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Trial date set for indicted Sen. Don Balfour

Snellville Sen. Don Balfour will face a jury next month — about a month before the General Assembly goes into session.

Balfour’s attorney Ken Hodges filed a demand for a speedy trial Monday on 18 charges of false statements and theft by taking involving per diem expenses for legislative work. A Dec. 16 trial date has been set.

“The evidence will show that Mr. Balfour was entitled to many more reimbursements than he took in error and he has reimbursed the State for all known errors. He admits there were errors and he regrets those errors,” Hodges said, pointing out that the Senate Ethics Committee found the errors to be inadvertent in a hearing earlier this year.

“Mr. Balfour looks forward to Dec. 16 when, in a court of law, he expects a jury to reach the same conclusion,” Hodges added. “He is not guilty of these charges and looks forward to continuing his more than 20 years of exemplary public service to the citizens of the state of Georgia.”

Balfour, the Snellville man who was once the chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee, was suspended from office earlier this month, and Republican lawmakers ousted him from the GOP caucus and his remaining leadership roles.