Advocates call for Georgia ethics chief’s head

An ethics watchdog group called for the resignation of the state ethics commission director Tuesday, citing her involvement in recent whistleblower payouts.

The organization, Common Cause Georgia, said Executive Secretary Holly LaBerge gained her position as the head of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission as a result of the wrongful termination of other employees. “She’s played a large role in $3 million of taxpayer money getting paid out to people who were fired for doing their job,” said Common Cause Georgia’s Executive Director William Perry.

The nearly $3 million payout resulted from settlements in lawsuits from four former employees who claimed they were wrongfully terminated after investigating complaints about Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign. Earlier this week, settlements were reached with former deputy Sherry Streicker, former information technology specialist John Hair and former staff attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein, totaling to more than $1.8 million. That is in addition to an April settlement which awarded $700,000 plus attorney’s fees to former Executive Secretary Stacy Kalberman. Continue>>>