Georgia SoS Karen Handel is the first top elected Republican to call upon Glenn Richardson to step down as speaker of the State House, telling the Associated Press that Richardson “needs to resign immediately for the good of the state and in the best interests of our citizens.”
Over at the AJC, Jim Galloway has the official press release from Handel:
I consider Glenn Richardson a friend, and clearly, the entire family has been through a great deal in recent weeks and months. His entire family is in my thoughts and prayers.
I am saddened and disappointed that the current situation has reached this point. It is clear that the Speaker should resign immediately for the good of our state and our citizens. Georgia is facing difficult problems that require leadership and focus. In this climate, the people’s business is simply not being done.
Certainly, public officials are entitled to privacy. However, as public officials, we accept a higher level of scrutiny and responsibility and are held to a higher standard — and rightly so. When ethical lapses occur, immediate and decisive action is required. We have a responsibility to show – through words and deeds – that we are upholding the highest ethical standards. We also have a responsibility to hold our selves – and each other – accountable. Failure to do so serves only to undermine the trust the people have placed in their elected officials.
This current situation needs to be dealt with swiftly, so that we can begin the process of restoring confidence among Georgians and return our focus to the critical issues facing our state.