When contacted Friday, Oxendine’s longtime lawyer, Doug Chalmers, said he had no comment. He has argued that the commission went beyond the state’s five-year statute of limitations to pursue the charges.
In the latest filing, Oxendine’s lawyers wrote, “Upon review of that initial decision (by the administrative law judge), the commission simply decided that it did not like that embarrassing result, one that made the commission look bad in a high-profile case with significant media coverage.”
David Emadi, the commission’s executive secretary, didn’t sound particularly surprised by the filing.
“Mr. Oxendine is doing what he has done at all points in this investigation: refuse to comply with the law and seek to delay justice and accountability through frivolous litigation,” Emadi said. “We look forward to moving forward and having a final hearing to resolve this matter once and for all.”
An earlier case against Oxendine when he ran for governor in 2010 — which was recently dismissed — remained largely dormant until a 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation. The AJC found that Oxendine had never returned more than $500,000 worth of leftover contributions, and that he kept and spent money raised for Republican runoff and general election campaigns that he never ran because he lost in the 2010 GOP primary.
Following the story, Oxendine amended his reports in October 2015 to show more than $700,000 left over, including $237,000 in loans to his law firm, and the commission filed new charges.
Oxendine fought the commission’s subpoena for bank records all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court, further delaying the case.
He was eventually forced to show the commission his books, and in 2019, the panel moved ahead on allegations that Oxendine spent campaign donations on luxury car leases, child care bills, an athletic club membership and a down payment on a $965,000 house.
Under Georgia law, a candidate can’t collect contributions for a campaign and then use the money for things such as houses and cars for themselves.
Oxendine has spent most of the money that was left over in the 2010 gubernatorial account without returning it to donors or donating it to charity, two of the ways the law says he could dispose of the money. His end-of-2021 report showed $200,000 remained. He had spent about $235,000 of the leftover money with Chalmers’ firm on legal fees and expenses, as of the end of 2021, according to the reports, and has also paid another law firm on the case.