The lone Democrat on Georgia’s ethics panel was kept in the dark as two Republican commissioners consulted with Nathan Deal’s office to replace the agency’s director in the midst of investigating the governor, according to new legal documents reviewed Friday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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How we got the story
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been following the state’s ethics commission since before the departure of chief Stacey Kalberman. Today’s story, using new documents, reports that the lone Democrat on the commission was not aware that two Republicans on the panel were in contact with Kalberman’s successor, Holly LaBerge, a month before Kalberman learned her salary was to be cut nearly 30 percent. At the time, Kalberman was pursuing subpoenas in an investigation probing the conduct of Nathan Deal during his gubernatorial campaign.
The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission was once known as the state ethics commission. “Ethics” disappeared from its name, and ethics is not really the mission of the agency.