blow the whistle
$show the love

Ethics panel changes course, wants its own lawyer after all

October 11, 2011 --

The State Campaign Finance Commission has changed its mind and wants to hire a staff attorney after all, four months after firing its last one. The difference is, this one won’t make more than $55,000 a year and won’t be named Sherilyn Streicker, whose job was eliminated by the commission in June.

Fired arborist settles whistleblower suit against ATL

February 2, 2011 --

Fired Atlanta arborist Tom Coffin settled his whistleblower suit against City Hall on Tuesday, just before his case was scheduled to go to trial, his lawyers say. Under the deal, the city admits no blame and Coffin gets his pension back and $165,000 in damages and fees, lawyers Gerry Weber and Brian Spears announced today. The City Council still must approve the settlement.

Sept. 12

September 13, 2010 --

MARTA plan contributed to financial woes Warnings of Augusta VA patients’ risk discounted Cobb diverts lighting funds Chatham Co. high-risk caseload laps national standard

Audit: ATL code compliance looked good — after cooking the books

Audit: ATL code compliance looked good -- after cooking the books
July 12, 2010 --

Atlanta’s Office of Code Compliance manipulated inspection data to inflate the agency’s caseload and vastly overstate its performance, city auditors say. Its files were such a mess that workers often couldn’t even find paperwork for a particular case. Auditors said the office staff was told to record inspection dates even if no inspection had occurred. For one month, the faulty data made it appear the average inspection was conducted 14 days after the complaint came in; auditors calculated it really took nearly six months.

Judicial oversight panel gets budget restored, loses director

Judicial oversight panel gets budget restored, loses director
May 7, 2010 --

Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission got the bulk of a hefty budget cut restored for 2011, but it will lose its longtime director, former Rockdale County District Attorney Cheryl Fisher Custer. She declined comment on whether her departure is linked to criticism of her $82,560 salary for part-time work. “It’s just time to move on,” she said.

Lawyers sue state over gaps in indigent defense

December 15, 2009 --

Nearly 200 criminal defendants have no state-paid lawyer as required by Georgia law to handle their appeals, according to a civil suit filed today. More than half have waited more than a year without an attorney. Budget cuts and a 2008 Supreme Court decision lie at the heart of the problem. “When our system of criminal justice does not itself comply with the rule of law, its integrity is fairly questioned,” said attorney Michael A. Caplan. “That integrity is what is at issue in this case.”

Developer’s PAC reports gift to speaker, silent on other donations

May 11, 2009 --

By JIM WALLS May 11, 2009 — A Georgia-based political fund has amended a disclosure report to include a $1,000 gift last year to the campaign account of House Speaker Glenn Richardson. But the fund, registered as The Funds for Georgia’s Future, still has not reported another $72,000 given to lawmakers and other political causes […]