Fired Atlanta arborist Tom Coffin settled his whistleblower suit against City Hall on Tuesday, just before his case was scheduled to go to trial, his lawyers say. Under the deal, the city admits no blame and Coffin gets his pension back and $165,000 in damages and fees, lawyers Gerry Weber and Brian Spears announced today. The City Council still must approve the settlement.
What may be Georgia’s busiest ethics agency is also its smallest. In July, it may get even smaller. With the tiniest of budgets, the Judicial Qualifications Commission makes ends meet by not paying its investigator and lawyers. Now, the Georgia House proposes whacking the JQC’s budget by more than one-third to just $176,000. Legislative leaders say it’s about getting their money’s worth from the commission’s part-time director. And, they say, it’s definitely not about the agency’s charges against a judge from House Speaker David Ralston’s hometown.