Cash Payments Hard To Explain

Dear Editor,

Fani Willis’ and Nathan Wade’s cash reimbursement claims are extremely strange.  I have purchased gifts and meals for coworkers, including supervisors.  They have also bought me gifts and meals.  We never thought about reimbursing each other or providing written receipts.  Initially, Ms. Willis’ argument for not providing a written receipt for paying back a friend makes sense.  However, it is awkward, irrelevant and unrealistic.  Also, it is usually not required or expected.  No one could expect Ms. Willis to write a receipt or reimburse a boyfriend for dates and gifts.

While Ms. Willis isn’t on trial today, she is obviously afraid of future charges under anti-kickback laws.  This is the reason for the false untraceable cash reimbursement claims.  Had Mr. Wade simply been Ms. Willis’ employee, this would not have mattered.  However, Mr. Wade is an independent contractor.  The federal government and many state governments have strict laws regarding improper contractor relationships.  These laws are usually straightforward and strict to prevent historical abuses.  While on active duty, everyone, including service members, civilian employees, and independent contractors, received frequent briefings about gifts and relationships.  It is illegal to contract with someone you have a prior relationship.  You have to open a bid for competition.  Gift prices are strictly capped.  You cannot even accept food from an independent contractor that is not offered to the entire group.  Georgia likely provides similar training for similar laws.

The awkward explanation is contrived to walk a fine legal line.  She will eventually claim that she didn’t know about anti-kickback laws.  Yet, at the same time, she reimbursed him anyway, so in the end, this doesn’t matter.  If she admits to reimbursing him to avoid illegal gifts under anti-kickback law, she signals knowing enough to document with a receipt.  Both Wade and Willis invented this awkward reimbursement explanation and framed it in feminist independence jargon to attack further inquiry.  Ms. Willis labeled criticism as racist.  Two other “white” employees/contractors haven’t been criticized.  However, she isn’t being accused of sleeping with them.

Had she admitted to improperly contracting with Mr. Wade due to the preexisting relationship and receiving romantic gifts, including vacations, she would have likely been slapped on the wrist.  The cover-up lie is always worse than the original judgment error.  This ridiculous reimbursement explanation was contrived to avoid acknowledging knowing enough to issue a receipt.

Alan Burke