State Sen. Don Balfour violated his oath of office and Georgia law by filing false requests for mileage reimbursements, a complaint filed with the Senate Ethics Committee alleges. Balfour in September requested mileage reimbursements for commuting to the state Capitol on several days when lobbyists said they treated him to a meal or entertainment at out-of-town conferences.
Delta Air Lines posted third-quarter profit of $549 million today, thanks to fare increases and strong corporate travel, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. So why exactly did Delta need a $15 million-a-year exemption from sales taxes on jet fuel? You’ll have to ask the Georgia General Assembly
The head of the Georgia Lottery made about a half-million dollars last year, but you wouldn’t know it if you checked salary data on the state auditor’s website. Open.Georgia.gov shows Margaret DeFrancisco was paid $353,500 in salary in FY2010. What it doesn’t tell you is that the lottery paid her a bonus of $143,276 last year. What’s up with that?
Georgia today agreed to expand community care to keep thousands of people with mental illness out of its substandard, and sometimes deadly, psychiatric hospitals. The agreement settles a 3-year-old lawsuit brought by the Justice Department after my pals Andy Miller (left) and Alan Judd at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution rolled out a shocking series of stories about the state’s failures in mental health care.
A middle Georgia judge belittled and argued with defendants, misstated points of law and improperly ordered jailers not to shorten inmates’ sentences for good behavior, witnesses told a judicial oversight panel in Atlanta today. Twiggs County Probate Judge Kenneth Fowler and his lawyer blamed much of the alleged misconduct on his lack of legal training. “When I first took office, I was just as lost as I could be,” Fowler testified.
Once again, Georgia is about to require that new voters prove their citizenship before casting a ballot. The State Election Board voted 3-1 today to approve a process for citizenship checks, which were mandated by the Georgia Legislature this year. Board member David Worley tried unsuccessfully to amend the new rules, or table them for further refinement, based on objections raised by immigrant and minority groups.
David Doss of Rome, former chairman of the state Transportation Board, got riled up the other day about the state auditor’s findings of financial mismanagement at DOT. So he wrote AtlantaUnfiltered to share a piece of his mind. Auditors said DoT spent billions of dollars that it did not have, which Doss labels “absurd.” And he chided Gov. Sonny Perdue for using the term “Enron accounting” to describe DOT’s cash management procedures. Read his post …
Congressman Sanford Bishop’s campaign spent another $30,000 on legal fees last month, presumably related to a GBI investigation of his stepdaughter’s job with a federally funded program, federal election records show. The campaign account paid Greenberg Traurig $25,000 in March, shortly after the investigation made news.