Political Notes — Judge rejects lawsuit against Olens’ appointment

[private]The last remaining legal challenge to the appointment of Sam Olens as Kennesaw State University’s president has been dismissed in Fulton County Superior Court

Superior Court Judge Tom Campbell rejected a lawsuit filed on behalf of KSU students and faculty that sought an injunction against the University System and the Board of Regents to stop the appointment of Olens, who stepped down as attorney general to take the job.

Campbell cited the state’s sovereign immunity against such legal actions in dismissing the lawsuit.

Olens, who took on his new job effective Nov. 1, is free and clear to remain as the president at a campus where students and faculty have held multiple protests against him, demanding that a nationwide search be conducted for a new president.

His lack of experience in any kind of academic institution, along with the lawsuits he filed as attorney general challenging same-sex marriages and transgender restrooms, has made Olens a target for criticism at KSU.

Labor Department honored

The state Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Appeals Tribunal has been named the best performer among the nation’s 22 largest states for handling UI appeals by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“As the recipient among large states of the Department’s 2016 Excellence Award for UI Appeals Decisions, they have demonstrated excellence in performing timely and quality appeal decisions and hearings,” said USDOL Regional Administrator Les Range. “We appreciate their hard work in serving Georgia’s citizens.”

Executive appointments

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office announced the following appointments to state boards and commissions —

Board of Human Services: Judy Brownell of Gainesville, the director of substance abuse prevention for Center Point; Robertiena “Tiena” Fletcher of Perry, the retired director of pharmacy services for Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins; Scott Johnson of Marietta, the senior vice president of Financial Supermarkets Inc. of Cornelia; Randall Smith of Marietta, a senior management consultant with Chick-fil-A; Jack F. Williams of Atlanta, a professor at Georgia State University (GSU) College of Law; and Monica Walters of Barnesville, a retired educator with the Lamar County School System.

Board of Juvenile Justice: James Valbrun of Lithia Springs, the founding attorney of the Valbrun Law Group.

Georgia Board for Physician Workforce: Dr. Indran Indrakrishnan of Duluth, a gastroenterologist and clinical professor of medicine at Emory University.

Georgia Board of Nursing: Janice Izlar of Savannah, a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council: Glenda Anderson of Savannah, the immediate past director of the City of Savannah Research Library and Municipal Archives; Garrison Baker of Cleveland, the probate court judge for White County. Toby Graham of Athens, the university librarian and an associate provost at the University of Georgia; Kaye Minchew of LaGrange, an author and archival consultant; Sheryl Vogt of Athens, the director of the Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia; and Beth Williams of Atlanta, the chair of the social studies department at the DeKalb School of the Arts.

Board of Directors of the Georgia Lottery Corporation: Rebecca G. Cummiskey of Atlanta, a business owner.

Georgia Real Estate Commission: Cindy Rampley of Gay, a member of the Georgia Association of Realtors.

State Board of Registration of Used Car Dealers and Motor Vehicle Parts Dealers: Lee Cavender of Cumming, the owner of Cavender Auto and Genesis Financial; Jason Reaves of Macon, the president and co-owner of Wayne Reaves Software.

State Employee Benefit Council: Bert Brantley of McDonough, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Driver Services; and Angie Surface of Atlanta, the deputy director of the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia.

State Personnel Board: Glianny Fagundo of Brookhaven, a partner at Taylor English Duma; Taylor Haley of St. Simons, a founding partner of the Compass Law Group; and Robert Joseph of Atlanta, a corporate and technology partner with Hill, Kertscher & Wharton.

Statewide Independent Living Council: Kim Gibson of Decatur, the executive director of disABILITY LINK; Cheryl Harris of Lawrenceville, the section manager for access to services through the Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services; and Charles “Charlie” Miller of Kennesaw, a student at Kennesaw State University in the Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Georgia Department of Labor , KSU , Nathan Deal , Sam Olens