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No ‘magic shield’ protects agencies targeted by investigators

No 'magic shield' protects agencies targeted by investigators
January 5, 2012 --

Exactly three years ago today, I requested records of credit card statements for former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. A week or two later, after someone let it slip that the sheriff’s office had a bank account that other county officials didn’t know about, I asked for those records too.

I’m still waiting. Legally, though, there’s no valid reason that I should be.

Did Univ of W.Ga. fire fund-raiser for complaints about gouging donors?

Did Univ of W.Ga. fire fund-raiser for complaints about gouging donors?
May 6, 2011 --

The University of West Georgia may have broken whistleblower protection and open records laws, as well as state purchasing rules, a state investigation suggests. James Naughton thinks so too. He’s filed suit alleging his boss, Michael Ruffner, fired him for questioning the unauthorized hiring of a Washington lobbyist and misleading the school’s foundation in order to jack up fees charged to donors.

2010 public records compliance audit: Closer, still no cigar

2010 public records compliance audit: Closer, still no cigar
November 11, 2010 --

Public officials laughed, snarled and stalled when asked to release documents under the Georgia Open Records Act, a new audit has found. Overall, the 2010 Georgia Student Sunshine Audit reports that public institutions did a better job this year handling requests for public records. Still, one in five university students were denied access to documents that clearly should be public, the audit reported. The most frequent withholders of records, the students said, were … universities.

Flawed bid process hiked income for Deal’s business by $415K

Flawed bid process hiked income for Deal's business by $415K
October 21, 2010 --

A flawed bidding process indirectly allowed Nathan Deal’s Gainesville auto salvage business to nearly double its annual income from state inspections. Procurement records contain nothing to suggest that Deal, then Georgia’s 9th District congressman, or any of his staff members influenced the state’s decision to overturn the bidding. Losing the state contract — and the flat fee paid by vehicle owners — allowed Gainesville Salvage Disposal to earn an extra $415,000.