June 3, 2014

Don’t weaken state ethics laws

Stacey Kalberman won a whistleblower lawsuit against the state ethics commission earlier this year. Kalberman, the commission’s former executive director, sued after she claimed she was forced from her position after investigating Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign.

In the end, a jury ruled in her favor to the tune of $700,000. Deal said he was concerned that a recent state Supreme Court ruling broadened the definition of whistleblower and granted status to government employees charged with investigating state agencies and employees. An aide to the governor said one possibility could be excluding a range of state employees from bringing such complaints.

So the governor and those in his office do not like that state employees who are trying to do their job and investigate people and agencies are protected under the whistleblower statute. It is hard to imagine the governor believes these employees should be fair game for individuals in power who do not like their investigation and seek retribution. If the recent judgment against the state ethics office does not highlight what can happen without the protection, we are not sure what can.

The idea of weakening ethics laws is exactly the type of thinking this state does not need. Without integrity and ethics, we have nothing. Weakening any of our ethics laws is one of the worst ideas any leader could have. It hints at their need to be able to cover something up or shut someone down when it hits too close to home. We hope this was just a snap reaction to the state Supreme Court ruling and cooler, more ethical heads will prevail.

Georgia is better than this.

Text Only
  • Tax holiday weekend is perfect time to shop

    August means children across the state are headed back to school, and for parents that means it’s time to buy new shoes and clothes for children who have outgrown their old ones. It means it’s time to buy new school supplies, and it may even mean it’s time to get a child a new computer to do their school work.

    July 30, 2014

  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014