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Judicial oversight panel gets budget restored, loses director

Judicial oversight panel gets budget restored, loses director
May 7, 2010 --

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.

May 7

May 7, 2010 --

Sloppy paperwork, missed deadlines cost DeKalb schools millions Senator helped would-be replacement file before cutoff

Offshore drilling regulators let industry self-police

Offshore drilling regulators let industry self-police
May 7, 2010 --

When regulators at the Minerals Management Service had concerns about the safety equipment for offshore oil rigs, the agency did not impose stronger regulations and instead allowed industry to police itself, according to two pieces in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal today. The agency has been scrutinized for its role in the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly for failing to follow up on concerns it had — several years before the BP incident — about equipment that should have stopped the spill but did not.

May 6

May 6, 2010 --

Cost overruns, possible fraud at state-owned mountain resort Audit: UGA, other universities misusing student fees Report: DeKalb teachers ignored on-campus fight Barnes releases 25 years of tax returns; former gov worth $16.6M Traffic lights fail timing test at red light camera intersections Trans World Assurance booted from Ga. At talk of audit, Clarke County DA […]

Disorganization at banks causing mistaken foreclosures

Disorganization at banks causing mistaken foreclosures
May 6, 2010 --

Millions of people face losing their homes in the continuing foreclosure crisis, but homeowners often have more than the struggling economy and slumping house prices to worry about: Disorganization within the big banks that service mortgages has made a bad problem worse. Sometimes the communication breakdown within the banks is so complete that it leads to premature or mistaken foreclosures.

May 5

May 5, 2010 --

Creative Loafing’s 2010 Golden Sleaze Awards Judge’s alleged relationship with public defender prompts conflict questions ATL firefighters accused of cheating Planned coal ash rules could affect Plant Scherer WellPoint being investigated by state

N. Ga. judge faces public reprimand for cussing out cops

May 5, 2010 --

A North Georgia judge faces a public reprimand next week, apparently for verbally abusing and threatening several GBI agents. Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham faces the music at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Chattooga County Courthouse, the Judicial Qualifications Commission announced today. She presides in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, where the slogan is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”

Oil companies pay a pittance in penalties to offshore drilling regulators

Oil companies pay a pittance in penalties to offshore drilling regulators
May 5, 2010 --

The fines that oil companies have paid for offshore drilling safety violations are dwarfed by their profits. Fines against BP have been the equivalent of a rounding error. From 1998 through 2007, BP paid less than $580,000 in penalties for its 12 safety violations. Last quarter, the British oil giant turned a profit of $5.6 billion.

Departing lawmakers have $1.3M in campaign cash to burn

May 5, 2010 --

Thanks to House Speaker David Ralston, departing Georgia lawmakers have $1.3 million in campaign cash to distribute as they see fit this year — to political parties, PACs and other candidates. House Bill 920, if it had passed, would have required that those lawmakers pass the money on to charity, or return it to the original donors. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill last week to allow citizens to donate money to the state treasury. Wonder how many of them will follow through on that?

May 4

May 4, 2010 --

12 ATL schools are ‘highest priority’ in cheating investigation McBerry denies having sex with that high school girl A peek inside Ga.’s legislative fund-raising game Metro ATL public officials take lavish trip to Phoenix Ex-legislator hopes to prove selective prosecution Controversial Senate chairman retiring High court rejects public defender complaint Group blasts school districts for […]

Fulton judge to sheriff: Reopen closed courthouse doors now

Fulton judge to sheriff: Reopen closed courthouse doors now
May 4, 2010 --

Sheriff Ted Jackson must re-open two entrances to the Fulton County Courthouse this month to alleviate tediously long lines for potential jurors and other members of the public, a judge has ordered. If he doesn’t, Superior Court Judge Doris L. Downs has set a May 28 hearing for Jackson to explain himself.

Tinubu, Dutton qualify unopposed for open House seats

Tinubu, Dutton qualify unopposed for open House seats
May 4, 2010 --

Two candidates — Gloria Bromell-Tinubu of Atlanta and Delvis Dutton of Glennville — qualified for open seats in the Georgia Legislature last week with no Democratic or Republican opposition. If their races don’t draw a write-in or independent candidate, they’re in.