NEWS: Trump prosecutor under probe for ‘misuse’ of taxpayer funds fired worker who exposed federal grant abuse: report
Fulton County DA Fani Willis, who is under investigation for allegedly spending taxpayer funds on lavish trips with an attorney she hired while the two were having an affair, is being called out by a former employee for apparently abusing another federal grant.
“He wanted to do things with grants that were impossible, and I kept telling him, like, ‘We can’t do that,’” Timpson is heard telling Willis in the recording. “He told everybody … ‘We’re going to get MacBooks, we’re going to get swag, we’re going to use it for travel.’ I said, ‘You cannot do that, it’s a very, very specific grant.’”
The $488,594 grant was set aside for a Center of Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention — which has yet to open — but has been used to purchase $1,245 in items from Dell computers, records show.
“Mr. Cuffee, respectfully, did not know what he was doing. Period,” added Timpson, who worked in the DA’s office before Willis’ election in 2020 but said she was demoted after calling out the campaign aide’s scheme.
“So, I respect that is your assessment,” Willis replied. “And I’m not saying that your assessment is wrong.”
Willis also said she had at least “three supervisors … who have failed” her office and called Cuffee’s threats against Timpson for drawing attention to the abuse “an intimidation tactic.”
But on Jan.14, 2022, Willis fired Timpson, who oversaw the office’s juvenile diversion program, and had her escorted out of the building with seven armed investigators, the ex-employee told the Free Beacon.
In an interview with the outlet, Timpson said the purported abuse of the grant was “very similar” to Willis’ office splurging on lavish vacations with private attorney, Nathan Wade, with whom she was allegedly carrying on a “clandestine” affair.
“My case and Nathan Wade’s case are very similar when you break them down point by point,” Timpson told the outlet. “Ethical violations, abuse of power, and the misuse of county, state, and federal funds.”
A bombshell Jan. 8 court filing from Trump co-defendant Michael Roman alleged that Wade posed a conflict of interest to Willis’ prosecution of the former president and 14 others.
Wade’s estranged wife Jocelyn corroborated the allegations of her husband’s “improper” relationship with Willis in divorce proceedings earlier this month, revealing he was paid $654,000 for his work as special prosecutor in the district attorney’s office since 2022.
The Georgia General Assembly is also considering a bill that would revive a commission to discipline and remove prosecutors who abuse their authority.
Willis has dismissed allegations that Timpson was wrongfully terminated, with an office spokesman saying in an August 2022 statement Timpson was “a holdover” from former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and “her supervisors found her performance to be inadequate.”
Cuffee told the Free Beacon on Tuesday that he had discussed purchasing computers but not with any of the Justice Department’s grant funding.
“This is just a money grab for Timpson,” Cuffee said, adding that he left Willis’ office for “personal” reasons in December 2021. “She can do what she needs to do.”
But Timpson’s crusade against grant abuse predated Cuffee’s cash grab, as she also blew the whistle on federal funds meant for a Junior District Attorney program set up for Atlanta middle schoolers being provided to students outside Georgia.
“I wanted to make sure she knew because I didn’t want any scandal to be related to her,” Timpson said of a July 26, 2021, meeting with Willis. “She immediately cut me off in the middle of my sentence and demoted me from the director of juvenile diversion to a file clerk.”
The dispute is now the subject of a whistleblower complaint filed in Fulton County in August 2022, in which Timpson is seeking damages for lost compensation.
A spokesman for the DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Georgia judge overseeing Trump’s election interference case in Atlanta has yet to set a trial date in the case — one of four criminal prosecutions the 77-year-old ex-president is facing in an election year.