News and Updates from DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council
October 21, 2019 Volume 1: Issue 3
In this issue:
- Latest Development: Protecting Our Reputation
- Commentary: Has the Ethics Officer been “overreaching?”
- Important Dates
- Call to action: How you can make a difference
Reminder of Important Upcoming Dates
We’re getting down to the wire and our momentum is growing based on the turnout at the legislative town hall meetings and the request for yard signs we’re getting. We’ve also started canvassing neighborhoods in the cities of Brookhaven and Decatur. Thank you for your support and willingness to stand with us on this matter. If you’re willing to canvas for us, please let us know by going to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can get you trained easily and provide you with materials including door hangers and brochures.
Latest Development: Protection Our Reputation
At one of the town hall meetings, a legislator said that members of DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council were making false statements about SB7 and should “read the bill.” DCAC members have meticulously studied SB7 and stand behind all statements on our website and in our printed materials. Further, we sought the independent review by an ethics expert to specifically ensure that we had not come to any erroneous conclusions. If you haven’t seen Dr. Wolpe’s letter, you can find it here: https://dekalbcitizens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Paul-Wolpe-Letter.pdf
Commentary: Has the Ethics Officer been “overreaching?”
In the latest Richard Belcher interview that aired October 15th (link) Senator Emanuel Jones states that many members of the House delegation commented to him that ethics officer Stacey Kalberman had “overreached.” What does that mean? And, if there’s been an issue with the ethics officer, why didn’t these House members file a complaint?
The ethics officer can be terminated “for cause” but that cause has to be proved. There is a process in place to bring such action and Rep. Vernon Jones has first-hand knowledge of how the process works. He filed a complaint against the ethics officer in 2017. That complaint was heard by specially appointed Hearing Officer Justice Leah Ward Sears who found no probable cause to believe that the ethics officer violated the Ethics Code. What we seem to have now is an attempt to remove the ethics officer by eliminating the position all together.
The fact that several elected officials are defending the removal of the position of a qualified ethics officer by insisting that the current ethics officer is overreaching her authority - without specifically defining what they are basing that claim on - and using this bill in an attempt to remove this one person from office, demonstrates the worst possible motivation for supporting SB 7, a bill that will substantially and unnecessarily weaken ethics oversight in DeKalb County.
Legislative Town Hall Meetings
Come out and join us! We’ll have stickers, flyers, and brochures to share with you at these meetings:
October 21: Brookhaven City Hall
6:30-8 p.m. 4362 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319
Early voting started Tuesday, October 15th and will run through Friday, November 1st.
Four locations will be open for early voting between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Brookhaven: Briarwood Recreation Center
2235 Briarwood Way NE, Atlanta, GA 30319
Decatur: DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office
4380 Memorial Dr # 300, Decatur, GA 30032
Dunwoody: Dunwoody Library
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Stonecrest: Stonecrest Library
3123 Klondike Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038
Call to action: How You Can Make a Difference
We are a grassroots organization and need all the help we can get in reaching voters. One way you can help is by spreading the word to your neighbors and contacts. Most people are completely unaware of the Ethics ballot question.