A former community liaison for then-City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young has been charged with perjury and accused of accepting payments from community groups without disclosing the money, the state prosecutor’s office announced Wednesday.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Gardner faces as much as 10 years in prison if convicted of the one count of perjury. She did not respond to a message left Wednesday evening. Young also did not respond to a message.
Gardner worked as a community liaison in 2016 for the City Council president. She continued to work at City Hall until this week. A spokeswoman for Mayor Brandon Scott said Gardner no longer works for the city.
State Prosecutor Charlton Howard III announced the charges in a Wednesday press release.
“Requiring government officials to file truthful and accurate financial disclosure forms ensures transparency and the public’s ability to hold those officials responsible for any potential conflicts of interest,” he said. “Our office will continue to hold accountable any public official who is dishonest on these disclosures.”
In addition to working as a community liaison, Gardner ran for City Council in District 5 four years ago. She willfully omitted money she received from community groups on financial disclosure forms she filed in April 2017, prosecutors wrote in the charging documents.
The documents do not identify the community groups or the amount of money she allegedly omitted.
During her campaign for elected office, Gardner touted her experience in city government, saying she had worked under three administrations and built relationships in city agencies “from the top on down.”