Ethics Commission Staff Receive Federal Subpoenas

December 11, 2013 17:54 pm

by Charlie · 24 comments

Read and parse the following two paragraphs from the AJC carefully, which are the work of the AP’s Christina Cassidy:

Two employees of the state ethics commission have received federal grand jury subpoenas seeking documents regarding ethics complaints involving Gov. Nathan Deal, according to two people with knowledge of the case.

A person with direct knowledge of the case told The Associated Press the commission’s executive secretary, Holly LaBerge, received a subpoena Wednesday. The AP obtained a copy of the federal grand jury subpoena for staff attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein from a person familiar with the case. The two individuals spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

There have been a lot of stories coming out of the “Georgia Ethics Commission” lately.  There appears to be somewhat of an internal war going on between Executive Secretary LaBerge and staff attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein.  This report indicates that both – on opposite sides of this very public battle – have received subpoenas.

At this point, the Feds are involved, and that in and of itself is news.  But at this time Governor Deal nor any of his staff have been named in this investigation.  Deal has admitted to and paid fines in this seemingly closed investigation.  Depending on which side in this intra-office skirmish produces documents that lead anywhere else will determine if this stops here, or goes beyond.

Given that we’re in campaign season, many will use this news for their own purposes and for their own reasons.  That’s to be expected.  But tread carefully, parse the words, and read what is here and what isn’t.  Right now, this is a problem at the terminally broken ethics commission.

Thomas Adams (@GeorgiaCRE) December 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Ethics Commission Staff Receive Federal Subpoenas – Read and parse the following two paragraphs from the AJC care…

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

The Republican Governor is unethical and the Democrats filed too many ethics complaints. Both sides are equally to blame for breaking the ethics commission. It is the responsible nonpartisan/journalistic conclusion to draw at this point.

Harry December 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

Holder’s partisan agenda with Gov. Deal might have been more salable had the DOJ gone after Sanford Bishop and David Scott with equal vigor. Now we have to be entertained with this theater during the silly season. The good news is, young Carter outside of his special senate district has zero or negative curb appeal to the vast majority of Georgia voters of all stripes.

Ed December 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

Harry providing the clear-thinking unbiased analysis he is known for!

benevolus December 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Hey maybe the Guv can use that as an excuse- “but I thought it was OK since someone else was doing it!”

Harry December 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

What’s Holder’s excuse?

Charlie December 12, 2013 at 10:35 am

Updated from the AJC: 5 total staffers asked to turn over docs:

And as Jim Galloway notes, the deadline coincides with the start of the 2014 G.A. Session:

Three Jack December 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

Can’t believe it took this long to bring some heat to the gov’s corrupt office. With any luck, the truth will come out soon leaving enough time for a viable candidate to step up and become frontrunner.

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

As much as I really personally despise her, it’s the perfect opportunity for Karen Handel. Makes a lot more sense than Senate.

Harry December 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm

No way will that happen, but why do you despise her anyway?

Do you really think the conflicted Holder DOJ will be able to influence this election? Please give Rick Day some of what you’re smoking.

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I think she’s an opportunist and her personality rubs me the wrong way. Just doesn’t seem like a nice person. I think she’s obsessed with power and jumps from office to office at her whim. Kind of like the Georgia Sarah Palin, which will be interpreted as a compliment to some.

But I also think that, due to politics and her history, she’s in a good position to make a “told you so” argument in a Republican primary. The uphill battle for many Democrats making a corruption argument in this state is that many voters seem to prefer a bad/corrupt Republican to any Democrat, but a primary may not be the same.

Harry December 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Here’s a different spin: Karen is a type who would find it sometimes difficult to be successful in private business as well as certain political roles precisely because she is a principled individual. She is not really the hyper-partisan type either if it happens to go against her sense of right. Yes, such people can sometimes be direct in response. I see her as the perfect match for the senate because the senate comprises all sorts of good, bad and mediocre personalities – including individualists. She doesn’t have to fit any preconceived mold or play games, as would be the case if she were in an administrative role.

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Interestingly enough, she has only run for and served in administrative roles, but interesting perspective nonetheless.

Three Jack December 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm


I would love to see Karen switch races, but that would add to the reputation you mention about her being an ‘opportunist’, etc.

TheEiger December 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm

So Chairman of the Fulton County Commission and the Georgia Secretary of State are administrative roles? It’s funny how liberals can just make crap up and expect to get away with it.

Harry December 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Are you saying they are not administrative positions?

TheEiger December 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

They are not administrative positions. Chris is talking out of his rear as he does quite often on this blog.

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I grant that Fulton County Commission Chair is technically a legislative role, but in what world is the Secretary of State not an administrative role?

TheEiger December 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

So you only half lied? That makes it okay.

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

So you are half lying too then?

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

From SOS website:
As Georgia’s Chief Elections Administrator, Secretary Kemp…

You better tell Brian Kemp he’s a liar.

TheEiger December 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Yeah, overseeing elections isn’t even half of what that office does. So you are lying by not stating what the SOS office does in its entirety.

Chris Huttman December 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm

In our debate, offices are either legislative or administrative. Is Secretary of State a legislative office, is there a body of Secretaries of State like the Senate, and you get elected to be one of them?

TheEiger December 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

So you are still admitting you only half lied.

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