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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.
Sept. 11, 2013 — Attorney Michael Rothenberg today admitted defrauding investors who gave him more than $1.3 million. The proceeds, federal prosecutors said, were used for personal expenses and for Rothenberg’s losing 2010 campaign to become a DeKalb Superior Court judge.
July 8, 2013 — Sen. Don Balfour has learned — the hard way — what a difference a year can make. Balfour today reported collecting just $2,000 in political donations for the first six months of 2013, following his demotion to chairing the Senate Reapportionment Committee. For the same period in each of the previous two years, he pulled in $137,000.
June 3, 2013 — A candidate did not present enough evidence of irregularities to overturn a 2012 election that he lost to Baker County Sheriff Dana Meade, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled today. Tim Williamson received about one-third more votes than Meade in the 2012 Democratic primary but lost a runoff by 39 votes. Williamson challenged the results claiming there were irregularities with absentee ballots and votes bought with money or liquor, but the high court said it wouldn’t have changed the outcome even if true.
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.
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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.