The Next Fox 5 Target

That would be Eric Johnson. I’ve confirmed that Fox 5 is going to review the handling of the ethics investigation into Glenn Richardson and allege that Eric Johnson has some responsibility in letting it go on.

26 comments

  1. Sandy Brothers says:

    I am glad that Richardson is apparently going. I do think the powers that be probably helped sweep the ethics investigation under the rug and Johnson and Cagle probably had a significant role in that process. Time will tell whether that hurts his campaign for governor or not.

    But the real ticking time bomb is in the Senate, where another shoe may drop. Apparently the shoe strings have not been tied very well up to now!

  2. fishtail says:

    Fox 5 should go after Eric Johnson. The committee had no rules, conducted no interviews, did no investigation. Just threw the thing out. Eric said he considered Glenn Richardson his friend. And he took care of him. Of course, Eric had some help – Rep. Lynn Smith and a Democrat, Sen. George Hooks. But Eric was Chairman of the committee, ridiculed the complaint, and covered up for Glenn. Now he is running for Governor. He needs to explain himself.

    I also see where Fox 5 is having trouble getting in touch with AGL, which needs to be held accountable for what they did in trying to get the ratepayers to fund a $300 million pipeline. Maybe the PSC can look into what all of the AGL lobbyists, including chief lobbyist Lindsay Thomas, did at the time. PSC member Chuck Eaton often comments on this site. Chuck, what say you?

    • Scottf says:

      “Maybe the PSC can look into what all of the AGL lobbyists, including chief lobbyist Lindsay Thomas, did at the time.” Sounds good until you know who the lobbyist in question worked for before she worked for AGL.

  3. Georgia Politico says:

    To piggy-back a bit off of what “fishtail” posted above, below are some facts as it pertains to the involvement of former state Senator Eric Johnson (R – Savannah) and the ethics complaint filed against House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R – Hiram).

    In January of 2007, Bobby Kahn filed an ethics complaint with the ten-member Joint Legislative Ethics Committee alleging that “Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson abused his office by entering into an inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist and acting on behalf of that lobbyist’s employer.” [<a href="http://alt.cimedia.com/ajc/complaint.pdf"SOURCE%5D

    Less than a week after the complaint was filed, the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee dismissed the charges. A letter issued by the bipartisan Review Committee said, “The Review Committee does not find that sufficient information exists to find probable cause to warrant further investigation by the Review Committee or the full Joint Legislative Ethics Committee . . .” [SOURCE]

    Former state Senator Eric Johnson (R – Savannah), who at the time was the chairman of the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, released the following January 18, 2007 press release commenting on the panel’s work:

    Statement from Sen. Johnson on dismissal of ethics charge against Speaker Richardson

    “Pursuant to the Rules of the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, I appointed a bi-partisan Review Committee to determine whether the complaint filed by the Chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party against Speaker Glenn Richardson warranted action by the full Committee. The Review Committee functions like a Grand Jury in our judicial system and filters the frivolous from the serious charges.

    “The Review Committee included myself, Senator George Hooks (D-Americus) and Representative Lynn Smith (R-Newnan). Senator Hooks is a respected Democrat and the Dean of the Senate. Representative Smith serves as a citizen member of the State Bar of Georgia’s Disciplinary Panel and is familiar with handling serious, sensitive charges.

    “The Review Committee met and determined that there was insufficient evidence to warrant full committee action. The vote was unanimous and Chairman Kahn has been mailed a letter to that effect. Speaker Richardson was given a copy. Normally, by rule, the actions taken by the Committee are confidential. However, the Speaker has authorized me to comment on this case.

    “The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee was established to look at charges of conflict of interest involving Legislators and Legislative staff and to recommend appropriate action if a conflict has occurred. We take our new responsibilities very seriously. However, we cannot look into vague charges based on gossip and rumor without any evidence supporting the charge. To do so would turn this Committee into a circus and invite kooks and partisans to file false charges. If the Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party had sent a similar letter attacking a prominent Democrat, our response would be the same.

    “The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee must not allow itself to be used for partisan political purposes. The fact that the Chairman of a political party makes vague accusations against a leader of the other party on the weekend before the inauguration and the opening day of the session clearly indicates the motivation behind the charge. It should insult the people of Georgia and embarrass those who take the political process seriously.

    “I am confident that Chairman Kahn’s next script will claim “whitewash” and “cover up.” That is what he planned all along. He knows we cannot pursue undocumented charges. He is simply manipulating the process and the media. All I can ask is that the media treat rumor as rumor and fact as fact. The fact is there is no evidence of any wrong doing. The fact is the claim came from the Chairman of the opposition party, not a concerned citizen with firsthand knowledge. The fact is that this Committee cannot allow itself to be used to perpetuate rumors or be used for partisan purposes. The fact is there are no facts!

    “The full Committee will do its job when the facts warrant it.”

    [SOURCE]

    On the same day that former state Senator Johnson released his statement, Speaker Richardson commented, ““Now that these baseless political attacks are behind me, I look forward to continuing to do the job I have been elected to do. We will focus on reducing the tax burden on Georgia’s working families, improving education for Georgia’s children, and ensuring that all Georgians are better off now than they were four years ago.”

    In addition, another important fact to note is that the House Democratic Caucus were none too happy at the ethics complaint filed by then-Georgia Democratic Party chairman Bobby Kahn. According to a report by Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Jim Galloway, Democrats did not plan on challenging Richardson in the 2007 Speaker’s election. However, they were compelled to after the charges were filed by Kahn. [SOURCE]

    As was said in a previous thread, House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter (D – Dublin) and the rest of the Democratic Caucus bear as much responsibility for Richardson being Speaker as the Republicans that nominated him for a second and third two-year term

  4. sofnbc says:

    Does the General Assembly have subpoena powers? Can anyone be “made” to testify at any committee meeting? According to the Georgia State Constitution the answer is no.

    How can a committee do an investigation if they cannot subpoena people to testify?

  5. Silent Outrage says:

    Eric Johnson. A man with the most convenient set of morals this side of the Mississippi who can turn his “moral convictions” on like a light switch. One minute he’s a good Christian soldier, the next minute he’s lying, cheating and stealing. While scandals and corruption were the soup de jour down at the Gold Dome, Ethics Chairman Johnson busily swept them under the rug so as not to face the scrutiny from his own issues and transgressions.

  6. Silent Outrage says:

    To paraphrase Bob Hope who used to say “thanks for the memories”… to Eric Johnson we say, “thanks for the scandals”.

    Promoting you to be Governor would be like promoting a prisoner to be warden just because he was in jail. It doesn’t make sense and neither does your candidacy.

    Georgia needs new leadership.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Is there any Republican that would be acceptable to you? Care to elaborate on Johnson’s issues and transgressions?

  7. fundy1611 says:

    Has anyone read this?

    http://alt.cimedia.com/ajc/complaint.pdf

    “It is common knowledge that Speaker Richardson engaged in a
    personal relationship with a lobbyist for the utility advocating passage of the bill.”

    That’s all the proof the guy provided? Just stating that is was common knowledge? And you nut-heads wanted the Ethics Committee to start dragging people in to testify about who slept with who?!?!?!?

    What am I missing here? Doesn’t seem anything was done because Mrs. Richardson was holding all the cards.

        • ByteMe says:

          You seriously mean you don’t remember the day after day articles in the AJC about the affair? That’s what’s called “common knowledge”, since everyone in the corridors of the capitol were snickering about it (if they weren’t scared of being caught in the same position).

          • fundy1611 says:

            I’m not for witch-hunts based on rumors. “Common knowledge” means that the rumors were wide known. Again, Mrs. Richardson had the proof and didn’t provide it. Now that she has provided it, he’s gone. To have wasted tax payer’s money in the mean-time would have been unjustified.

        • Mad Dog says:

          fundy,

          I’ve filed a complaint or two. Supplied hard documents. Lists of witnesses. Knowing the complaint would die.

          Did it to make the information public. Putting together a good package of material can take months especially when gathering information from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve.

          Let me mention that even when I got documents, information was redacted. I had to pay for the documents. I had to ‘barter’ for and accept less than I asked for. And the State of Georgia refused to release ‘banking’ information because the ‘files’ were sealed.

          Unless I wanted to sue them, … of course.

          So giving hard copy documents to Johnson means nothing. He looks first for dismissal. Maybe just lazy.

    • macho says:

      I’ve always thought the story would be more interesting had AGL actually gotten the pipeline and the lobbyist was still employed there.

    • Mad Dog says:

      I heard the Speaker had been video recorded by a GOP operative ‘without his shoes on’ in a public venue with the lobbyist.

      The affair was freaken public not just common knowledge.

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