Georgia ethics chief resigns amid probe into computer use

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By: Associated Press
February 11, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) - The director of Georgia's ethics commission is stepping down two months after being accused of misusing his state-issued computer.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the commission accepted Stefan Ritter's resignation on Friday.

Commission Chairman Jake Evans wouldn't describe the allegations against Ritter but he says Ritter will be paid three months' salary as part of a settlement. The settlement also means that Ritter can't sue the commission after being forced out.

Ritter had been the commission's chief since 2015 and was praised for helping cut down on the agency's backlog of cases.

He called the allegations against him "untrue" in January, but stepped down part-way through the investigation. No replacement has been named yet.

The agency is charged with collecting campaign finance reports and registering lobbyists, among other things.

By: Associated Press
January 9, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Ethics Commission has suspended its director with pay while they investigate allegations that he misused state computers.

The commission voted Tuesday to suspend Stefan Ritter for what chairman Jake Evans said were "allegations of improper workplace conduct." Ritter told reporters Monday the allegations against him were untrue, saying he had not seen the specific complaints.

Evans will oversee the investigation and hire outside counsel to look into the complaints. Evans did not say how long the investigation might last.

The agency collects campaign finance, vendor gift and lobbying expenditure reports and registers lobbyists, issues advisory opinions and imposes penalties for violations.

Ritter has been executive director of the agency since 2015. He had been with the Georgia Attorney General's Office for 18 years before joining the ethics panel.