Patrick N. Millsaps
|Patrick Neill Millsaps|
Patrick N. Millsaps
March 16, 1973 |
|Residence||Smyrna, Georgia (1973-1979)
Marietta, Georgia (1979-2004)
Camilla, Georgia (2004–present)
|Alma mater||Samford University, University of Georgia School of Law|
|Occupation||Attorney / Talent Manager|
|Employer||Hall Booth Smith|
Patrick Neill Millsaps (born March 16, 1973) is an American lawyer and is a partner at the Hall Booth Smith law firm. He is Stacey Dash's talent manager and advises several other clients in the entertainment industry.  In 2012, Millsaps was the Chief of Staff of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign. Millsaps appears regularly as a contributor and advisor providing election, debate and political analysis to several national news networks and publications.
Early life and education
Millsaps was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and grew up in Cobb County, Georgia where he attended McEachern High School. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Samford University in 1995, where he graduated cum laude. He initially attended Samford to become a preacher and is a licensed Southern Baptist minister. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Millsaps worked for the Georgia Republican Party and then served as the political director for Johnny Isakson's first campaign for the U.S. Senate that ended in a primary loss in 1996.
He enrolled in the University of Georgia School of Law in 1997. While still in law school, Millsaps served as the Policy Advisor to the Georgia State School Board and acted as the liaison between the Board Chairman Otis Brumby, then Georgia Governor Roy Barnes and then State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko. Millsaps obtained his Juris Doctor in 2000. After law school, he resumed a limited involvement in politics, organizing events and advising candidates for state and local offices.
After passing the Georgia bar in 2000, he worked for criminal defense attorneys Ed Garland and Don Samuel during high-profile cases involving Ray Lewis, the Heritage High School shooting and the Gold Club trial. He continued his early legal career as a litigator and later practiced law with his mentor, Hylton B. Dupree, Jr.
Millsaps moved to Camilla, Georgia in 2004 and founded his own law firm, which merged in 2011 with Hall Booth Smith (a firm with offices in six cities in the state of Georgia and one each in Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia), where he is now a partner. In 2005, Millsaps served as president of the Mitchell County Bar Association. He also served as the Solicitor of the Juvenile Courts of Mitchell and Baker Counties. Millsaps represented the Georgia Department of Community Health in 2008 as Special Counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue. In 2010, Millsaps obtained a $1.5 Million jury verdict for the family of a man that was killed by a drunk driver. This was one of the top jury verdicts in Georgia in 2010.
Some of Millsaps' other clients include the Bibb and Mitchell County school boards; First United Ethanol, LLC, which developed and operates a 100-million gallon ethanol plant in Southwest Georgia; and the Bank of Camilla. He is also the former city attorney of the City of Camilla.
In 2001, six months after he received his bar license, Millsaps filed the first lawsuit on behalf of a charter school against a school district in the State of Georgia. Millsaps represented Stone Mountain Charter School in a lawsuit against the Dekalb County school board over funding which the school claimed it should have and did not receive. The suit's premise was that the Dekalb school board was discriminating against the charter school and breaching the charter school contract by allotting less money per student than other schools in the district. The school board paid to settle the suit, though it denied any wrongdoing, citing the 1998 charter school law that did not provide guidelines for funding. This lawsuit and settlement became the model for charter school funding in Georgia.
Gingrich presidential campaign
On December 26, 2011, Millsaps was contacted by Newt Gingrich's 2012 campaign for the Republican nomination for president to offer him a position as deputy general counsel. Millsaps joined the campaign, his first involvement working in a presidential race, the week before the Iowa Caucuses. During the New Hampshire primary, Millsaps co-developed new campaign messaging which identified Gingrich as a "bold Reagan conservative". An issue paper, co-authored by Millsaps, was used by NBC's David Gregory to question Gingrich during the Meet the Press/Facebook Presidential Debate which was held in Concord, New Hampshire.
After a month working for the campaign, Gingrich promoted Millsaps to the position of chief of staff following the Florida Primary and immediately made changes to reorganize the campaign's structure. In February 2012, he wrote a cease and desist letter sent to Georgia television stations on behalf of the Gingrich campaign, stating that an attack ad made by pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, was false and threatening to sue any station that continued to run the ad. The ad asserted that Gingrich co-sponsored legislation with Representative Nancy Pelosi that would have given money to the United Nations in support of China's one-child policy. While Gingrich and Pelosi were both co-sponsors of a 1989 resolution that provided $60 million to the United Nations Population Fund, the bill prohibited "the performance of involuntary sterilization or abortion or to coerce any person to accept family planning".
Gingrich credits Millsaps with his statement, "you can't put a gun rack in a Volt". Millsaps was also the designer of the "$2.50 gas" logo for Gingrich's campaign, which was part of an effort to simplify the campaign's messaging. Millsaps gave several national television and radio interviews for the campaign including interviews with CNN's Joe Johns, Don Lemon, Jim Acosta, and Piers Morgan. He also appeared on MSNBC with Thomas Roberts (news anchor) and Andrea Mitchell. He was interviewed by Geraldo Rivera on his talk radio program in Los Angeles on 790 KABC (AM).
Georgia Ethics Commission
Millsaps was appointed to the Georgia Government and Transparency Campaign Finance Commission (formerly the Georgia State Ethics Commission) by Governor Sonny Perdue on February 10, 2009. On November 4, 2010, he was unanimously elected chairman of the commission.
As chairman, Millsaps had to address budget shortfalls caused by the Georgia General Assembly's 42 percent cut to the commission's budget since 2008. The efforts Millsaps led to address the commission's budget austerity included institutional reforms and a restructured relationship with the state's attorney general's office. The efforts to reduce costs also included cutting the salary of the commission's executive secretary and eliminating the deputy secretary position. The total compensation for both positions accounted for about 22 percent of the commission's budget, and the cuts to them resulted in an immediate savings of $167,000. When the then-executive secretary was notified of the salary cut, she told Millsaps that she could not do the job for the lesser amount, which Millsaps took as her resignation. She insisted that she did not resign and claimed that the pay decrease and the elimination of her deputy's position were in retaliation for her involvement in an investigation into Governor Deal's 2010 gubernatorial campaign, an allegation that both Millsaps and the governor's office denied. The controversy inspired a June 19, 2011 political cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winning artist Mike Luckovich. Millsaps appeared on the Atlanta NBC affiliate, WXIA-TV, to explain the cuts. An investigation by the state inspector general found no evidence to substantiate the former executive secretary's allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Millsaps or the governor.
Millsaps also oversaw an ethics investigation into Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle involving allegations of an affair with a campaign staffer and a related misuse of campaign funds during his 2006 campaign for lieutenant governor. The complaint was filed just before Cagle's re-election in 2010, and the charges against Cagle were summarily dismissed on March 1, 2011, citing that there was no evidence of misconduct and that the complaint was based on unsubstantiated rumors. Millsaps made a public statement that the complaint was, "a clear abuse of the process to cast aspersions on two people based on no facts".
Millsaps was re-appointed to the commission by Governor Nathan Deal in February 2011 but stepped down in August of that year due to a controversy over the legality of his reappointment. Under Georgia state law, ethics commissioners may only be appointed to one term. The controversy stemmed from confusion over whether Millsaps was filling the unexpired term of Rusty Ross or succeeding Emmett Bowers, whose term expired in 2007. The Georgia Attorney General ultimately concluded that Millsaps had not served a full term and could fulfill the appointment of Governor Deal. However, in order to avoid any further controversy, Millsaps resigned his position.
Other gubernatorial appointments
Prior to his service on the Ethics Commission, Patrick served as the Second Congressional District Representative to the Board of Commissioners of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the agency responsible for administering student financial aid programs provided by the State of Georgia, including the HOPE Scholarship. He has also assisted the Perdue Administration as a member of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority.
Honors and recognitions
Millsaps has been called "one of the smartest, hard-working lawyers in the country". He has achieved an "AV-Preeminent" rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Millsaps was recognized by "Georgia Trend Magazine" as one of Georgia's best and brightest "40 under 40" in 2011. "James Magazine" has recognized him as one of the "Most Influential Georgians" every year since 2007 and one of "Georgia's Top Legal Leaders" in 2005 and 2006. The University of Georgia's Alumni Association recognized him as one of its 40 Under 40 in 2012. Atlanta Magazine recognized Millsaps as a "Rising Star" in 2010 and 2012. He was named one of as one of Southwest Georgia's "40 most influential people under the age of 40" by The Albany Herald in 2006.
In 2008, Patrick was selected as one of 53 emerging American leaders representing 17 states and the District of Columbia to receive the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship awarded through the German Marshall Fund.
Patrick has appeared in several feature films. He played a police officer in the 2000 DreamWorks film Road Trip (film). He also appears in the 2011 Sherwood Pictures film Courageous (film) as a "man in restaurant."  In 2012, Patrick received his first credited role as District Attorney Denny Donaldson in the independent film, Untouched.
Millsaps lives in Camilla, Georgia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children. He attends and teaches Sunday School at Sherwood Baptist Church, which is known for making several Christian movies. In 2007, Patrick completed the Tugaloo Triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon, to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with Team in Training. He is also a private pilot.
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