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  • May 20-27, 2013

    May 28, 2013 --

    The fight for Wilcox County’s first integrated prom Former Atlanta schools’ tech exec under federal probe Fayette voting rights case could have implications for Gainesville Lawyer: Indicted state Rep. Tyrone Brooks did nothing wrong Legal woes piling up for Ga. democratic chair More favoritism allegations in Douglas Co. DA’s office examined Georgia high court frets […]

    Rep. Tommy Benton: Spent $15K, didn’t ID recipients

    Rep. Tommy Benton: Spent $15K, didn't ID recipients
    May 28, 2013 --

    Tommy Benton’s campaign reimbursed him $2,909 from 2005 to 2008 for expenses without specifying the end recipient of the money, as required by campaign finance rules. Since 2009, he’s also charged $12,952 of campaign-related expenses to credit cards without specifying the end recipient.

    Benton’s top campaign donors — including trade groups for teachers, highway contractors and trucking and billboard companies — reflect his longstanding assignments to the Education and Transportation committees.

    Judge finds racial imbalance in Fayette elections

    May 21, 2013 --

    May 21, 2013 — Fayette County commissioners have until June 25 to propose fixes for election practices that a federal judge ruled today are racially discriminatory.
    All bets are off, though, if commissioners decide to appeal the ruling, a choice they will discuss in a closed-door session Thursday.

    Ga. Dem chair Berlon gets State Bar reprimand

    Ga. Dem chair Berlon gets State Bar reprimand
    May 20, 2013 --

    May 20, 2013 — The Georgia Supreme Court today signed off on a reprimand for state Democratic Party chair Mike Berlon for his inaction in a 2005 child-custody case. A special master found that Berlon failed to file a change of custody petition requested by a client, who only found out when he appeared in court. “This has been going on for a long, long time and it’s nice to get it resolved,” Berlon said.

    May 5-18, 2013

    May 20, 2013 --

    Watchdog News will look a little different from here on out, as much of what The Atlanta Journal-Constitution publishes in that arena is now behind a paywall (although they don’t like to call it that). We’ll try to post links to other news outlets’ coverage rather than link you to a paywall. School resource officers […]

    Rep. Brooks indicted for alleged $1M embezzlement

    Rep. Brooks indicted for alleged $1M embezzlement
    May 16, 2013 --

    Tyrone Brooks, a Georgia state legislator for 33 years, has been indicted for allegedly misappropriating nearly $1 million from two organizations that he falsely represented as charities, authorities said today. A federal grand jury charged that he used the money to pay for personal expenses, including home repairs, furniture, lawn service, life insurance, entertainment, utilities, food and clothing, dry cleaning, electronic equipment and jewelry.

    Surprise veto sidetracks charity tax break

    Surprise veto sidetracks charity tax break
    May 14, 2013 --

    May 14, 2013 — Gov. Nathan Deal last week unexpectedly vetoed a bill that would have given $9 million in sales tax breaks to charitable medical clinics, federally qualified health centers, food banks and other charities. The measure, which breezed through the House and Senate, would have benefited many safety-net providers that expect to carry an extra patient load once the federal Affordable Care Act begins phasing out hospital subsidies for indigent care next year.

    Deal’s veto message noted that a 2010 tax reform panel recommended that all non-government and non-business exemptions be allowed to expire so the Legislature could decide whether they should be renewed. He did not apply that principle, however, when he signed a bill last month extending an estimated $18 million tax break to Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., a Savannah-based manufacturer of luxury jets.

    Ex-Rep. Jerguson faces contempt order, $640K default judgment

    Ex-Rep. Jerguson faces contempt order, $640K default judgment
    May 14, 2013 --

    May 14, 2013 — A federal judge has held former Rep. Sean Jerguson in contempt of court and entered a $640,000 default judgment against him and his partners in a Cedartown mobile home park. U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob ruled Thursday that Jerguson and Sapphire Pointe LLC were in “flagrant disregard” of the court’s February order compelling them to produce information and documents sought by an Arkansas bank seeking to collect on a loan.

    Rep. Eddie Lumsden

    Rep. Eddie Lumsden
    May 14, 2013 --

     

    Lumsden is one of many freshmen lawmakers who rely heavily on other Republican legislators as campaign donors. He has collected $76,190, or 53 percent of all his contributions, from other House Republicans. Insurance ($13,550) and health-care ($11,850) interests, led by Rome-based State Mutual Insurance Co., comprise Lumsden’s other top donor base.

    Until 2013, Lumsden’s financial disclosures failed to mention his partial ownership of his wife’s insurance agency. He amended his dicslosure to include that information in 2013 after an inquiry by Atlanta Unfiltered.

    Rep. Kevin Tanner: Gave up state contract

    Rep. Kevin Tanner: Gave up state contract
    May 13, 2013 --

    Tru-Vision Security Consultants, Tanner’s private security business, gave up its six-figure contract with Lanier Technical College in January 2013 on the day he took the oath of office to serve as a state legislator.

    Tanner said he did his research and found Tru-Vision could have continued doing business with the college if it won a new contract through a competitive sealed-bid process. “However,” he wrote in a Jan. 14 letter to a university official, “I feel it best that I turn this work over to another company to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”

    Rep. Howard Maxwell (HD 17)

    Rep. Howard Maxwell (HD 17)
    May 7, 2013 --

    When he wasn’t riding his Harley, Maxwell, an Allstate insurance agent, has chaired the Audits, Retirement and Regulated Industries committees in the House. His service since 2005 on the Insurance Committee, though, has attracted the lion’s share of his political donations. Neary half of the $250,000 raised over the years by his campaign committee has come from insurance and health-care interests.

    Collectively, Maxwell’s fellow board members at Georgia Heritage Bank top his donor list from other interests. A 2009 federal cease and desist order accused the Dallas, Ga.-based community bank of employing risky lending practices under lax board supervision.

    April 29 – May 5, 2013

    May 5, 2013 --

    Incentives sometimes don’t deliver promised jobs for Ga. State never appoved $280K in renovations at college president’s house Does this mayor own a town? Atlanta’s water needs cited in plan to pump water from another aquifer into Flint River Profs say Young Harris College muzzled hazing scandal African-American residents sue Rochelle, Ga., over decades of […]