Fox5: Ethics lawyer sees politics in Handel probe
Over at Fox 5, Dale Russell reported Wednesday night on an allegation that politics is behind a push to reopen an ethics investigation of U.S. Senate candidate Karen Handel. The state ethics commission settled three complaints against Handel in April with dismissals and her payment of a $75 late filing fee. Now, Russell reports, ethics director Holly LaBerge wants the commission to reopen the cases based on newly discovered information. The commission’s attorney, Elisabeth Murray-Obertein, says the move is “absolutely” political and that LaBerge “keeps beating [the case] with a dead horse.” Now there’s an image to contemplate.
Handel, of course, lost a bitter, razor-thin 2010 primary runoff for governor to Nathan Deal, whose office later recruited LaBerge for the ethics job. A fired commission staffer has testified that LaBerge boasted of having a close relationship with Deal and that the governor “owed her” after she resolved ethics complaints against him with a relatively mild penalty. LaBerge declined to comment.
Fox 5’s report was vague as to the new information on Handel and just why Murray-Obertein thinks LaBerge’s interest in the case is political, other than the dead horse thing.