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5 questions the Nathan Deal ethics investigation never answered

October 24, 2014 --

Oct. 22, 2014 — Ethics complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal were officially resolved in 2012, when he paid $3,350 in administrative fees for filing defective campaign and personal finance disclosures. But a review of the state ethics commission’s files shows the investigation leading to that settlement was never really completed. Staffers abandoned inquiries into tens of thousands of dollars spent on air travel and credit card charges, and questioned no one but lawyers for the campaign accused of wrongdoing. Rather than ensuring transparency in a state with a legacy of graft and corruption, the ethics commission settled for the easy answers, and sometimes none at all. Read the full story.

Ethics panel revisits Deal case today

November 13, 2013 --

Nov. 13, 2013 — Today, Georgia’s beleaguered Campaign Finance Commission decides just how badly it wants to learn about itself and its 2012 ethics settlement with Gov. Nathan Deal. On the table when the commission meets at 9:30 a.m.: A motion to formally ask State Auditor Greg Griffin to conduct a performance audit of the agency. Then the question will be: Should the commission do more to address allegations that Deal’s office dictated the outcome of an investigation into his 2010 campaign finances? “I’m certainly not taking anything off the table,” chair Kevin Abernethy said.

State auditor, not Olens, to review Deal investigation

State auditor, not Olens, to review Deal investigation
October 22, 2013 --

Oct. 22, 2013 — State Auditor Greg Griffin, rather than the attorney general’s office, will try to sort out charges that a 2012 ethics investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal was compromised. Griffin agreed to investigate allegations that the director of the state ethics commission, after talks with key staffers in Deal’s office, ordered the case closed with a minimal penalty. The commission, which announced Griffin’s role late today, had voted last month to ask Attorney General Sam Olens to name a special assistant to review its handling of the case.

Olens, as it happened, had been mentioned as one possible factor in Deal’s resolve to settle the case in 2012 rather than let it reach a public hearing. A commission attorney has testified she was told that the governor didn’t want Olens, a potential rival in the 2014 governor’s race, to play any role in the proceedings.

Secret ethics report: Ga. #3, not #50

Secret ethics report: Ga. #3, not #50
January 26, 2013 --

I am not making this up. The House Ethics Committee’s chairman says a privately commissioned study shows Georgia’s ethics laws are the third-best in the country, not the worst. This study will form the basis of an ethics bill that Joe Wilkinson says he’ll introduce soon. But he will not make the study public, won’t say who conducted it or how much it cost. “It’s mine,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s a working document.”

Jan. 7-13, 2013

January 15, 2013 --

DeKalb investigation seeks evidence of bribery, racketeering Ex-coroner’s wife sends Chatham Co. $126K for ‘accounting discrepancies’ Donors not disclosed in annual Wild Hog event National Guard officer alleges helicopter misuse MARTA chief promises to address overtime Lawmakers’ last-minute fund-raisers Chair of Fulton elections board resigns Two men plead guilty in Albany bribery case

GBI raids Columbus DFCS over allegedly falsified documents

September 5, 2012 --

Sept. 5, 2012 — State and federal agents seized documents and planned two arrests today in an investigation of alleged falsification and alteration of child-abuse intake reports in Muscogee County. Investigators are trying to determine whether reports were falsified to make it appear Georgia was opening abuse cases more quickly so DFCS could qualify for millions of federal dollars that had been withheld.

Whistleblower: Ex-ethics deputy denied interview for new job

Whistleblower: Ex-ethics deputy denied interview for new job
June 14, 2012 --

By JIM WALLS Sherry Streicker was told her job at the state ethics commission went away last year because of budget issues, not her performance. But when a new position opened there with nearly identical duties, she says in a new whistleblower suit, she couldn’t even get in the door for an interview. Streicker and […]

Ethics panel: ‘Substantial’ belief that Balfour broke rules

June 1, 2012 --

The Senate Ethics Committee said today there’s “substantial cause” to believe Rules Chairman Don Balfour violated rules for expense reimbursements. The next step: A settlement with Balfour on public meetings that would air the details of the case.

Once again, critic tramples truth to attack Georgia’s “F” on ethics

March 30, 2012 --

If I didn’t know better, I’d be outraged by the allegedly shameful and irresponsible conduct of the Center for Public Integrity, called to our attention Thursday in the AJC. But I do know better, so please allow me to explain how Rick Thompson’s opinion piece ignored CPI’s findings about Georgia’s limp anti-corruption laws while building a straw man that could easily be ripped apart.

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.

Dec. 30

December 30, 2011 --

Lawyers: Brunswick judge Williams presided through fear Grand jury calls for investigation into DeKalb school board Gingrich divorce records pose question for Carroll County court clerk Lobbying: Where right and rules can clash Feds scrutinize Georgia’s early Race to the Top work Outgoing DNR board member criticizes Deal

Dec. 22

December 23, 2011 --

State to cut staff for HIV prevention City of ATL employee claims retaliation after investigation of mayor’s brother Fulton County attorney: Shifting tax funds violated state law Ex-teacher of the year among accused cheaters in Dougherty County schools Special prosecutor may review charges against retiring Brunswick judge AG seeks details on possible Macon meetings violations