by: Richard Elliot Updated:WALTON COUNTY, Ga. —
Embattled state Rep. Tyrone Brooks took the offensive Thursday charging his accusers of using the federal fraud and tax evasion indictment to silence his investigation of the infamous 1946 Moore's Ford lynching.
"I watched the federal government attack our leadership," said Brooks as he stood with supporters on the Moore's Ford Bridge in Walton County. "I've watched what they've done to Dr. King and (Ralph David) Abernathy and Hosea Williams, so what's happening to me is no surprise."
The U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI and the IRS accused Brooks of misappropriating close to $1 million in charitable donations from two organizations, Universal Humanities and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.
According to the federal indictment, Brooks took money intended for voter registration and literacy efforts and directed them into his own bank accounts.
Brooks refused to answer any questions directly related to the indictment, but in a news conference last week, Brooks' attorney, former Georgia
Gov. Roy Barnes, denied his client did anything criminal.
Instead, he suggested it was the fault of bad bookkeeping methods and said the IRS should simply go after him in civil court rather than make it a criminal case.
Brooks believes the FBI is going after him because of his long-time efforts to solve the 1946 lynchings of two African-American couples at the Moore's Ford Bridge in Walton County.
A mob of people stopped a car with George and Mae Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Malcolm and shot them to death along the side of the road. No one was ever arrested.
Brooks believes some of the people involved are still alive 66-years later and wants them brought to justice.
"I suspect there are some people in law enforcement who want a lot of the suspects to die, and then they can say, it's over now. Everybody's dead," said Brooks.
The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI had no comment Thursday on the issue.
Brooks said the accusations have hurt his reputation.
"When people single me out and say terrible things about me and attack my character and my reputation and my history, it really is painful," Brooks said.