For a decade, infighting, vitriol and litigation has been business as usual at Georgia’s state ethics commission. Three executive directors have resigned or been fired since 2006. Two other employees collected $405,000 in damages for allegedly wrongful termination. Lawmakers stripped the agency of 40 percent of its funding, its power to make new rules, even its name. Much of this has come to pass, critics say, because the commission answers to the very politicians it’s supposed to regulate and investigate. Legislative leaders set its budget, control its powers and, along with the governor, decide who its five members will be. It’s time, former ethics chief Teddy Lee says, for a truly independent commission. “It’s got to be set up in a way that it can’t be manipulated,” says Lee, “by people who have no desire to be overseen or second-guessed.”
Aug. 20, 2012 — Josh McKoon has called on his Senate colleagues to censure Don Balfour and remove him as chairman of that chamber’s Rules Committee for filing false expense reports.
Aug. 17, 2012 — If there’s a better way to piss off students and journalists than letting a condescending adman tell students how to run their newspaper, I can’t imagine what it would be. That, I would guess, is why UGA’s Harry Montevideo makes the big bucks. Montevideo — publisher of the Red & Black, whose key editorial staffers walked out this week — collected nearly $190,000 in salary a year ago from the non-profit that runs the student paper, tax records show.