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Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman DuBose Porter Responds to News of Federal Subpoenas of State Ethics Commission Employees

By   /   December 12, 2013  /   Comments

Atlanta, GA – Last night, news broke that at least five high-ranking employees of Georgia’s state ethics commission, including commission head Holly LaBerge, have received federal grand jury subpoenas for documents related to the alleged disappearance of evidence with regard to Governor Nathan Deal’s campaign finances.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman DuBose Porter released the following statement:

“The same behavior that forced Nathan Deal to resign from Congress has now shown up in the way he conducts his administration as Governor,“ said Democratic Party Chair DuBose Porter. “The issue of federal subpoenas is troubling. Every Georgian should pay close attention so that history does not repeat itself in the ethics commission.”

BACKGROUND:

New York Times 5/29/10: Ethics Report Faults Ex-Congressman

Nathan Deal, a former Republican congressman who is running for Georgia governor, resigned from the House last week in a move that seemed certain to end an ethics investigation that could have proved politically embarrassing.

But on Monday, the Office of Congressional Ethics released its report anyway, concluding that Mr. Deal appeared to have improperly used his office to pressure Georgia officials to continue a vehicle inspection program that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for his family’s auto salvage business.

Washington Post 4/1/2010: Resignation ends ethics probe of ex-Rep. Nathan Deal

Georgia Republican Rep. Nathan Deal might have had that solution in mind when he resigned March 21, just minutes before the ethics committee faced a deadline to act in his case. Fortunately for the citizens of his state, and unfortunately for Mr. Deal, a new ethics watchdog, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), did not drop the matter. The office, an independent panel created by a 2007 ethics and lobbying reform law, conducts investigations and makes recommendations for further action to the House Ethics Committee. Five days after Mr. Deal’s resignation, the OCE voted to release the review

it had sent in January to the ethics panel, finding “substantial reason to believe” that Mr. Deal, who is running for governor of Georgia, might have violated ethics rules.

AJC 12/11/13: FBI subpoenas current and former state ethics officials

At least five current and former state ethics officials have been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

Commission attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein told the AJC on Wednesday that she and executive secretary Holly LaBerge were served in the commission office. John Hair, a former ethics IT staffer, also said Wednesday he received a subpoena.

AP 12/11/13: Subpoenas related to Ga. gov’s ethics complaints

Two employees of the state ethics commission have received federal grand jury subpoenas seeking documents regarding ethics complaints involving Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

, according to two people with knowledge of the case.

The commission’s executive secretary, Holly LaBerge, received a subpoena Wednesday, a person with direct knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. 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.

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