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Monday, December 7, 2009 - 10:38am

Calls for Ethics Reform Getting Louder

Ethics reform could become a new buzz word at the state Capitol.

Today, state Representative Rob Teilhet, a Democrat running for attorney general, proposed to strengthen Georgia's ethics law.

Also, Secretary of State Karen Handel, a Republican running for governor, says she wants the legislature to act on revamping ethics laws now or, she says, she'll do it as governor.

The cry for more ethical behavior under the Gold Dome comes after the resignation of House Speaker Glenn Richardson. He resigned after his ex-wife told an Atlanta television station that Richardson had an affair with a lobbyist.

The affair had been part of an ethics complaint in 2007 but was dismissed at the time. The ethics panel decided not to investigate the claims.

Now, Teilhet says he wants to introduce legislation that would make the state Ethics Commission responsible for complaints against legislators rather than have lawmakers pick a panel to police themselves.