The Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke a major story late last night about Gov. Nathan Deal’s influence over an official state ethics investigation.
Current and former ethics commission employees accused Gov. Deal’s hand-picked ethics executive director of ordering documents removed from the governor’s ethics file while an ethics probe was ongoing.
In addition, the executive director met with the governor’s top aides during the investigation.
Ethics staffers told the newspaper that the executive director, Holly LaBerge, “boasted” in the office that “the governor ‘owed’ her for making his legal troubles disappear.”
The newspaper also reveals that a computer specialist was forced out of his job because he refused to remove documents from Deal’s ethics file.
The full AJC report is an incriminating must-read and worth picking up a copy of today’s paper or paying to go past the paywall: Ruling on Deal tainted?
The Sad State of Georgia’s Ethics Commission
We told you earlier this month that the only ethics commission left in Georgia is you -- and maybe your local newspaper.
When Gov. Deal took office he slashed the ethics budget and cut the staff from 26 people to just nine.
Gov. Deal also changed the rules, making it tougher to even file a complaint. In a radical change from previous law, the person who files a complaint is responsible for the governor’s attorney’s fees if the complaint doesn’t rise to the standards of his hand-picked commission.
When the previous ethics director, Stacey Kalberman, and her deputy director attempted to investigate complaints filed against the governor and his campaign, Gov. Deal promptly fired her.
Kalberman’s replacement is now accused of destroying documents and orchestrating a cover-up of the governor’s activities within the ethics office.
Take Action. Demand an outside investigation.
It’s time to clean house in Georgia.
It’s time to demand an independent investigation into the governor’s office and the questionable activity of Gov. Nathan Deal.
Tell Attorney General Sam Olens and your local elected officials to immediately open an investigation into the governor’s actions.
The investigation should include the governor’s influence in removing or destroying documents during an open ethics investigation, the governor’s role in Real PAC and the governor’s role in selling his salvage business and leasing land to a company that owes the state $74 million in back taxes.
Your action now will make a difference.