Georgia politician who campaigned with ‘deportation bus’ jailed for alleged fraud

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A Georgia politician who campaigned for governor earlier this year with a “deportation bus” has been jailed for lying to authorities regarding an insurance claim. Republican state senator Michael Williams turned himself in on Wednesday after news broke last week that he was being charged for insurance fraud.

The charges are regarding a May burglary that Williams had reported, claiming that computer servers worth $300,000 were stolen, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The accusation against Williams claims he lied to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation when he said he was at home in Forsyth County and not in Gainesville, where the burglary allegedly took place. The indictment claims he made false statements regarding the burglary of the servers.

While running for governor, the state senator came in fifth against four other candidates in a campaign mired with controversial stunts. They included a protest against a teacher who asked his student to leave for wearing a T-shirt supporting President Donald Trump, and Williams made a defense for bump-stocks—otherwise known as an accessory that speeds up the shooting, claiming that it prevented more casualties—following the Las Vegas shooting. He also unveiled his infamous “deportation bus”—a school bus converted to look like a prison van that read “Follow me to Mexico” and warned of “murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters and other criminals on board.”

The bus was a fail—it hit a few bumps on the road and it broke down, which sounds like his last few weeks in the Georgia Senate, where he will remain until mid-January.  

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque