In today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we learn that Gov. Nathan Deal signed a personal letter to recommend the state ethics chief, Holly LaBerge, for an elite leadership program.
The governor’s signature on this letter is important because for nearly a year Gov. Deal has tried to distance himself from LaBerge and her work making his ethics problems “go away.”
Last September, in fact, Gov. Deal said in a “fiery news conference” that he “barely knows” LaBerge.
You’ll remember that a jury found that the previous ethics chief was “unfairly forced from office as retribution” for investigating Gov. Deal’s 2010 campaign, costing Georgia taxpayers more than $3 million in damages and settlements.
In just the past two weeks we’ve learned that Gov. Deal’s top aides sent text messages to bully LaBerge into settling the governor’s case for a reduced fine. The governor’s story about his involvement in interfering with his own ethics case has changed more times than anyone can keep track of.
At first, the governor said he signed the personal check used to pay the reduced ethics fine and then we learned the signature on the check wasn’t his. Gov. Deal said he “barely knows” the ethics chief who stopped the subpoenas targeting him and then got a 17 percent pay raise. But now we know he signed a letter of recommendation for her.
There’s at least one thing Gov. Deal hasn’t lied about in this whole cover-up.
When it was clear that GOP lawmakers would not stand up to defend him in public, the governor called a quick meeting to beg for their support. In that phone call he said he won’t “leave anything on the table” in his re-election bid.
And he’s right about that.
He hasn’t left a single imaginable story on the table in his attempts to deceive the public and cover-up his ethics scandals.
We still don’t know the truth.
Secrets will continue to drip, drip, drip out of the office because the governor refuses to come clean.
And, yet, our state’s top lawyer refuses to investigate and may have helped with the cover-up.
It’s time for an independent investigation.
P.S. Your voice is more important now than ever. Now is the time to speak up and demand more open, transparent and honest government. Demand an independentnt investigation. Sign the petition.