Georgians can no longer fall back on “Thank god for Alabama!” We trail the pack in a 50-state survey of government accountability laws and practices. Detractors, predictably, complain that bottom-of-the-barrel ranking is unfair and accuse me — the project’s Georgia reporter — of bias. As Sophocles observed 2,450 years ago, “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.”
Gubernatorial candidate Eric Johnson neglected to report $289,000 in state payments to his architectural firm from 1999 to 2002, the Associated Press reports. But Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond can go him one better: He hasn’t disclosed anything whatsoever since 2007. (UPDATE: On May 27, Thurmond filed the disclosures that were due in 2008 or 2009. A spokesman described the omission as “a simple oversight” and then called me an idiot.)
A 27-year employee at the Georgia Department of Defense used state time and resources to run a side business that grossed nearly $400,000 in less than nine months, Inspector General Elizabeth Archer said today. Until he was fired in January, Thomas Quarterman earned about $55,000 a year working for the Georgia Army Guard.