Posted: 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Watchdog group demands investigation of Nathan Deal’s top aides 

By Greg Bluestein

Holly LaBerge, executive secretary of the state ethics commission, testifies in the whistle blower lawsuit brought by Stacey Kalberman, the ethics commission’s former top staffer. Kalberman claimed she was forced from her position after investigating Gov. Nathan Deal's campaign. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

Holly LaBerge, head of the state ethics commission, testifies in a whistle blower lawsuit. Brant Sanderlin/AJC


A watchdog group demanded an
internal investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides, claiming that a recently revealed memo drafted by the ethics chief was proof that she was coerced into creating a “politically favorable outcome” for the governor.

Sabrina Smith of Georgia Watchdogs filed the complaint with the Office of the Inspector General claiming that executive counsel Ryan Teague and chief-of-staff Chris Riley, who has now joined the campaign, violated state law prohibiting government employees from coercing co-workers for political gain. You can find your copy here.

The complaint centers on the bombshell memo revealed in July written by ethics chief Holly LaBerge. She claims in the document that Deal’s aides threatened her to make ethics complaints against their boss disappear.

Deal campaign spokesman Brian Robinson said the complaint smacked of politics and that “repetition of untrue statements doesn’t make them true.”

“The file is riddled with so many inaccuracies and so much incorrect speculation that the complainant herself does not appear to take this seriously,” he said. “Whether by laziness or recklessness, this file discredits the accuser, not the accused.”

The LaBerge memo is still rippling through state government. The complaint comes a day after a hearing in which a judge questioned why the memo, written in 2012, was only revealed publicly in July despite requests for similar documents by plaintiffs in whistleblower cases.

It’s the second recent OIG complaint targeting the governor’s staff. Clint Murphy, a former GOP operative turned critic of his party, filed an OIG request in July claiming that Deal press aide Sasha Dlugolenski violated a state ban on political activity during work time through a series of tweets she sent boosting her boss.

Smith’s complaint alleges that Riley and Teague used state resources and state time to try to coerce LaBerge to “settle Gov. Deal’s campaign matters for as little money as possible.” It also claims the office unfairly granted LaBerge a special favor by supporting her application for the Leadership Georgia program.

Deal has said that LaBerge was never threatened. The campaign said that Deal’s private attorneys – not Riley and Teague – were involved in negotiating the final settlement for $3,350 in fees for technical defects on campaign disclosures, and note that the letter of recommendation was sent in June 2013 – long after the investigation was closed.

89 comments
GREYGHOST
GREYGHOST

Tks Jim Galloway,


I am beginning to enjoy your columns and the ability to remark on them.


AJC get more of LiveFyre and stop this "members only" crap on your site.


CNN is where you are headed !  Time to get a new  COXswain, Captain.

honested
honested

Now that elayne boyer is headed for prison, isn't it time to announce the indictments for shady?

Bernie31
Bernie31

" And our credo: "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc." We gladly feast on those who would subdue us. Not just pretty words." -  ADDAMS Family Values

DanLovingood
DanLovingood

Pretty soon, Nathan Deal will be calling 'Orange The New Black' and two wrong-sized, left foot slip on shoes the new Tom Fords and will be sharing a small secure room and playing cards with Governor Rick Perry.  ‪#‎WeKnowNathan‬, and he cannot be trusted with public education budget, the ‪#‎HOPE‬ grant, with proper use of tax incentives, with the truth and the essentials of ethical conduct, or with the protections public health, common good, welfare or safety of Georgians. 

‪#‎GeorgiasReady‬ to ‪#‎ChangeTheDeal‬ ‪#‎noDEAL‬ ‪#‎gapol‬

Bernie31
Bernie31

Dat Holly Laberge, Ain't No HOLLAR back Gurl, fer show... 

She Gots a Pair..  Brass ones, TOO!

Dem Clowns round ole Shady, miscalculated sumpin Terrible.

Yah Suh...dey show Did.

uh..huh

Bernie31
Bernie31

Yer can Bet, Rat NOW! dat sum body is "SWEATIN" like a Southern Baptist Preacher, in a House of ILL repute wit Moanin Dollars in his POCKETS, on a Sunday mornin before Church Service. Bout Now!


uh...huh.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

They have done every thing they can to shut down the ethics committee trying to investigate the pay-offs and bribes in Deal's last election.  Obviously, they are all guilty.  Like Elaine Boyer, they need to resign and turn themselves in. Be men about it.  Your hands are dyed blue from that marked money - the feds will probably go easier if you don't drag this out and embarrass Georgia any further.  Deal - already identified as the worst Governor in the United States:


http://www.citizensforethics.org/worst-governors-in-America



td1234
td1234

Next thing you know the progressives will be wanting Deal indicted for threatening to veto a bill. 


The progressive perceived corruption is all progressives have to run on because they lose on philosophy, they lose on governing, they lose on policies and they refuse to even have the leader of their party come and visit the state. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@DanLovingood Don't forget the good Christian and fiscally conservative Republican Commissioner Boyer. Trail of evidence points to evangelist in DeKalb fraud scheme Federal prosecutors say Commissioner Boyer conspired to defraud tax payers.~~~ABC August 26, 2014

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@EdUktr  The pro-Conservatoid Bugtussle Gazette poll today says the probability that TD0000 and UnEd are wrong about Deal being honest is 100%

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@td1234 If you are so good at predicting the future why haven't you won the lottery multiple times, retired and gone to Florida? Why don't you just spout your views and not make a fool of yourself saying what others think?

AvailableName
AvailableName

Td, are all Progressives wrong on all matters?

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234  He can veto anything he likes, as long as he doesn't use it as a threat or for revenge.


DanLovingood
DanLovingood

@td1234 @DanLovingood And what type of troll are you @td1234, what slimy rock in the offices of Koch brothers or FOX NEWS do you live?  I'm a simple freedom fighter for the common good of my fellow Georgian.  You are a troll for the destruction of an economically stable Georgia and an advocate for a dumbed down electorate... hallmarks of the Republican Party.   YOU seem to live for disparaging Democratic candidates 24/7 on this blog.  You are by definition the quintessential  "Blog Troll".  Identify your cowardly self .. real name and real picture please.. You won't because you are the classic blog troll.


td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 Sure he can use it as a threat just like Obama said any bill to repeal Obamacare would be vetoed. That is a threat and he did not get indicted. 

td1234
td1234

@Nobody_Knows Since she is pleading guilty of stealing from the people that elected her then she is going right where she deserves to be sent. The Preacher that pretended to love God but had stealing in his heart instead of salvation should do straight to hell for his sins. 

td1234
td1234

@DanLovingood Paid political operative troll from the Carter campaign. As soon as this blog goes public then I will also. 

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@EdUktr @STHornet1990  Ed I'm sure I can find a poll that says you're wrong just as easily.

Denial is for the man in trouble, not the man looking for him.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @STHornet1990 Lets call this a refresher course...A grand jury indicted Perry last week on two felony counts – abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official – over a 2013 veto threat.  Perry went on to detail why he threatened to veto millions of dollars in funding for the state’s public integrity unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after a 2013 DWI conviction.~~~~ABC News August 22, 2014

A picture is worth a thousand words....

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/08/heres-rick-perrys-mugshot.html

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234 @STHornet1990  Sorry, but your analogy is somewhat screwed. When you threaten to do something LEGAL, like veto a bill, it's called a promise.

When you threaten to do something like KILL YOUR JOB, ELIMINATE YOUR DEPARTMENT, REMOVE YOUR FUNDING, it's called revenge and quite illegal. At least it is in ethical government.

DanLovingood
DanLovingood

@td1234 @DanLovingood I'm not paid, I am an environmental manager and paid by my clients on matters of due diligence and forensics.  But we're all curious, who pays Orks like you??? Fox News?

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990

NY times

RCP

Fivethrityeight

Sabato


They all say the Republicans will win the state. 

td1234
td1234

@DanLovingood @td1234 You are also a fundraising chairman of the solidly red county of Whitfield and you have 1 comment in about 30 facebook post of the progressive agenda. LOL

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234 @STHornet1990  Ed? Is that you Ed? Hello?

If this year, so be it. But eventually it will change. Just like the vote for women, civil rights, etc.

You can count on it. I'll be here with open mind and open arms.

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 I will be retired before GA turns Blue and living in my condo on the beach in FL so at that point I will not care. 

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234 @STHornet1990  Spoken like the cut-and-run GOP you love.

And Florida will be Blue too by then.

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 @td1234 By the time I retire I may want them to tax the hell out of you young people so that I can live better off your backs. 

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234 @STHornet1990  How quaint. You assume all old white guys are of like mind. That's feeble.

You have much to learn but it may be too late.

A good friend of mine once said "Different, is better."

And he was so right.

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 Was that the same young good friend that buys and sells their stolen property on ebay and lives in Grayson?

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234 @STHornet1990  I'm glad you're so smart and resourceful. Again, you see, the world is changing. All the things you cannot understand are not bad TD.

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 @td1234 Changing coming from a blogger that chases those bitcoins around. God help us all if your kind ever really get any power. LOL

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@td1234 @STHornet1990  Love the personal attacks since you have nothing more to say in defense of your man. Keep it up. I may still get you banned  ;)

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 @td1234 I have been on here for more than 4 years and have not been banned so take your best shot my little padawan. Carter troll.

td1234
td1234

@STHornet1990 @td1234 Like I thought just another young padawan making young stupid statements that they can not back up.