In the years since he left the governor’s office, Roy Barnes started a law firm with his daughter and son-in-law in Marietta.
But as a full-time gubernatorial candidate campaigning across the state, he’s no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the Barnes Law Group. Still, Barnes has continued to be involved in a few cases, said John F. Salter, Barnes’ son-in-law.
Among Barnes’ cases is the defense of Macon businessman William David “Billy” Ramsbottom Jr., who is accused of embezzling nearly $476,000 in connection with a St. Simons Island shopping center.
Salter said Barnes became involved in the case through Craig Gillen, another Atlanta area lawyer, who serves as lead attorney on the case.
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Gillen said Barnes has been on Ramsbottom’s legal team for about a year.
“He is working with me on pre-trial matters,” Gillen said. “He will not be a part of the trial team.”
Salter said now that Barnes is running for governor again, almost all of Barnes’ cases have been absorbed by other lawyers at the Barnes Law Group.
“Due to the campaign, Roy will not be involved in any possible trial,” Salter said in an e-mail.
Macon attorney Jerry Lumley is the third member of Ramsbottom’s legal team.
Prosecutor Myra Tisdale said Barnes has attended some of the pretrial hearings and meetings along with Ramsbottom’s other lawyers.
Lawyers are scheduled to gather for a status conference Monday with a judge. No trial date has been scheduled, Tisdale said.
Although Gillen wouldn’t comment on the pending case, he did say the defense lawyers are “working very diligently on the case.”
Ramsbottom, 44, allegedly acted as a managing partner of Retreat Village Management Co. and Retreat Village Property Co., two companies created to manage and control commercial rental properties in the shopping center, according to Bibb County Superior Court records.
The records allege that Ramsbottom diverted rent payments and money paid to the two companies for his own financial gain in 2007 and 2008.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.