Some of the nation’s top medical schools cracked down on professors who give paid promotional talks for drugmakers last year, and the firms themselves cut back on such spending in the wake of mounting scrutiny. ProPublica first published its Dollars for Docs database in October 2010 listing payments to doctors from seven drug companies. When we updated it this September — with data from five additional companies — spending by some of the firms was down.
House Speaker David Ralston, for the first time in five years, has disclosed his wife’s ownership of an undeveloped 10-acre tract in Dawson County. The speaker, who last week added the property to his financial disclosures, said he’d simply forgotten. What he still hasn’t reported is the more than $1 million he’s borrowed, using collateral that’s valued at less than half that much.
ATL school board castigated, accepts probation DOT Board hopeful denies ‘conflict of interest’ House Ethics chairman’s claim leaves out key detail
The Georgia Supreme Court today ordered a 3-year suspension for an attorney who refused to stop appealing a client’s conviction and his own disciplinary action. The court’s order lays out a 10-year chain of court battles over a client’s $400 fine and 3-day jail sentence. The court found Arthur F. Millard’s actions showed “a basic disrespect of the attorney-client relationship and … needlessly subjected his client to liability, after she made clear that she no longer desired his services.”
What’s the difference between an apparent conflict of interest and the real deal? In the world of government ethics, it’s all about the language crafted by the lawyers and the wiggle room they’ve left for other lawyers to argue about. Ethics codes in Georgia vary from one jurisdiction to another. Many prohibit a public officer from trading on his or her position for personal benefit but, as they say, the devil’s in the details.
A powerful Cobb County legislator collected $40,000 last year to do research to help an advocacy group decide the best way to ask the Legislature for money. Rep. Earl Ehrhart and his client, Friends of Arts & Culture, say he did not help to write a bill that would have allowed local votes on arts funding, nor did he help move it through the Legislature. “I never consult on any type of legislation that’s going on here,” he said. Ehrhart did not disclose his client or his fee, which state law does not require. Nor did he disclose the name of his consulting business, which the law does require. This is what passes for transparency in the Georgia Legislature. UPDATE: An ethics complaint regarding this transaction was filed this week with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.
The founder of the PATH Foundation may continue to serve on the board of the DeKalb County Development Authority, the county’s Board of Ethics ruled tonight. DeKalb has paid PATH $8 million since 2004 to manage construction of biking and hiking trails in the county. Neighborhood activists complained that PATH’s executive director, Ed McBrayer, had a conflict of interest because he also serves on the authority’s board.
A top DeKalb economic development official has a conflict of interest because he also heads a group that’s received $8 million in county payments, the DeKalb ethics board was told Wednesday night. McBrayer “is very clearly receiving a benefit from the PATH Foundation,” which has collected $8 million from DeKalb since 2004, said Brian Daughdrill, lawyer for a neighborhood group that lodged a complaint. But McBrayer’s lawyer, Elizabeth Branch, said those restrictions apply only to for-profit businesses, not non-profits: “Being a non-profit makes all the difference in the world.”
DeKalb schools chief: Conflict of interest is ‘more widespread’ APS probe: No evidence of district-wide cheating Feds fine Athens rubber plant $125K for safety violations Child sex crime prompts 11th Circuit reversal
Food stamp bill raises conflict-of-interest questions Lawsuit alleges Delta, AirTran collusion on fees Dawson County suspends ex-Lakeside principal without pay Agreement signed over Dougherty superintendent lawsuit
$569,000 may have been ‘diverted’ from SCLC funds AAUP: Clark Atlanta violated tenured faculty’s rights Water Authority spent millions with same firm, mostly without bids Barnes blasts use of sports tickets as lobbying tool Hall County DFACS says staffing is not an issue Contribution to Warner Robins candidate illegal, official says Teilhet files bill to […]
No vote has been taken, but MARTA appears close to signing off on state Sen. Doug Stoner‘s job with a key contractor, the engineering firm of PBS&J. Several MARTA officials say there’s no conflict, because PBS&J got the contract before it hired Stoner, who serves on the Legislature’s MARTA Oversight Committee.