register for email updates
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 28, 2013 — Sen. Jeff Mullis wants to level the playing field regarding campaign fund-raising for legislative races (because incumbents are at such a disadvantage). A worthy goal, but I’d do it a little differently. Five ideas to improve Georgia’s campaign finance laws:
1) Bar incumbent legislators from accepting political contributions if they don’t draw opposition at qualifying time.
March 26, 2013 — To Georgia legislators: As you struggle toward a compromise on ethics “reform,” here are five suggestions that would REALLY help to restore Georgians’ faith in government.
1) Limit lobbyist gifts to $25 per day, with a limit of four per year. That allows them to buy you a meal and a beer, but not the bottles of wine that really drive up the cost up of these $100 meals. And no gifts for spouses. Pay for those yourselves. Suck it up.
March 25, 2013 — Sen. Ross Tolleson lost badly last week when he tried an end run around a judge’s ruling protecting Georgia wetlands. Tolleson, who chairs the Natural Resources Committee, took to the well Friday seeking to amend an unrelated bill with language that, he said, would clarify the state’s rules for development around state waters. The amendment would also have cleared the way, however, for Grady County to proceed with building a 960-acre lake near Cairo, Ga.
March 20, 2013 — Allegations of wrongdoing in the state’s juvenile prisons could be sealed from public view under a bill considered today by a House subcommittee. Witnesses for the state Department of Juvenile Justice said the bill was intended to protect children in custody from retaliation for reporting gang or other criminal activity. The current version of the bill, though, makes no mention of gangs or juvenile crime. Rather, it would exempt from disclosure “the information provided by children who report abuses or wrongdoing in the juvenile justice system.”
Feb. 7, 2013 — In response to activists’ complaints about possible infringement of free speech, a House panel voted today to relax proposed registration requirements for lobbyists and to reduce their annual fee from $300 to $25.
Jan. 29, 2013 — House Speaker David Ralston today called for banning most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and, for the first time, requiring legislators to immediately disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions collected just before they convene each year. The speaker also introduced a bill to restore rule-making authority to the state ethics commission.
Jan. 14, 2013 — Trial lawyers, dentists and Realtors — perhaps Georgians’ three most-beloved professions — had the deepest pockets as state legislators convened today for 2013, an analysis of campaign disclosures shows. Between them, trade groups for those three professions donated more than $1.1 million to Georgia politicians and parties over the past two years.
Jan. 10, 2013 — The GBI has completed an investigation of state payments to soon-to-be-deposed Senate Rules chairman Don Balfour, but there’s no word yet as to its findings. Attorney General Sam Olens won’t say what the next step might be, if any. Balfour, meanwhile, appears to have retained Andersen, Tate & Carr, a Gwinnett County law firm that is defending ex-Gwinnett Commissioner Kevin Kenerly against bribery charges.
about this page
Some criminals have their photos and crimes plastered all over the Internet, so people know who they are and what they did. Not politicians -- until now. The Crooked Politician Registry is an archive of info on public servants who crossed the line.
do it yourself corruption investigation
Most public corruption cases in Georgia are prosecuted in federal court. The U.S. attorney for North Georgia, including metro Atlanta, has an excellent Web site with archived news releases on prominent cases.
Federal court files may be searched online for a nominal fee through PACER. (The first $10 a year of searches are free.)
With the right keywords, online search engines will also turn up news releases or court rulings on a particular case at no cost.