The other shoe dropped Tuesday at the State Ethics Commission, as the agency’s lone remaining full-time attorney resigned. Tom Plank, a lawyer there since 2007 and the agency’s top administrator earlier this year, quit to take another job. Colleagues said Plank dropped off his resignation letter and left without saying what that job would be.
Two attorneys for the State Ethics Commission improperly used public resources to operate their private law practice, Inspector General Elizabeth Archer has found. Attorneys Yasha Heidari, who resigned in April, and Tom Plank used state-issued computers to research clients’ cases and abused sick leave, she said, and they created a potential conflict by representing a business operated by a man who offers his services as a lobbyist, a profession regulated by the ethics commission. UPDATE: The Ethics Commission said today it will implement the inspector general’s recommended remedies immediately and will “take appropriate action” after reviewing the findings regarding Plank.
Three lawyers — including one who used to prosecute other lawyers for ethics breaches — are finalists for the top job at the State Ethics Commission. They are Gene Chapman, 52, former discipline counsel for the State Bar of Georgia; Bryce Farbstein, 37, who manages the Judicial Election Reform Campaign for Common Cause of Georgia; and Stacey Kalberman, a specialist in insurance regulatory law.