Corruption news for Ohio, from the Marion Star:
Public documents released Monday by Ohio voter advocates show a key representative of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (pictured, right) and operatives at the National Republican Congressional Committee were central in drawing the state’s disputed congressional map.
Documents obtained through a public records request by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting show Tom Whatman, executive director of a congressional campaign effort called Team Boehner, legislative leaders, mapmaking consultants and the National Republican Congressional Committee participating in the process. The correspondence includes a pledge by GOP Senate President Tom Niehaus to deliver “a map that Speaker Boehner fully supports.”
Read the rest of the story at the Marion Star.
Corruption news for West Virginia, from the Sunday Gazette-Mail:
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's (pictured, right) appointment of Art Kirkendollto fill his vacant Senate seat has drawn some discontentment among constituents in the 7th Senatorial District.
One concern is that Kirkendoll, who did not seek re-election last year after 30 years of service as a Logan County commissioner, is in a position to triple-dip: His Senate salary ($20,000 base, plus at least 30 additional days of per-diems at $150 a day for $4,500, plus $131 a day in expenses), his county pension through the CPRB (about $21,400 a year), and his work as a paid consultant to the county commission (reportedly, at $4,000 per month.) Coincidentally, Kirkendoll is one of the first public officials to file the new expanded disclosure form under ethics legislation passed in the 2011 regular session.
Read the rest of the story at the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
Corruption news for Texas, from the Texas Tribune:
With a one-paragraph order on Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court froze the Texas congressional and legislative elections and replaced pre-holiday candidate filings, politicking and fundraising with uncertainty and chaos.
For now, there are no new legislative districts in Texas, no new congressional districts. None of the maps has been declared illegal, but no maps for House, Senate and congressional districts are in effect either. What the Legislature drew earlier this year remains mired in court, awaiting preclearance under the Voting Rights Act from a panel of three federal judges in Washington. Maps drawn by a separate panel of judges in San Antonio — drawn because time was running out and the legislative maps hadn't been approved, or even heard by the D.C. court — were temporarily blocked Friday evening by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read the rest of the story at the Texas Tribune.
Corruption news for Washington, from the Seattle Times:
Mindful that most every agency in state government is getting a trim, the auditor's performance- audit account should not be subject to another $1.5 million cut, as Gov. Chris Gregoire proposes.
The auditor's office is in a different category than most state agencies because the voters approved Initiative 900, the performance audit measure, by a sturdy percentage. In other words, the public likes the idea of finding money that need not be spent. By highlighting wasteful practices, the auditor's office sometimes helps pay for itself.
Read the rest of the story at the Seattle Times.
Corruption news for California, from the Los Angeles Times:
State lawmakers and city council members can accept expensive gifts from lobbyists without disclosure if they are dating, and can receive meals and lodging in lobbyists' homes without telling the public, under rules approved Thursday by the state ethics agency.
In addition, officials can accept tickets to Major League Baseball games and other sports and entertainment events if they are performing a "ceremonial duty," such as throwing out the first pitch. They no longer have to report such gifts, although their government agency must do so, and now they can bring a guest. In another change, it doesn't matter how much the gift is worth.
Read the rest of the story at the Los Angeles Times.
Corruption news for Florida, from the Orlando Sentinel:
State and federal authorities are investigating allegations that state Rep. Hazelle Rogers failed to disclose payments she received for lobbying for a construction company before voting to award it a contract to build a library and cultural center. Rogers, D-Lauderdale Lakes, received in excess of $20,000 to lobby for former Miami Dolphin Dwight Stephenson's construction firm when she was a city commissioner, then voted in 2007 to give Stephenson's company the job, sources familiar with the case said Thursday.
Stephenson is not under investigation or accused of wrongdoing, the sources said, and the inquiry is focused on Rogers' alleged failure to disclose a potential conflict of interest and failing to file forms disclosing the payments as required by law.
Read the rest of the story at the Orlando Sentinel.
Corruption news for North Carolina, from NBC 17:
An audit released Thursday claims the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and Chatham County Schools intentionally misrepresented the employment of a NCHSAA associate commissioner to increase his retirement benefits. Chatham County Schools improperly included NCHSAA Associate Commissioner Rick Strunk on its payroll to continue retirement contributions to the North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System.
Strunk (pictured, right) is the longtime head of communications for the NCHSAA.
The audit said the NCHSAA transferred $95,000 to the Chatham County Schools to fund Strunk’s salary and benefits, including $12,592.11 in retirement contributions.
Read the rest of the story at NBC 17.
Corruption news for Arizona, from the USA Today:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's role in the collection of her son's Social Security benefits was under investigation for more than a year by federal authorities trying to determine if about $75,000 in benefits was improperly paid on behalf of her son. Sources familiar with the investigation said the case was referred to federal prosecutors, who have declined to pursue charges.
However, sources said, Social Security officials are considering efforts to recover the money through administrative procedures. One described the case as "highly political." Brewer (pictured, right) and her office have declined to discuss the matter in detail.
Read the rest of the story at the USA Today.
Corruption news for Georgia, from the Courthouse News Service:
The former director of the Georgia National Guard says he was fired after blowing the whistle on "highly disturbing ethical issues and misconduct" of the Adjutant General and the Commander of the state Guard. Brig. Gen Larry Dudney (pictured, right) also claims that Gov. Nathan Deal's office simultaneously announced the "unscheduled" retirement of both Dudney and the man he criticized, in order to halt any investigation.
Dudney believes retaliation and a cover-up to squelch investigation of his complaints are the real reasons he was fired.
Read the rest of the story at the Courthouse News Service.
Corruption news for Connecticut, from the Hartford Courant:
Some state employees who are suspected of food stamp fraud are highly paid officials earning more than $100,000 per year, officials said. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said that all 15 state employees who have been referred to agencies for disciplinary hearings are "relatively high wage-earners.''
As part of the first batch, investigators sought the highest-paid employees in order to make their initial cases. Malloy (pictured, right) said that the 15 identified so far were the "most obvious'' employees. The probe came alive when an investigator recognized the name of a fellow state employee who had applied for assistance under the one-time, emergency benefits that were awarded under the food stamp program.
Read the rest of the story at the Hartford Courant.