Judge Hears Contempt Motion against Olens, LaBerge Over Withheld Memo
(APN) ATLANTA — In the ongoing saga of the Stacey Kalberman whistleblower case, Kalberman, represented by attorney Kim Worth, has made a motion sanctions against Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and against Executive Director Holly LaBerge, for Olens’s failure to turn over a controversial memo in the discovery phase of the Kalberman whistleblower case.
As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, the memo, penned by LaBerge, a former Deal-supporter, shows an attempt by staffers for Gov. Nathan Deal to cover up his alleged campaign misdeeds by paying a small fine, instead of involving a full investigation by the ethics commission.
On Monday, August 25, 2014, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville “expressed concern over claims that state officials failed to produce documents in a whistleblower suit against the ethics commission appearing to show that the office of Gov. Nathan Deal threatened the agency,” the Fulton County Daily Report newspaper reported.
The ethics investigation, had it been done with due diligence, would have uncovered two incidents of wrongdoing by Gov. Deal and his campaign, respectively: First, the sale of Deal’s former company, Copart, Inc., which owed 74 million dollars in back taxes to the State, to his number one competitor; and, second, gross violations of the Georgia Campaign Finance Act by Deal’s 2010 Gubernatorial campaign.
LaBerge turned over the memo to Olens’ office as part of the discovery process in Kalberman’s lawsuit; however, Olens’s staff never gave it to Worth nor to any other attorneys for former commission employees who had also filed suit or planned to sue.
Olens has said he does not believe the memo was “responsive” to the discovery request that was made because it was not “correspondence.”
“Just when you think this ethics case and cover up can’t get any worse–when you think it’s hit bottom for Gov. Deal and Attorney General Olens–there’s another shocking turn and an even deeper pit. For the sake of Georgia taxpayers, who are paying for this, I hope we finally uncover the truth,” Bryan Thomas of Better Georgia told APN.
“We’re waiting to see what Judge Glanville’s ruling will be as a result of Monday’s hearing. It’s clear that he is not happy with the work of Attorney General Olens and his office. Judges don’t often call out state officials for ‘playing fast and loose with the rules,’ but that’s exactly what happened this week,” Thomas said.