Atlanta’s Board of Ethics, which has operated for six months without an ethics officer, will have to make do a bit longer. Stacey Kalberman, the board’s unanimous choice for the job, withdrew Sunday as the City Council pondered whether to choose the ethics officer itself. “I frankly became disheartened when that happened,” Kalberman said.
An Atlanta city councilman who tangled with the city’s ethics officer last year wants to place that job under the council’s control. Lamar Willis‘ proposal calls for the Board of Ethics to give the council three names to consider, rather than just one, to fill a vacancy pending since September. Ethics advocates fear the plan would politicize the appointment process and jeopardize the board’s independence. Former ethics officer Ginny Looney won settlements against Willis and five other council members since 2008
. Willis said his proposal has nothing to do with his $3,500 ethics fine nor his complaint that the board’s case against him was “piling on” and not even “remotely necessary.”
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Two DeKalb County housing officials were cleared Wednesday of ethics charges stemming from their solicitation of political and charitable contributions from a private developer. George Maddox and Dorothy Williams, both board members of the DeKalb Housing Authority, each accepted $2,500 in donations from the developer. The DeKalb Board of Ethics found no evidence that the transactions influenced their official actions.
Two DeKalb County housing officials face an ethics inquiry into their requests for charitable and political donations from a developer doing business with their agency. An Oct. 19 hearing is scheduled for Dorothy Williams and former state Rep. George Maddox, both members of the DeKalb County Housing Authority’s board, who asked developer Dave Dixon to give to various causes. Dixon said he or his business gave them each $2,500 for a total of $5,000.
The founder of the PATH Foundation may continue to serve on the board of the DeKalb County Development Authority, the county’s Board of Ethics ruled tonight. DeKalb has paid PATH $8 million since 2004 to manage construction of biking and hiking trails in the county. Neighborhood activists complained that PATH’s executive director, Ed McBrayer, had a conflict of interest because he also serves on the authority’s board.
A top DeKalb economic development official has a conflict of interest because he also heads a group that’s received $8 million in county payments, the DeKalb ethics board was told Wednesday night. McBrayer “is very clearly receiving a benefit from the PATH Foundation,” which has collected $8 million from DeKalb since 2004, said Brian Daughdrill, lawyer for a neighborhood group that lodged a complaint. But McBrayer’s lawyer, Elizabeth Branch, said those restrictions apply only to for-profit businesses, not non-profits: “Being a non-profit makes all the difference in the world.”
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