Political Notes — Settlement in State Bar’s complaint against Ralston?

[private]The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the State Bar complaint hanging over House Speaker David Ralston since 2014 may finally be on the road to resolution.

Ralston’s attorney has reportedly worked out a settlement with Bar officials where Ralston would accept a reprimand and admit to inadvertent violations of two State Bar rules.  The more serious charges would be dropped and Ralston would be able to retain his license to practice law.

Any settlement would not be final, however, until the Georgia Supreme Court agreed to accept it.

The complaint against Ralston was first disclosed in June 2014 when The State Bar of Georgia forwarded a complaint to the Supreme Court alleging that Ralston had dragged his feet in a case where he represented a client involved in an auto accident.

Ralston used his legislative privilege to continually delay the lawsuit going to trial, which was against his clients’ wishes, according to the complaint.  He also “used funds belonging to his other clients or third persons, or out of his personal funds comingled in his trust account with those belonging to his other clients or third persons” to advance $22,000 to his client.

The State Bar complaint has been hanging out there for nearly 30 months and has gone through a couple of special masters appointed by the Supreme Court.

New poll has Isakson up by 8 points, at 48 percent

An Emerson College poll of Georgia voters has Sen. Isakson leading Democratic challenger Jim Barksdale by 48-40 percent, with 5 percent support going to “someone else,” presumably Libertarian Allen Buckley.

It was the first poll in several weeks to show Barksdale within single digits of Isakson, and also showed Isakson below the 50 percent level necessary to avoid a runoff.

In the presidential race, Emerson said Georgians preferred Donald Trump by 51-42 percent over Hillary Clinton, a wider margin than all other recent polls have showed.

Early ballots near 2 million

It appears that Georgia could set a record for early voting this year — Secretary of State Brian Kemp said 1,708,144 ballots had been cast as of Wednesday morning, with 1,562,034 of them advance in-person ballots and 146,110 mailed-in absentee ballots.

Carr takes the oath

Chris Carr, an attorney whose practice status had been inactive since 2007 until just a few weeks ago, took the oath of office Tuesday as Georgia’s 54th and newest attorney general.

Carr replaces Sam Olens, who’s now the president of Kennesaw State University.

“As the leader of the Department of Law, I will work with the entrusted staff at the department to provide legal representation of the highest quality to the agencies, officers and employees of state government and make certain our department continues to have a reputation of dependability, honesty and integrity with the citizens of the great state of Georgia,” he said.

Carr formerly was the state’s commissioner of economic development and prior to that was chief of staff to Sen. Johnny Isakson.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Chris Carr , David Ralston , early voting , ethics complaint , presidential poll , Senate race poll , State Bar