Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

17 June 2005

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue Fined by the State Ethics Commission

Gov. Perdue Found Guilty of Breaking Ethics Laws
First Republican governor in 135 years is now first governor in Georgia history found guilty of violating state ethics laws

(Atlanta) It’s now official – Gov. Perdue is the least ethical governor in modern times. The first Republican governor in 135 years is now also the first governor in Georgia history to be found guilty of violating state ethics laws. Coincidentally, the last Republican governor in Georgia – Rufus B. Bullock – fled the state in 1870 to escape an ethics scandal. At least he was eventually exonerated. No such luck for Gov. Perdue. Even an Ethics Commission that he stacked with what he called “his own team” had to find him guilty of seven violations of Georgia’s ethics laws.

According to the Consent Order, Gov. Perdue is ordered to pay multiple civil fines totaling $1,900 from personal funds, as well as to repay more than $18,000 in illegal campaign contributions. He was found guilty of the following violations:
    187 hours of illegal use of a plane. The State Ethics Commission found that the 187 hours of transportation provided by Perdue, Inc. exceeded legal contribution limits in violation of O.C.G.A. 21-5-41(a). In addition, the failure of the Perdue campaign to disclose such illegal contributions violated O.C.G.A. 21-5-34 (b).
    Unauthorized re-designation of funds. The State Ethics Commission also found the Perdue campaign guilty both of accepting multiple contributions over the legal limit, and attempting the illegal re-designation of such funds. On more than one occasion, the Commission found that the “attempted re-designation nearly two years after the election was not authorized.” [State Ethics Commission Consent Order, case number 2004-0002, 6/17/05]

All of the spin in the world couldn’t save Gov. Perdue from the day of reckoning. For over a year, his spokesman Dan McLagan has shrugged off revelations of Perdue’s egregious conduct as “partisan mudslinging”. He even boasted that “none of them have stuck". Well, they just stuck, and that honor places Perdue in a league of his own – the first governor ever found guilty of breaking state ethics laws. . [Suggs and Badertscher, “Ethics Panel Fines Key State Senator,:” 10/16/04, p. A1; Pettys, “Ethics Panel Orders Hearing on Perdue Complaint,” Associated Press, 10/15/04]

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman Bobby Kahn said, “As I’ve said before, Gov. Perdue’s ‘New Day’ in Georgia looks more like an old day in Louisiana. Gov. Perdue talks a good game on ethics, but his new status as the only Governor in history to be found guilty of breaking Georgia’s ethics laws should put an end to that charade.”