William Perry Launches New Watchdog Group, Partners With Atlanta Unfiltered

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william perry(APN) ATLANTA — William Perry, the government watchdog who recently left Common Cause Georgia, where he had served as Executive Director, is officially launching his own organization. Two, in fact.

 

First, Georgia Ethics Watchdogs is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that will focus on filing ethics complaints against public officials who violate the law.

 

“It’s really difficult to be the good cop, bad cop, under one roof.  You file a complaint against someone one day, then try to get their support for a policy change the next,” Perry said, referencing his former role with Common Cause Georgia, in a press briefing.

 

As previously reported by APN, Common Cause Georgia is going to be focusing more on lobbying, particularly around voter rights and democracy.

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2015/08/22/common-cause-turnover-in-georgia-driven-by-refocus-on-voting-rights/

 

“I’m looking forward to being the one who plays the bad cop role and holds public officials accountable,” he said.

 

Perry said he intends to set a high standard for the types of ethics complaints he pursues.

 

“I’m not looking to be someone who files for any reason, a kind of ‘gotcha’ complaint,” he explained.

 

He wants to ensure that when wrongdoing is exposed, something is done about it.

 

“Often we expect that once something has that exposure, something will happen, but too often it dies.  I hope to be that mechanism to follow up and keep it going,” he said.

 

Second, Perry is also launching Georgia Ethics Watchdogs Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that will offer resources and training to people who want to become citizen watchdogs.

 

Perry said that at any public meeting, “There’s always those dedicated folks there… who may lack resources to bring meaningful change.”

 

“We want to help them find an official track to get on to punish those who are violating the law,” he said.

 

To that end, Perry is partnering with Jim Walls, a retired investigative reporter and founder of the watchdog website, Atlanta Unfiltered.

 

“Really citizen journalists… are often the only people who can raise questions that other media doesn’t for various reasons,” Walls said at the briefing.

 

“It’s about taking back your role as a citizen in government,” he said.

 

Walls will compile resources for the new Georgia Watchdog website, starting with a 26-part series called “Georgia’s Ethics Loopholes from A to Z.”

 

Each part in the series will explain how a particular state ethics law falls short or isn’t enforced.

 

Walls cited scholarships for elected officials to attend meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as an example.

 

Georgia Ethics Watchdogs and Georgia Ethics Watchdogs Education Fund will be funded by small donors, whom Perry will continually seek out.

 

He said that grant funding from big corporations is likely off the table because they tend to have lobbyists supporting “people who we alienate.”

 

“There’s a lot of political backlash in this state,” Perry said.

 

He explained that a former Common Cause donor once told him they had stopped supporting the organization at the behest of “someone from the Mayor’s office,” referring to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office.

 

“This is going to be a very grassroots oriented group,” Perry said.

 

An official launch party will take place for Georgia Ethics Watchdogs and Georgia Ethics Watchdogs Education Fund at Manuel’s Tavern on September 28, 2015, at 7pm.

 

The organizations’ new website is available online, here: http://gaethicswatchdogs.org

 

(END/2015)

3 comments

  • Thanks for your continuing efforts in behalf of Transparency, Integrity and Ethics

  • Good morning mr. Perry can someone from your office contact me been trying to make contact with you phone number is 678 886 7000 thank you so much

  • Mr. Perry. You might remember me from several years ago. You referred me to Dr. James Mautagh a former Emory MD and “whistleblower.” Dr. Mautagh and I over the past several years have become phone buddies. We talk several times each month. Presently I have an attorney for a total bogus charge of HOME DOMESTIC VIOLENCE against me by Emory Hospital. In fact I had not even been in DeKalb County for “16” months because I was taking care of a very sick family member in Savannah. However with your past experiences I imagine you understand how the powerful like an Emory operate. Dr. Mautagh feels as though my bogus arrest will be “the golden egg” to expose all the unethical hospital patient acts that have been going on at Emory Hospital for years. I’ve just written a book Murder On Clifton Road (location of Emory) not yet published. In the past “12” years I’ve spoken to hundreds of medical professionals and EMT’s concerning “major” unethical acts done daily at Georgia hospitals and nursing homes. I have state documents to back up much of what I have to say. To be honest Dr. Mautagh is surprised I’m still alive. I’ve been threatened numerous times to “shut up.” Forget trying to get protection from Whistleblower groups or law enforcement. In fact Dr. Mautagh is assisting me financially with my attorney. I need “voices” to help me. I know hospital and nursing home “top” secrets that for future patient safety must be revealed and stopped. Thank you. John Cannon 404-428-2218

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