A citizen in Gwinnett County is demanding that the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce release records that show how the organization has spent millions of taxpayers' dollars.
Attorney Chris McClurg held a news conference Tuesday morning outside the Gwinnett Judicial and Administration Center in Lawrenceville. He has filed a civil lawsuit against the chamber and Gwinnett County on behalf of Sabrina Smith, a member of Citizens for Responsible Government.
Smith said she filed an open records request nine months ago but the chamber has failed to provide any documentation.
"We've been asking questions that are very valid questions," said Smith. "What are you doing with our taxpayer money?"
McClurg said all open records requests to the Gwinnett Chamber/Partnership Gwinnett have been denied.
"It's insulting to me, my client and the taxpayers," said McClurg.
Smith and other citizen groups are especially concerned that an arm of the chamber spent money pushing for the transportation sales tax to pass and funded efforts to oppose a charter school amendment.
"I've shown them documentation from the Chamber of Commerce that laws have been broken but they refuse to take action," Smith said. "They say they're going to continue to fund it. I think that's an issue for all taxpayers in Gwinnett County."
Smith has a hearing scheduled before a Gwinnett County judge on Dec. 10.
Georgia's Attorney General's Office said it has received an open records complaint from Smith but will take no action until the December hearing.
Calls and emails to the chamber were not returned on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, all we've gotten is obstruction, hurdles and excuses," said McClurg.
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