The state Attorney General’s Office confirmed Friday that they soon will begin an investigation into one of the groups, following a recommendation from the state ethics commission.
Former county commissioner Karen Bosch in 2012 filed complaints over improper use of funds against the Canton Tea Party and the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission — formerly the Georgia Ethics Commission.
The ethics commission reviewed the cases Wednesday in Atlanta and did not clear either group of the charges.
The Canton Tea Party, chaired by Ball Ground resident Carolyn Cosby, felt the brunt of the commission’s authority, with her case turned over the Georgia Attorney General.
The ethics commission found that “probable cause” existed in the case of Cosby’s organization and chose to send it to the attoryney general for settlement.
Kelly Campanella, assistant attorney general, said Friday that once her office has the files on Cosby’s organization, they will attempt to come up with a compliance order and a fine amount.
Campanella said she should have the files necessary to proceed in the next two weeks. The total process will likely take about two months to complete, she said.
Cosby said Thursday that she didn’t believe she would face fines in the case. She said her attorney, Channing Ruskell, attended the ethics commissions meeting Wednesday in Atlanta and told her that once all evidence is presented to the attorney general’s office, she will be cleared.
Campanella, though, said “If we can’t come to an agreement” the case will go to the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings.
Should that happen, there will be a trial and, a judge will determine the fine amount, Campanella said.
The Cherokee Tea Party Patriots, led by Conrad Quagliaroli was also not let off the hook by the ethics commission Wednesday.
Unlike Cosby, though, Quagliaroli’s group will not face any fines, but will have to sign a compliance order.
The ethics commission found “no probable cause” to continue with the investigation existed.
Holly LaBerge, executive director of the ethics commission said that Quagliaroli “will not be clear” until his order has been written and signed.
Both Cosby and Quagliaroli have strongly denied Bosch’s claims against them.