Before he heads for the exits, Sonny Perdue finds spots for more aides

Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report continues to look into where Sonny Perdue is placing his top aides, as the governor prepares to make his exit:

The latest twist involves the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), a state agency that disburses federal grants to local police departments and coordinates programs involving local and state government agencies.

In 2005, Perdue appointed Molly Perry, who had been working with the Council for Superior Court Judges, as executive director of the CJCC. In his announcement of her appointment, Perdue said, “Molly Perry has always approached issues in a professional, balanced way and I have valued her advice over the years in her position with the Council for Superior Court Judges. I am confident that she will continue her commitment to public safety in her new role as executive director of the CJCC.”

Evidently, that “confidence” is now gone. Perry is being pushed out of her state job and Kenley Finlayson, who had been a division director with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, took over as the new CJCC director this week.

We asked the governor’s office why Perry, who Perdue had praised so highly when he appointed her to the CJCC job, was now being replaced.

“Molly Perry has been a passionate, dedicated head of the CJCC,” said Perdue’s communications director, Bert Brantley. “Kenley’s experience dealing with the different public safety agency budgets makes him a perfect fit for that position.”

Finlayson was paid $109,798 in his job at the Office of Planning and Budget. The salary for his new position is about $10,000 higher, according to state records.

Finlayson’s departure from OPB opened up a position at the budget agency. That enabled the shift of Misty Giles, who had been the public safety policy adviser to Perdue, to a job at OPB. Giles was paid $41,200 in fiscal year 2009 for her position on the governor’s staff.

“She is going to work in the public safety budgeting division, which makes sense because of her history of dealing exclusively with public safety policy issues,” Brantley said.

Another Perdue aide who has been “outsourced” to a state government job is Padgett “Pat” Wilson, a former Jack Abramoff associate who was hired as a government relations director and federal lobbyist by Perdue in 2005.

Wilson was named deputy commissioner for global commerce at the state Department of Economic Development last month. That job had been held by another former Perdue aide, Heidi Green, who is now the department’s commissioner.

Wilson’s salary in fiscal year 2009 was $93,730. Green, the person he replaces in his new job, was paid $123,600 in fiscal year 2009 (the commissioner’s job she was promoted to carries a salary of $140,000).

Bert Brantley, spokesman for the governor, adds this about the aides being moved:

In many cases, they are being paid a lower salary than the person that vacated the position.

So, between the lowered salary and not replacing them in the Governor’s Office, the net result is a significant cost savings for the state.

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52 comments Add your comment

Remember the Hypocrisy

September 2nd, 2010
2:44 pm

This is the same classy guy who campaigned by depicting his opponent as giant, marauding vermin.

The Centrist

September 2nd, 2010
2:58 pm

I wonder if any of these jobs were posted in accordance with State guidelines?

That's Why State Employees are Furloughed

September 2nd, 2010
3:11 pm

Haven’t had a raise in how long? Don’t have any money in the budget, but do have plenty of money for the good ole boys in the political circle. Nice job. When is the Governor’s election again? I will be the first in line.


September 2nd, 2010
3:23 pm

Gosh, us taxpayers have had. We need to take back our government. If only we could form a huge grassroots movement. A movement that would put an end to these kinds of shenanigans. A movement that represented the intent of our forefathers. Remember the Boston Tea Party? Thats just what is needed now. A rebellion. We could call it the Tea Party. It would be non-partisan.

Oh heck who am I fooling. Please remember to vote this November for Nathan Deal. A corrupt, career politician who will ignore ethics and continue right where Sonny left off. $$$$$

We The People! LMAO!

Road Scholar

September 2nd, 2010
3:26 pm

Remember, Sonny is a Republican!


September 2nd, 2010
3:47 pm

Road Scholar: Republican, democrat… it doesn’t matter, they are all awful!

interested observer

September 2nd, 2010
3:49 pm

I’m waiting to see where the governor’s mouthpiece, Bert Brantley will wind up. Not making less money, I’ll wager.

WE have lost our way

September 2nd, 2010
4:08 pm

Here is the Deal( funny stuff) If the Repub (Deal) is elected most of these appointments are safe.However if Barnes is elected,all of Sonny’s appointments will be gone and most Commissioners and high paying(100,000.00+) state jobs will be reviewed and new personnel will be selected.By the way state government jobs have no rights.They can be replaced at any time by any person.There is no Merit system in state government. It was abolished several years ago by the legislature so they can get jobs for their friends,family, contributors to their campaign and any pay back needed. Ethics laws in this state are very weak,regardless what the Speaker of the House says.

Conservative liberal

September 2nd, 2010
4:21 pm

Perdue has pushed out all kinds of state employees to make room for his “young” supporters. The average age for Perdue aides and appointments is about 30. Just as Molly Perry got hounded out of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and was replaced by a youngster, so did Pete Colbenson. Dr. Colbenson was the Executive Director of the Children and Youth Coordinating Council and was two years from full retirement, when Perdue bumped him out and gave the job to a 26 year old UGA grad.

Makes you wonder if this is why state government is going to the dogs. All the experienced (read that older) employees are being pushed out to make room for younger (and cheaper) folks.



September 2nd, 2010
4:25 pm

I wonder who he’ll appoint for the DeKalb DA’s office now that Gwen Keyes is leaving? Some pimply young intern, no doubt.


September 2nd, 2010
4:34 pm

I may not be the brightest bulb, but each of these positions you have highlighted are an INCREASE in salary. Is Bert (where will HE go) Brantley crazy or me?

DeKalb Corruption

September 2nd, 2010
4:35 pm

BTW- that DeKalb DA, Gwen Keyes, was just appointed as the new regional administer for the EPA’s region covering the entire southeast. She has no environmental law experience whatsover, but she’s in charge of protecting the entire southeast? Do you think maybe she had one certain qualification that was all that mattered? How about color?

Dirty Dawg

September 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

Unless Goober Perdue has manipulated these jobs into a state version of ‘civil service’ that requires ‘building a case of incompetence, malfeasance or sodomy or something’ before you can get fired, a new Governor – that is if it’s Roy Barnes – can replace them pretty easily. Shoot, just the fact that they were involved in the Goober’s administration should be evidence of incompetence and malfeasance – don’t know about the other stuff.

Interesting to me that just when we’re, finally, about to be rid of the Bum from Bonnair, the media starts to expose just how sorry this fat fool has been…just ask anybody that has witnessed his boorish behavior in public…including that ‘trade mission’ to Ireland a while back…even other Republicans were embarrassed by it – and that from people that we had assumed couldn’t be embarrassed.


September 2nd, 2010
4:40 pm

The irony is profound. Konservative Republicans slopping at the public trough and at six figures no less! 26 year olds ‘earning’ that much for their deep insight in the State’s problems? Hardly.

And eight years ago, Perdue depicted Barnes as a rat! My goodness! The Dems are hypocrites but the Republicans are past masters at the craft.


September 2nd, 2010
4:41 pm

For Dekalb Corruption: I suspect it has more to do with her early support for the President and the influence of an old employee of hers that now works for the EPA, as opposed to her race. There are lots of black folks out there (including myself) that haven’t been fielding calls from D.C. And for that matter, do you know or care about the race of all these Perdue appointees?

WE have lost our way

September 2nd, 2010
4:44 pm

There is no job in state government that should be paid over 100,000.00. I have seen to many over the years that could be replaced with less salary and not have an affect on operations.Most of these type positions are political. I believe the average state employee salary state wide is 26,000.00 per year. Some positions do not pay this much.


September 2nd, 2010
5:12 pm

He should just them all home with him as slaves.


September 2nd, 2010
5:17 pm

The fact that many of these government jobs have benefits, pensions and time off PLUS a base salary in excess of $100,000 is a joke. Most of these people would be average, at best, in the private sector. Sonny is putting his friends above the interest of the state. I voted for the guy, and I certainly don’t think Barnes would do any better (he actually did many more unethical things), but whether you are a R or a D, it doesn’t matter. Corruption is corruption. And slipping in your buddies in to cush state jobs at a time when we are cutting education and every other area – plus our Socialist Prez has unemployment at 10% – is a scam. Sonny, you suck.


September 2nd, 2010
5:20 pm

We have one crook in the Governor’s office (Perdue), and we’re about to swap him for another crook (Deal). Just goes to show the ignorance of the electorate. This is one Handel supporter who will hold my nose and vote for Barnes. At least he’s not being investigated by a Federal Grand Jury and a Federal Prosecutor. Deal could actually be indicted and conceivably go to prison, yet people are actually planning to vote for him!!


September 2nd, 2010
5:20 pm

@ We have lost our way – Don’t fool yourself. Barnes would can most of Sonny’s appointments and then replace them with his own group of suck-ups. Candidly, Sonny’s appointments are probably more talented than Barne’s boys, but that isn’t saying much. Corruption knows no political party. They all suck. I cannot wait until November.

Double Zero Eight

September 2nd, 2010
5:22 pm

Richardson talked the talk but failed to deliver. Ralston talked the talk but failed to deliver. These two speakers of the house could care less about ethics. Sonny became a multi- millionaire while he was in office.

Most people would be hard pressed to name one accomplishment for Sonny while he was in office. Don’t forget about the appointment of his cousin to an important and high level position last month. I thought
Sonny was suppose “to clean things up” in Georgia politics in his second term. It looks like “he cleaned up” instead as the saying goes.

markie mark

September 2nd, 2010
5:23 pm

AnnaGrace, I don’t think the governor makes county appointments…..

markie mark

September 2nd, 2010
5:25 pm

hey Lucy….before you go too far….Being investigated in the Senate or the House is about as common as taking a bath. Remember Stevens who looked guilty as hell ( the Alaska Senator that just died in the plane crash?) he was totally exonerated. If they are guilty, then hang em. But to decide they are guilty because they are being investigated? You need to pay more attention to the endgames…..

WE have lost our way

September 2nd, 2010
5:26 pm

Lived in Georgia all of my life. I have finally seen our state look like Louisiana politics .We are going backwards in time. The ole Huey Long era.Or should I say the Ole Sonny era

markie mark

September 2nd, 2010
5:26 pm

that being said, don’t get me wrong….these appointments suck….

Road Scholar

September 2nd, 2010
5:39 pm

Dekalb Corruption: How about competency? She had done a very good job in her jobs with Dekalb County.

Question: If everyone out there is incompetent, then aren’t you? It seems the latest whine from the right is that everyone who disagrees with them is incompetent. Or that they made their way up the career ladder because of their color, religion, affiliations, etc. Can’t someone succeed because they are competent leaders, managers, and problem solvers, knowing when and who to listen to for advise?

Road Scholar

September 2nd, 2010
5:44 pm

At a minimum, Sonny has increased their retirement pay (based on your highest two years of pay); I bet they have beaucoup leave (annual and sick), and comp time to lock these wages in as their highest! That’s even if Barnes wins/fires them!

By the way Brantley came from GDOT before he worked for the Gov.


September 2nd, 2010
6:12 pm

This happens every time a governor is going out of office, and not just in Georgia. The people who got their jobs through no merit of their own, just their relationship with the governor, run for a secure spot to continue to feed at the public trough after their mentor is gone. Otherwise, they might actually have to get a job via their education and experience. God forbid that.


September 2nd, 2010
6:14 pm

Someone shoud investigate/review all of the funds that have been allocated to the Ag-Center in Perry, Ga. Construction has been going on for at least 12-18 months even though State agencies have been instructed to reduce their budgets. State employees have sacrificed through furloughs and lay offs yet Sonny’s home town contiues to receive the benefit.


September 2nd, 2010
6:26 pm

Georgia State Gas Tax and Income Tax Refund

My fellow Georgians (USA).
We’re in dire straits with our budget and we need to take some strong medicine ASAP.
…With the plan I detail here we can turn some of our problems into assets, monetary assets.
…Georgia is the gateway to Florida for the whole country and the gateway to the whole country for Floridians. We are the elbow for most east-west traffic in the country. I bet we’re the highest traffic-through-state in the nation.
…For too long we have been a doormat as out of state travelers and material transporters pound our infrastructure and crowd our roads. We need to turn this problem into a solution.
…I propose that Georgia implement a state-wide 10 cent per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. Simultaneously, we should lower or eliminate our state income tax to offset the burden to Georgia residents.
…The ten cent per gallon net revenue from out of state through-traffic should be enough to largely solve our budget shortfall.
…We deserve this contribution from the out of state patrons who frequent our transportation system.
…Please forward this link to your state representative and to the governor.
Chip Shirley

I also think we lost our way

September 2nd, 2010
6:45 pm

We shouldn’t be allowing Governor appointees six-figure salaries while we are in a recession and our state government has furloughs/staff reductions/budget reductions. The governor’s pay should be based on the state’s economy. If we are losing money as a state, the governor doesn’t get any. His appointees should be paid a market rate that is equivalent to what they are qualified for — not trumped up because they know the governor or he convinced himself they are qualified for that salary.

If there were a governor candidate that will say he will slash his own salary, he would get elected. Barnes or Deal aren’t gutsy enough to do that. Deal acts like it’s the fault of foreigners and Obama and paints Barnes as being in ‘league with Obama” and Barnes acts like Deal is the ’same ol’ same ol’ and ‘unethical’ (even though Barnes shouldn’t talk).

I don’t know enough about John Monds, but anyone but a D or a R at this point….


September 2nd, 2010
7:22 pm

Markie Mark: yes, anytime a district attorney leaves a post mid-term, the governor will appoint a successor for 6 months until a special election can be held (or under certain conditions, there will be an election on the next scheduled election day). Same with a county judge (Perdue just appointed a few in cobb county). So unless the DA office will be on the November ballot – and I think it is too close for that to be done – Perdue will appoint someone until a special election can be held in probably March.

In the Know

September 2nd, 2010
7:23 pm

Please don’t paint Ms. Perry as the victim here! She was about to be fired from the Superior Court Judges and only got the appointment by the Governor for telling all she knew about Judicial Branch. She had been at CJCC for 5+ years and did not accomplish one thing during her entire tenure, except increase the administrative fee charged to the victim’s compensation fund so that she could move into very expensive office space int he State Bar of Georgia Building. The taxpayer’s can only hope this drain on funds is gone for good. If she pops back up on a government payroll somebody needs to investigate. Mr. Finlayson is far more qualified for the job.


September 2nd, 2010
7:24 pm

Hey “interested observer:” Go on Georgia’s website and look at the salaries of people in the Ga. Dept. of Labor. A lot of them have been upped to $120,000 and they don’t do much. That Commissioner is taking care of his people better than the Gov. Hopefully, Brantley will move to private industry; make much more money and not be bothered by the likes of you. “Catlady” needs to get “just the facts, Ma’am.” I am neither Rep. or Dem. However, I am amused that the Democrats have done this for years and nothing was said. A Democrat politician told me that it was “professional courtesy.” What???????


September 2nd, 2010
7:38 pm

I would pay good money for the opportunity to heckle bert brantley as he stood in an unemployment line. But his good ole daddy, sonny-boy, won’t let that happen. He’ll skate off with a cush job making an obscene amount of money.


September 2nd, 2010
7:47 pm

I hope no one forgets. Deal is a crook and Barnes is a lying POS. So, for the next 4 years it ain’t agonna git no bettah. Not with these idiots.


September 2nd, 2010
8:02 pm

I thought Perdue (the “free market guy”) was one of those GA Republican ideologues who have made it their goal to downsize government out of existence and/or hand over government functions to their cronies (”privatization”) under lucrative state contracts paid for by the taxpayers. Now he’s planting his folks in high paid jobs throughout state government. Hypocrisy thy name is Republican.


September 2nd, 2010
8:34 pm

wonder what the iq of conservatives on this blog is; probably not much higher than the high temperature for today


September 2nd, 2010
8:40 pm


September 2nd, 2010
9:11 pm

Most parasites do burrow in like ticks, blood suckers.


September 2nd, 2010
9:37 pm

markie mark,
Deal is NOT being investigated by the House or Senate. That’s why he left office…so he would not be investigated by them. He IS, however, being investigated by the Federal Prosecutor and Federal Grand Jury, which is entirely different. Get your facts straight!!


September 2nd, 2010
10:37 pm

It does not matter whether our next Governor is Deal or Barnes….all of these Sonny kids will be gone. I hope they enjoy their new salaries for the five month period leading to unemployment. As for these individuals…..Kenley Finlayson is a short-tempered idiot. Misty Giles knows nothing about public safety. Heidi Green simply hitched her wagon to Perdue. Last week, we saw Erin Hames jump to the Department of Education though she knows nothing about education. The budget office seems to be loaded with Sonny’s kids and others who cannot balance a budget. Yeah, these people deserve to be and will be unemployed in the near future. Ain’t politics grand?


September 2nd, 2010
11:17 pm

We deserve this. Perdue is a crook and we have lined up Barnes or Deal, two more crooks, to replace him? We get what we deserve.

ga female

September 2nd, 2010
11:31 pm

Sonny’s crew are the ones who have led this State off a cliff over the the past 7 years. They are too stupid to raise the gas or cigarette tax. They want to be Faux Christians so they can say no to liquor sales on Sunday and gambling both items that would raise revenue. The idiots could not even vote on a roads program, they starved their own road builder buddies out.

Dumb and Dumber was that not already a movie.


September 3rd, 2010
7:56 am

Here we go with revisionist history majors…. Think of how many millions on tax dollars were spent defending the undefendable maps used to screw Georgians out of honest representation…the most partisan maps ever seen…King Roy Barnes and his henchmen were responsible for these maps and squandered millions. Making millionnaires out of land speculators by cutting roads through big contributors’ properties…King Roy Barnes and his cronies were totally guilty of this.. Do we really need to continue?.. There is more…


September 3rd, 2010
8:57 am

It’s always interesting to read bloggers’ description of how state government in Georgia works. Most of them don’t have a clue about what some of these “high paying” jobs require. I spent over 30 years in law enforcement in state government in Georgia and never worked less than a 55 to 65 hour work week, often times on weekends, and sometimes more than 65 hours. (I never got paid overtime either.) And interestingly, some of the biggest failures I saw were from folks who had had long careers in the “private sector” but who couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Many of them spent much of their time telling fwellow employees how things were done in the private sector. A frequent response to them was often, “If things are so great there, what are you doing here?”

Most of you who are critical of state employees or what they have to do each day to deliver the services they’re hired to provide couldn’t survive 1 year in an environment where you work long hours for relatively little pay, have budgets cut to the bone, and have to listen to these little whiney folk who call up and think they have the right to treat you like you’re their yard hand. I and the people who worked for me were always expected to treat evey member of the public with courtesy and respect — something we more often than not didn’t receive in return. State employees are taxpayers, too, and ought not be treated like they’re doing something illegal.

Grow up, people. Every Governor in every state in this union (like any “private sector” CEO) has the right and obligation to bring in people he/she can trust. And as one blogger correctly noted, state employees in Georgia are “employees at will,” which means they can be fired for NO REASON, as long as the reason is not illegal. That’s been the law in Georgia since the 1990s when Zell Miller was Governor.

Whoever is elected the next Governor will have the opportunity to honor or not honor $onny Perdue’s personnel changes. Hopefully, the next Governor will do what $onny did when he became Governor: every agency-head was “ordered” to submit their letters of “resignation,” and Perdue and his people decided which of them stayed and which “resignation” was “accepted.” That’s what $onny’s Chief Operating Officer, Jim Lientz, did when he first came on board. He helped decide who stayed and who wentfrom the Barnes administration. So, these folks who $onny has moved around won’t be able to run and hide. If the next Governor doesn’t want them, they’re gone. If the next Governor brings in a new agency head to replace those whose “resignations” have been “accepted,” that new agency head will be able to decide if any of $onny’s folks get to stay or are told to hit the road. His people will be treated like they treated others.

That’s politics!


September 3rd, 2010
9:02 am

Alex and ga female, you must work in state government, you are both right on target with your synopsis of the situation.

just hanging out

September 3rd, 2010
9:49 am

@ Alex- get your facts before you speak. Erin is a former teacher and has been the Governor’s policy advisor on education. She went to law school specifically to make changes to the education world she left.


September 3rd, 2010
12:40 pm

MikeyD: What’s your phone #. We will give you a call.


September 3rd, 2010
2:17 pm

To just hanging out…..what is your point? Erin Hames is qualified to be in a high position at DOE? If she was worth a damn as a lawyer, she would practice law. If she was worth a damn as a teacher, she would be a teacher. But no, she is just a political hack – probably part of the reason this state has education problems!