May 18, 2016 — House Banking chair Greg Morris has tentatively agreed to settle federal charges that he and other executives of a south Georgia bank allowed a flim-flam man to run it into the ground, court papers show.
News of the potential settlement comes in the midst of a tough re-election fight for Morris, whose opponent came within 71 votes of unseating him in 2014.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s 2015 complaint alleges that lax oversight by Morris and others allowed investor Aubrey Lee Price to swindle the defunct Montgomery Bank & Trust of $14.7 million. Papers filed Tuesday in federal court state Morris and other board members have “agreed to the form” of a written settlement with the FDIC. The deal could be sealed by June 3.
Legislative leaders are in discussions to hire a prominent lobbying firm to help redraw district lines for the Georgia House and Senate this year. Under the proposal, Troutman Sanders Strategies would work on reapportionment maps for the Legislature and the state’s delegation to Congress. The firm recently hired former House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, and chairman Pete Robinson serves on Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team.
Gov.-elect Nathan Deal put his name on three earmarks in his last year in Congress, funneling $2.1 million in federal money to three Georgia recipients. All three are represented by lobbyists Rob Leebern and/or Joe Tanner, who are now serving on his newly-appointed transition team. Those clients are among more than 130 represented by lobbyists serving on Deal’s transition and inaugural efforts. Health-care and financial-services interests dominate those client lists.