ADW Atlanta Daily World Powered by Real Times Media www.adwnews.com Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III to Speak at Student Movement Exhibit, Page 3 Kendrick Johnson Evidence Points to Foul Play, Experts Say, Page 5 ‘Hillbillies,’‘Goofballs’ and ‘Criminals’: Talking with Wanda Sykes, Page 7 Volume 86 • Issue 10 October 10 - 16, 2013 Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis Responds to Disbarment by Georgia Supreme Court By Dion Rabouin Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis admitted wrongdoing and said he has paid back the aggrieved former client who the Georgia Supreme Court found he defrauded of $30,000 when it ordered Willis’ right to practice law in the state be revoked on Monday. The high court issued an opinion finding that Councilman Wills violated a number of rules contained in the code of professional conduct, most notably that the Post 3 AtLarge councilman put a $30,000 settlement check for a client he represented into his personal or business bank account. The ruling also found that the councilman failed to answer the formal complaint filed against him by the State Bar of Georgia and the group’s review panel recommended Willis’ disbarment. Willis argued that depression precluded him from countering the formal complaint against him. “Two years ago, during a time when I was facing tremendous personal challenges, I made a grievous professional error,” Willis said in a statement. “I acknowledge it, apologize for it, and I accept the repercussions of it. Although the Supreme Court’s ruling comes down today, that time has passed. The defendants have been repaid contrary to the language in the Court’s opinion. ... I am moving on with my life and my re-election to the Atlanta City Council.” The complaint from the Supreme Court directly contradicts that claim, saying that despite formal requests to do so, “Willis has not reimbursed the defendants.” The ruling goes on to state that Willis converted the funds to his own use, and when he failed to distribute the money, a judge ordered the defendants pay the plaintiff directly, thus requiring the defendants to pay twice, and to seek reimbursement from Willis. The Art of Jerry Pinkney Opens at the High Museum, Page 8 Willis held a press conference on the steps of Atlanta City Hall Monday and has insisted he will remain in the race for his Post 3 At Large position. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in a statement, vouched for Willis’ overall integrity, but also acknowledged that he would not challenge the findings of the Court. “Lamar Willis has been a strong and capable member of the Atlanta City Council for more than a decade,” Reed said. “It is unfortunate that he has made significant mistakes in his private law practice during a very difficult time in his personal life. While I have not reviewed the decision, I respect the ruling of the Georgia Supreme Court on this matter.” Reed has long been a supporter of Willis, most recently inviting the councilman to be present and speak to the media during press conferences regarding developments on the new downtown Atlanta Falcons stadium. Andre Dickens, who is currently running against Willis for his Council seat, issued a statement Monday calling for Willis to be disqualified from holding public office. “It is abundantly clear that Mr. Willis operates without any ethical boundaries or even the bare minimum of care or concern for others,” read the statement. “...We believe that people who have been barred from practicing law in the State of Georgia for unethical and immoral behavior should not be allowed to serve in a lawmaking capacity.” The State Bar review panel also found Willis’ assertion that depression left him unable to respond not credible and found no factors in mitigation of discipline and multiple offenses in aggravation, including obstructing the disciplinary process and indifference to making restitution, the ruling said. Mourners Celebrate Life of Portia A. Scott By ADW Staff Scores of mourners filled Warren Memorial United Methodist Church Wednesday to celebrate the life of Portia Alexandria Scott, the retired managing editor and longtime employee of her family’s newspaper, the Atlanta Daily World. “She was always cheerful, had a wonderful smile, was studious, and had a loving personality,” said the Rev. Hilliard M. Lee Jr., chaplain of the Booker T. Washington High School Class Portia A. Scott of 1960. The Rev. Richard D. Winn Sr. said that through her work at the Atlanta Daily World, Scott “played a crucial role in shattering the prejudices presented in the mainstream press” and that she “informed and educated the community and gave prominence to the less fortunate.” The Rev. Donald K. Reed Sr. officiated over the funeral service. Other speakers reflecting on Scott’s life included Judith Allen Ingram of the Women of Warren’s Subunit 5 and Fulton County Commissioner Emma I. Darnell. Following the funeral service, Scott’s body was interred at Lincoln Cemetery. Scott suffered cardiac arrest at home following a brief bout with cancer. She died Oct. 2 at the age of 70. She worked at the Atlanta Daily World for more than 40 years. “After I wrote stories, I typeset, made proofreading corrections, and did some layout,” she said during an interview that was published in a 2005 dissertation by Maria Odum-Hinmon, Ph.D. She also served as “night editor, night production assistant. ... I can remember seeing the sun come up sometimes” when the process for printing the paper changed. Portia Scott was born June 9, 1943 to Ruth Perry Scott and C.A. Scott, who ran the paper for more than 63 years after his brother, W.A. Scott II, who founded the paper in 1928, died. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree at Howard University and a master’s degree at American University. In 1986 she ran as the Republican nominee for Congress and in 1998 for State Senate. She was very interested in the empowerment of women and believed it was important for African Americans to be well represented in a two-party system. She held two federal appointments under the Reagan Administration (on a commission that oversaw federally sponsored African-American art around the country and on a commission to oversee the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. historic site) and served on the president’s advisory board for historically Black colleges and universities under the George H.W. Bush Administration. Portia Scott also taught journalism at Clark Atlanta University and was an active member of various civic and community organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Atlanta Chapter of The Links Inc. She founded the Southwest Atlanta Branch of the Friendship Force of Greater Atlanta. She was an active member of Warren Memorial United Methodist Church. Her memory is being cherished by her daughter, Maryam Jordan, and son-in-law, Demetrius Jordan, as well as three grandchildren, Nehemiah, Petra and Levi; two nephews, Scott and Steven Walker; a niece, Staci Walker Lynch; a brother-inlaw, David Walker; and a devoted friend, Fred Howard.