The reaction to part 1 of Gwinnett County Sheriff Candidates, The Rest of the Story surprised us because of the extremely high number of readers and the comments they posted on Facebook. Supporters of Keybo Taylor claimed that the information about court cases and tax liens was not correct, in spite of the fact that every one of the 15 lawsuits or tax liens can be easily verified by Gwinnett County.
In spite of the fact that everything we listed is documented, our editor asked us to go back and do some more research to make sure our information is accurate. We did that and found that the information contained in the article is 100% correct. But we also found more information that is troubling.
When a person is a candidate for public office, one of the requirements is to file a personal financial disclosure statement. One of the things that must be disclosed is the ownership of real estate worth more than $5,000. Taylor listed only two pieces of property, two empty lots in Dacula. He did not list his residence in Lawrenceville and county records indicate he sold one of the lots in 2002- 18 years ago.
In the overall scheme of things, these are minor errors, but that doesn’t change the fact that Taylor filed a false statement financial disclosure statement. He did not list his residence, which he owns, but he did list a piece of property that he doesn’t own.
There would seem to be only a few reasons for filing an incorrect financial disclosure statement- either you’re trying to hide something, or you don’t understand simple instructions. The term, “direct ownership interests in real property”, is defined on the form to be completed as “Direct ownership interest is the holding or possession of good legal or rightful title of property or the holding or enjoyment of real o r beneficial use of the property by any person and includes any interest owned or held by a spouse of the person if such interest is held jointly or as tenants in common between the person and spouse.”
Either way, does anyone think it’s a good idea for a person who commits these types of errors to be handling a budget of several million dollars? It’s especially troubling when that person also has a history of not paying his bills and taxes.
Since some comments on Facebook accused us of not looking into Lou Solis’s background as thoroughly, we also verified our original information and expanded our search. When we looked into Lou Solis’ financial disclosure statement, we found his residence listed as well as a piece of property in Virginia. When we looked through Gwinnett County records again, we found no tax lines and no lawsuits. On the other hand, we did find that Solis is listed as a founder or board member of a non-profit organization named The Peace Officers Care Fund.
As we have stated on Facebook, if you think that we haven’t done the appropriate research, or overlooked something negative in Solis’s background, let us know. We’ll be happy to report on anything that is documented.