A whistleblower who accused state ethics lawyers of misconduct was herself fired over allegations of fraud and dishonesty. Jennifer L. Ward, budget and HR administrator for the State Ethics Commission, was dismissed in November for allegedly failing to drop an ex-employee from the payroll and stating that she fabricated salary figures to help her old boss get a pay raise. Ward denies wrongdoing and claims her new boss canned her for complaining to others about his private law practice.
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.
What may be Georgia’s busiest ethics agency is also its smallest. In July, it may get even smaller. With the tiniest of budgets, the Judicial Qualifications Commission makes ends meet by not paying its investigator and lawyers. Now, the Georgia House proposes whacking the JQC’s budget by more than one-third to just $176,000. Legislative leaders say it’s about getting their money’s worth from the commission’s part-time director. And, they say, it’s definitely not about the agency’s charges against a judge from House Speaker David Ralston’s hometown.
Two years ago, a Fulton County sheriff’s lieutenant almost lost his job for pocketing a civilian’s knife, then lying about it. Department rules say dismissal is the minimum penalty for lying, but Sheriff Myron Freeman let Lt. Earl Glenn stay with a 30-day unpaid suspension. Today, Glenn admitted that he repeatedly struck a jail inmate last year and lied when the FBI asked about it. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.
Sheriff’s deputy Mitnee Jones, charged with covering up a fatal beating at the Fulton County Jail, could be fired if she’s found guilty. The question is: Will the third time be the charm? The sheriff’s office fired Jones, 46, in 2003 and again in 2004. Each time, she got her job back. Those dismissals followed […]