Three weeks ago, the state ethics commission held an emergency meeting and voted to call on Attorney General Sam Olens to bring in an independent investigator.
That won’t happen now.
Remember what’s at stake: the state’s top ethics attorney said the governor’s office was involved in efforts to destroy documents in an open investigation involving the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
After sitting on its decision to bring in an independent investigator for three weeks, the ethics board now wants to bring in an auditor instead of a prosecutor.
The state ethics commission referred the case today to the state Department of Audits and Accounts for an “internal” review.
Internal vs. Independent.
This will not be an independent investigation.
Gov. Deal appointed the State Auditor of Georgia, Greg Griffin, who will now lead the review.
The public will not be able to trust the results of any “review” conducted by a Gov. Deal appointee.
In addition, the state ethics commission is required by law to be bipartisan. The sole Democrat resigned August 28 after giving sworn testimony in a legal case involving Gov. Deal’s finanical records.
Gov. Deal has made 51 appointments since August 28 but has failed to appoint a non-Republican to the state ethics commission. This calls into question the legitimacy of today’s announcement.
In the end, this is really simple. Just because the governor’s office doesn’t want the scrutiny of an independent investigator doesn’t mean the scrutiny isn’t warranted.
Keep the pressure on.
The ethics commission called its emergency meeting only after thousands of Georgia voters signed our petition calling for an independent investigation.
It’s time to turn up the heat again.
Attorney General Olens may not get an invitation to investigate from Gov. Deal or the ethics commission. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t investigate.
You can invite Attorney General Olens to start an investigation on his own.