By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - After Senator Josh McKoon's name was cleared of ethics violations, a war of words erupted.
"The sideshow antics that we have seen for the past several months, belong in a carnival," McKoon says.
"At this point, it makes him look like a good old boy," Athavia Senior says.
McKoon received this letter from the Georgia Senate Ethics Committee, dismissing the ethics complaints made by three Muscogee County School Board members.
"I think the whole point of this exercise was to throw something out into the community that would damage my credibility as someone who has been out as a critic of Muscogee County School Board Policies," McKoon says.
James Wells, Beth Harris and Athavia Senior filed complaints in march that McKoon threatened to withhold state funds from the school district if it maintained its contract with law firm Hatcher-Stubbs.
"Nothing in those complaints is a violation of law, they aren't even in a violation of Senate rules," McKoon says.
"I don't have any ill will against him and don't have any reason to lie about him. He said what he said," Senior says.
McKoon does sit on the Senate Ethics Committee, and Senior questions a conflict of interest, "I felt like a buddy system was in play and he used his favors and got off without any recourse."
But McKoon says he recused himself from the two meetings. "I did not participate in those meetings, I was not asked to come to those meetings and provide any testimony."
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the allegations. McKoon says he thinks the GBI's investigation will wrap up soon, but says since this ordeal started March 4th, he hasn't been contacted by the GBI at all.
"The GBI asked me during the investigation am I afraid? Well yes, now I am, I can answer that question because to dismiss, it empowers him," Senior says.
McKoon says the allegations have inspired him to work on making changes to the school district at the state level. He also says although he does not have any immediate plans, he could seek legal action against the three board members.
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