Georgia Commission Settles Retaliation Claims - State and Federal Communications

June 16, 2014  •  

Georgia Commission Settles Retaliation Claims

Seal of GeorgiaThe ethics commission has agreed to settle three retaliation claims for over $1.8 million. The claims are each related to an investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal involving 2010 campaign and personal finance reports.

Under the terms, the commission’s former deputy, Sherry Streicker, will receive $1 million, former IT specialist John Hair will receive $410,000, and former staff attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein will receive $477,500. The settlements follow an April jury verdict awarding $700,000 plus fees to the commission’s former executive secretary, Stacey Kalberman, who argued her pay was slashed and her deputy’s position eliminated as they were preparing subpoenas in the Deal case.

Murray-Obertein, who arrived after the departures of Kalberman and Streicker, testified she was under pressure to get the Deal case resolved. Hair claimed LaBerge ordered him to alter, hide, and destroy documents related to the Deal investigation.

The commission has denied any wrongdoing and Deal has said he was not involved in any of the commission’s decisions or actions.

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