Georgia Will Settle Remaining Ethics Commission Lawsuits

June 13, 2014 11:37 am

by Tim Darnell · 14 comments

State leaders will announce on Friday they have settled two remaining lawsuits against its ethics commission as well as one that had yet to be filed.

The AJC is reporting that a source told the paper the state will pay more than $1.8 million to settle lawsuits filed by former commission deputy director Sherilyn Streicker and former computer specialist John Hair.

Former commission attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein has also threatened a lawsuit.

The paper reports that Streicker will receive $1 million, while Hair will be paid $410,000. Murray-Obertein settled for $477,500.

Last month, the state agreed to pay former commission director Stacey Kalberman $1.3 million after a Fulton County jury agreed with her claim that she was forced from office for investigating Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign.

Jackster June 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Does this count as the Gov putting out the fires that the uppity “fire starters” started?

Will Durant June 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Fire? What fire? Pay no attention to all the smoke here. Just a false alarm. If this were a real emergency we would have told you.

Harry June 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

You could just as well be referring to Obama’s problems x 1000.

Will Durant June 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

EVERY stinking issue under the sun according to you is cause for an attempted deflection to “Obama”.

Harry June 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm

But Bush.

Jackster June 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Obama doesn’t have problems. Obama has solutions. He will kindly provide you a solution to your problem.

objective June 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

hush, little money, don’t say a word,
papa’s gonna pay you with ethics blurred…

Jackster June 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

And there’s the creepy Friday the 13th post we were looking for.

Dave Bearse June 13, 2014 at 9:45 pm

So who else other than Chairman Patrick Milsaps and Commissioner Kevin Abernethy was on the Transparency Commission in May-June 2011 when Kalberman and Streicker were severed from employment?

Milsaps, and/or a simple majority of the then-Board, or more, are indirectly guilty concerning Kalberman and Streicker.

Who fired John Hair? Murray-Obertein? The Board? Or the Executive Director Holly LaBarge? It’s not quite the same as there’s no jury finding, but half million dollar payouts to each are somewhat damning.

Where are Milsaps and the then-Board members during the Kalberman/Streicker and Hair/Murray-Obertein episodes now?

Commissioner Kevin Abernethy, the guy that according to Streicker “turned white and said he didn’t want any part of this” when he was briefed on Deal subpoenas, is serving as Transparency Commission Chairman. Business as usual.

Here’s a history of the Georgia Ethics Commission through Aug 2012: http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/08/29/10778/georgias-ethics-commission-sad-tale-dysfunctional-state-government

The Last Democrat in Georgia June 13, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Thanks for the link.

DrGonzo June 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Weak sauce. So we get no more trials where more information about this cluster-flunk could be publicly aired, huh? I hope all you Deal supporters are happy about the taxpayer dollars your boy has now cost us, and we still don’t have the truth – or a functioning ethics commission.

The Last Democrat in Georgia June 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm

“So we get no more trials where more information about this cluster-flunk could be publicly aired, huh?”

That’s kind of the whole idea of the (taxpayer-funded) settlements…for Deal to keep this issue out of the news and make it much less of a potent campaign issue for Democrats between now and the election.

Dave Bearse June 16, 2014 at 10:50 pm

One of the ethics complaints was dismissed was that Deal used Governor’s race campaign to pay his Congressional Ethics legal bills.

He bettered himself this around. The state is picking up at least a few hundred thousand dollars in legal expenses as well as $3M in settlements. Why have a campaign pay for what it can get for free?

WeymanCWannamakerJr June 18, 2014 at 3:47 am

The most curious one here is the half-mil paid to Mrs. Murray-Obertein even though she was purportedly fired with cause for drinking on the job. So which is the sham? Firing her for boozing or paying her to shut up and go away? If someone will tell me where I can get the job I will be glad to take a 3 martini lunch for that kind of payoff.

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