Bethel AME Church that she paid all three special prosecutors working on the case the same hourly rate. Wade’s rate was set at $250 per hour, while John Floyd, who is known as one of the state’s top racketeering experts, earned only $200 an hour as of May 2023, according to contracts and billing statements obtained by the DCNF.

“I am against any additional funds being allocated to the DA. I will not support the budget if DA funding is included,” Thorne continued.

Hall did not immediately return a request for comment. The rest of the board also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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