As we’ve talked about possible ethics reform in Georgia on this blog, some state leaders have suggested the better option is to empower the agency formerly known as the State Ethics Commission with more independence and better funding. While I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive, they do have a point about the need for shoring up the ethics commission (excuse me, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission).
That discussion is about to get much more interesting with a reported lawsuit filed by the commission’s former executive director, Stacey Kalberman, claiming she was wrongfully fired for investigating ethics complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal.
According to legal documents posted at CourthouseNews.com (h/t: Peach Pundit), Kalberman claims that in spring 2011 she was forced into a position to resign by the commission’s chairman at the time, Patrick Millsaps, who had made public statements that she already had resigned. The specific events involve the widely reported dispute between the two about the agency’s budget, which Kalberman claims Millsaps used as pretext for firing her.
Kalberman is suing the ethics commission’s new director, Holly LaBerge (in her official capacity), and Millsaps and is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
More details if/when I can reach Millsaps or Kalberman or their attorneys.
UPDATE: As I was writing this, the AJC’s news side posted a story of their own.
– By Kyle Wingfield