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Oct. 18, 2014 — Sen. Fran Millar reimbursed the state last week for more than $2,100 taken from his legislative expense account that wound up in his campaign fund. Millar wrote the check a few days after Atlanta Unfiltered asked him about several unusual 2012 donations to his campaign — four checks, all disclosed as coming from the Georgia General Assembly.
May 22, 2014 – Retiring Sen. Cecil Staton will start earning a six-figure state salary next month at the University System of Georgia. Staton resigned his Senate seat today to become a vice chancellor overseeing programs for military veterans, budding entrepreneurs, international students and continuing education. “The idea is to try to bring all those folks under one person to direct them and give some coherence to it,” a University System spokesman said. The five-term senator, who did not seek re-election this year after a close shave in 2012, will start his new job June 1 at an annual salary of $165,000.
May 9, 2014 — Nearly $28,000 in political donations appear to be missing from Sen. David Lucas’ campaign account. While the longtime Macon lawmaker says it isn’t so, his latest disclosure shows a negative balance in his Senate campaign account.
Lucas said his campaign had money that wasn’t reflected in his most recent disclosure, but he wasn’t sure how much. “I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t been trying to keep with up with that. All I do is write checks.”
The problem stems from his campaign’s failure to fill out disclosures properly.
Jan. 2, 2014 — Georgia’s juvenile correctional officers, frustrated by low morale, stingy pay and thin staffing, quit their jobs three times as often as other state employees, state auditors say. Some 57 percent of DJJ’s entry-level officers resigned in FY 2013. A self-perpetuating downward spiral might best describe personnel practices outlined in the just-released audit. The constant turnover weakens staffing levels, so the remaining officers will have to work extra hours for which they won’t be paid immediately, if at all. Most don’t hang around for the two years necessary to qualify for promotion.
Nov. 25, 2013 — The Georgia Supreme Court agreed unanimously today that the removal of six DeKalb County school board members did not violate the state’s constitution. Gov. Nathan Deal suspended former board chair Gene Walker and five other members in February as the DeKalb school district faced an imminent loss of accreditation. In an opinion released today, the high court upheld Deal’s power to remove local school board members and the Legislature’s right to get involved to that extent in local school systems’ affairs.
Nov. 22, 2013 — I was lunching on the patio of a South Carolina plantation house when John Connally started talking about the afternoon, 50 years ago today, when someone shot him in Dallas. “Someone” is the proper word because Connally was never sure that Lee Harvey Oswald was the one who shot him. It’s no exaggeration to say that, as he explained his reasoning at lunch that day
, you could have heard a pin drop.
Nov. 18, 2013 – Two Fulton County whistleblowers may proceed with legal claims that they lost their jobs in retaliation for reporting misuse of taxpayers’ funds, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled today. The decision strengthens the state’s whistleblower law by holding that the law protects all public employees, not just those who work in state-funded programs, and dismissing Fulton County’s defense of sovereign immunity.
Oct. 7, 2013 — The Georgia Supreme Court today unanimously ordered disbarment of Atlanta City Council member H. Lamar Willis for taking $30,000 from a client and failing to repay it. Willis’s actions, the high court said, demonstrate his “extreme disregard of his duty to safeguard the property of a client, which undermines the public trust.”
Oct. 2, 2013 — All expense records for state Sen. Don Balfour will be withheld from public view until a related criminal prosecution has concluded, Legislative Counsel Wayne Allen said today.
Sept. 26, 2013 — Real PAC, a political committee with close ties to Gov. Nathan Deal, has filed its first tax forms with the IRS, one of which was more than a year overdue. The filings raise new questions about the timing of large gifts from businesses seeking state contracts or legislation.
Sept. 17, 2013 — Kent Alexander, the lone Democrat on the state ethics commission, has left that position. His resignation letter to Gov. Nathan Deal gave no reason for his departure but notes that he plans to “focus on other professional and civic commitments.” Alexander was not immediately available for comment.
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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.