Word: Ray McBerry and the downside of transparency

Dark horse gubernatorial and League of the South chair just wanted to clear the air

On March 14, dark horse gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry raised eyebrows when he released a statement addressing rumors that virtually no one had heard. Last week, the AJC obtained documents that showed at least one rumor — alleging an inappropriate relationship with young girl — was based in fact.

"I have been personally accused of ... the following list of absurdities: that I attempted to have an affair with my former campaign manager. ... I somehow “stole” sole custody of my son years ago from his mother, even though she tested positive for meth use. ... I have had some sort of sexual or sexually improper relationship with underaged girls. ... I state unequivocally that the accusations are at best, false gossip, and at worst, outright lies."

— McBerry, in a statement released on March 14.

"The Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services for the Henry County school system alleges that McBerry maintained an inappropriate relationship with a student and that he deliberately misrepresented the facts of the case."

— A 2002 Henry County School System case summary in which a girl (whose age is not listed) said she kissed and was fondled by McBerry, then a teacher. The system suspended his teaching certificate.

"Heck, GA voters recently elected a GOP candidate who had slept with his mother in law. This shouldn’t surprise anyone."

Commenter "MB" on the AJC's Political Insider blog.