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Once again, critic tramples truth to attack Georgia’s “F” on ethics

March 30, 2012 --

If I didn’t know better, I’d be outraged by the allegedly shameful and irresponsible conduct of the Center for Public Integrity, called to our attention Thursday in the AJC. But I do know better, so please allow me to explain how Rick Thompson’s opinion piece ignored CPI’s findings about Georgia’s limp anti-corruption laws while building a straw man that could easily be ripped apart.

What’s the cost of NOT passing juvenile justice reforms?

March 29, 2012 --

By JIM WALLS Budget concerns stalled juvenile justice reform in Georgia this week, as the Georgia Senate declined to take it up in the waning days of the 2012 legislative session. But what about the costs of not passing juvenile justice reform? The proposed 246-page Child Protection and Public Safety Act would have strengthened programs […]

Did automated audits replace Georgia’s ethics auditors? Nope.

Did automated audits replace Georgia's ethics auditors? Nope.
March 28, 2012 --

Former state ethics official Rick Thompson says Georgia doesn’t need all the auditors and investigators it once had because auditing of politicians’ financial disclosures is now automated. This would seem to refute some of my recent findings about weak ethics enforcement in Georgia.

Except, of course, that it’s not true.

Juvenile code revision dead for 2012

March 27, 2012 --

Juvenile justice reform in Georgia is dead, at least for 2012. Lingering questions about the state’s cost for prosecutors and public defenders in juvenile courts scuttled the bill Monday at the 11th hour.

Ethics complaint lodged against Senate Rules chairman

March 26, 2012 --

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.

Money issues still swirl around proposed juvenile code rewrite

March 26, 2012 --

By JIM WALLS Wildly divergent estimates of the pricetag for Georgia’s proposed juvenile code continue to swirl around the Capitol as lawmakers return for their last three days of 2012. The 246-page bill has cleared the House and is expected to come before the full Senate this week, possibly Tuesday, with only minor changes. Gov. […]