Jury selection begins in trial of Georgia lawmaker

by AP

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FILE - In this Friday, May 25, 2012, file photo, Senate Chairman of the Rules Committee, Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, talks with members of the media after qualifying on the last day of candidate qualifying in the House Chambers at the State Capitol in Atlanta. A trial is set to begin on Monday for Balfour who is accused of illegally claiming legislative expense pay and double-billing the state and his private employer for some expenses. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jason Getz, File) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT

ATLANTA (AP) — Jury selection began Monday morning in the trial of a Georgia state lawmaker.

Sen. Don Balfour is accused of claiming per diem pay and mileage reimbursements for in-state work on days that he was out of the state.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk will preside over the trial. A grand jury indicted the Snellville Republican in September on felony charges of making a false certificate, theft by taking and a count of false statement and writing. The suspended lawmaker is accused of illegally claiming legislative expense pay and double-billing the state and his private employer for some expenses.

Defense lawyer William Hill said his client believes he's being unfairly targeted for inadvertent mistakes and looks forward to defending himself in court.



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