Damn. Just damn people.
The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission , a/k/a the “Ethics Commission” needs a new name. One that evokes imagery of the Keystone Cops. Reduced last month to having to hire an outside receiver to instill confidence, the man hired is now under fire after the AJC has learned that he was removed from his last job – a state job as an administrative law judge complete with six figure salary – for “failure to meet performance expectations.” Again, just damn.
Robert Constantine was removed in August from a $100,000-a-year post with the state Board of Workers’ Compensation, personnel records show. Two commission members told the AJC on Monday that they knew Constantine had been dismissed from the judgeship but said they remained confident in his leadership.
“He’s the right person to try and help straighten out the ethics commission,” Commissioner Lawton Jordan said.
Not everyone agreed. Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, one of the leading advocates for strengthening the state’s ethics laws and giving the commission the tools it needs, called Constantine’s firing “cause for concern.”
“It’s something I’d want to know more about, about the circumstances,” McKoon said. “I think alarmed is a fair description.”
The legislature convenes on Monday and everyone will be watching their stopwatches to see how quickly they can adjourn. Usually, that would be considered a good thing. That said, it is time to put a stake through the heart of this agency and start over.