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Latest on ethics reform

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Romney stumps with Olens, shoots down another White House bid

3:14 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

Germaine James of Jonesboro worked her way through the crowd at the Varsity on Wednesday and hollered for Mitt Romney’s attention.With Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens at his side, Romney, the two-time Republican presidential hopeful, had just ordered a hot dog with ketchup and mustard, onion rings and a Frosted ...
Georgia considers EPA water proposals as attorney general blasts them

3:25 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens blasted the Obama administration in a letter Thursday to state lawmakers, saying proposed rules about which bodies of water should be covered under the Clean Water Act “would drastically and unlawfully expand federal control over Georgia’s water resources.” Olens added that he will monitor how ...
Georgia official blasts Obama Administration over new water rules
Attorney General Sam Olens speaks at his office in Atlanta on Thursday, September 4, 2014. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

10:47 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens blasted the Obama Administration in a letter Thursday to state lawmakers, saying proposed new rules about which bodies of water federal officials oversee under the Clean Water Act “would drastically and unlawfully expand federal control over Georgia’s water resources.” Olens added that he will monitor ...
AG’s office pays fine in state ethics commission lawsuit
Attorney General Sam Olens’ office on Tuesday paid a $10,000 fine to Fulton County Superior Court. HYOSUB SHIN / HYOSUB.SHIN@AJC.COM

4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Attorney General Sam Olens’ office on Tuesday paid a $10,000 fine to Fulton County Superior Court, just ahead of a judge’s deadline. Judge Ural Glanville on Monday ordered the AG’s office to pay by Tuesday or face a contempt of court charge. Olens’ team had asked the judge to delay ...
AG’s office pays $10,000 fine in ethics commission case
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville ordered the Attorney General’s Office and former ethics commission director Holly LaBerge to each pay $10,000 in fines. KENT D. JOHNSON / KENT.JOHNSON@AJC.COM

3:37 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Attorney General Sam Olens’ office on Tuesday paid a $10,000 fine to Fulton County Superior Court, just ahead of a judge’s deadline. Judge Ural Glanville on Monday ordered the AG’s office to pay by Tuesday or face a contempt of court charge. Olens’ team had asked the judge to delay ...
State sends more than 1,200 ballots overseas

4:41 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

More than 1,200 Georgia voters living in other countries have received ballots for the Nov. 4 general election, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said Monday. Kemp said election officials in all 159 counties met the Sept. 20 deadline to send absentee ballot requests to Georgians living abroad. More than 1,200 ...
Dems slam secretary of state’s inquiry as Kemp says it continues
Linda Ford, the director of the elections division in the Secretary of State’s Office, and Deputy Secretary of State Tim Fleming listen as members of the Legislative Black Caucus question a voter registration investigation Monday at the Capitol. AARON GOULD SHEININ / asheinin@ajc.com

3:27 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

Democratic lawmakers on Monday slammed Secretary of State Brian Kemp for playing “political games” regarding allegations of voter registration fraud. Aides to Kemp, a Republican, told members of the Legislative Black Caucus that their investigation has now confirmed 30 cases of forged voter registration applications out of 72 flagged by ...
Olens rolls out endorsements from sheriffs, prosecutors

2:19 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Attorney General Sam Olens’ campaign said Tuesday that 117 of 159 Georgia sheriffs have endorsed his re-election. Olens, a Republican, said 60 Democratic and 56 Republican sheriffs have signed on to his campaign, including Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson, a Democrat. A day earlier Olens said 31 of Georgia’s 49 ...
Georgia family wonders whether it can wait for medical marijuana

4:10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

The question hovers over Kelli Hopkins every day.It rises with her each morning as she feeds her two remaining sick children their seizure medicine — five pills for Mary Elizabeth, seven for Michala. It follows as she packs them and their wheelchairs into the van for another hospital visit, another ...
Deal drops two who questioned nursing home hike
Gov. Nathan Deal’s office notified William H. Wallace, vice chairman of the Department of Community Health board, that he was not reappointing him to another term. Wallace opposed a $26 million reimbursement increase for nursing home operators, a political lobby that backs Deal and other state legislators.

5:51 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

Two members of Georgia’s Department of Community Health board got a call Thursday afternoon telling them they were being replaced by Gov. Nathan Deal just five hours after a $26 million rate hike for the politically powerful nursing home industry stalled at a board meeting. The governor’s office said Friday ...
Two DCH board members replaced after nursing home hike stalls

12:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

A state Department of Community Health board member who opposed an obscure rate hike for the politically powerful nursing home industry is being replaced by Gov. Nathan Deal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.Another board member who publicly raised questions about the increase is being replaced as well.They were given the ...
Monday ethics hearing canceled; Court of Appeals next step
Former ethics commission director Holly LaBerge will challenge a judge’s sanction to the Court of Appeals. BRANT SANDERLIN / BRANT.SANDERLIN@AJC.COM

10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

A hastily called hearing scheduled for Monday in the ongoing saga surrounding the state ethics commission has been canceled. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville had ordered all parties to court this coming Monday after former ethics commission executive director Holly LaBerge appealed his decision to fine her $10,000. ...
State stalls obscure nursing home rate hike

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014

The head of the state’s community health agency on Thursday pulled from consideration a special reimbursement increase for select nursing homes that would have rewarded some of Georgia’s biggest campaign donors. The move came after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week that the rate increase for select nursing homes — ...
Judge orders new hearing on ethics sanctions
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville sanctioned the former head of the state ethics commission and the Attorney General’s Office last week and fined them $10,000 each. KENT D. JOHNSON / kent.johnson@ajc.com

4:17 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville has ordered a new hearing for Monday after former ethics commission director Holly LaBerge appealed the $10,000 fine the judge levied against her.Glanville last week sanctioned LaBerge and the Attorney General’s Office, which was also fined $10,000, for failing to turn over key ...
Agency stalls obscure nursing home rate hike

11:55 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014

A state agency Thursday stalled an obscure nursing home rate hike that lawmakers pushed through during the 2014 General Assembly session. The decision came a day after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the rate increase for select homes would cost $26 million a year and reward some major political backers ...
Ex-drug investigator among those testifying for medical marijuana use
March 3, 2014 Atlanta: Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) gives the thumbs-up to Janea Cox after his medical marijuana bill Monday afternoon March 3, 2014 in the House. The bill would allow the use of a certain type of oil derived from marijuana for the treatment of seizures such as the ones Cox's daughter Haleig has.

5:40 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014

A state committee heard the passionate pleas from hopeful Georgia constituents who each presented their emotional case for why they should be allowed to use medical marijuana legally. Then came the narc. Sgt. Chris Clark of the Atlanta Police Department spoke straight as he laid out his service record. He ...
Rate hike to benefit nursing home operators
Gov. Nathan Deal, forefront, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, right, have received major financial support from the nursing home industry, which stands to benefit from a proposed reimbursement hike for nursing home operators. The Department of Community Health will consider the $26 million reimbursement increase at its meeting Nov. 11. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Updated: 8:35 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014

Georgia’s politically connected nursing home industry stands to gain an extra $26 million a year in taxpayer funding from an obscure rate change approved by lawmakers, although many of those same lawmakers now say they don’t remember how it got into the state budget. The state Department of Community Health ...
LaBerge to appeal sanctions; attorney general keeping options open
Attorney General Sam Olens has yet to decide whether to appeal the sanctions against his office. FILE PHOTO

5:08 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014

Ousted state ethics commission director Holly LaBerge has appealed a judge’s decision to fine her $10,000.LaBerge’s personal attorney, Lee Parks, filed the notice of appeal with Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville on Monday, hours after the commission voted unanimously to fire her.Meanwhile, Attorney General Sam Olens’ office, which ...
LaBerge to appeal sanctions; attorney general keeping options open
Former state ethics commission director Holly LaBerge has appealed a judge’s decision to fine her $10,000. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

3:56 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014

Ousted state ethics commission director Holly LaBerge has appealed a judge’s decision to fine her $10,000, the AJC has learned.LaBerge’s personal attorney, Lee Parks, filed the notice of appeal with Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville on Monday, hours after the commission voted unanimously to fire her.Meanwhile, Attorney General ...
Ethics commission chief Holly LaBerge fired
Former state ethics commission director Holly LaBerge. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Updated: 3:06 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, 2014

The state ethics commission on Monday voted unanimously to fire its executive director, Holly LaBerge.The move comes less than a week after a Fulton County Superior Court judge said LaBerge had been “dishonest and non-transparent” over the course of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by her predecessor.LaBerge was placed on leave, ...
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