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Friday, August 26, 2011 - 8:55am

Ethics Commission Selects New Leader

The lobbyist for Georgia's public defender system has been named to lead the state's ethics commission.

Holly LaBerge, of Senoia, was selected on Friday as executive secretary of the panel that handles campaign finance complaints and oversees lobbyists.

The commission announced the decision after interviewing LaBerge and another finalist, Jerry Presley, a public policy consultant from Nicholson.

The commission is replacing Stacey Kalberman, who resigned after her salary was slashed earlier this year The commission has been wrestling with budget cuts and the new executive secretary will spearhead a cost-cutting overhaul that would outsource more work to a part-time lawyer and the state attorney general's office.

As director of government relations for the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, LaBerge helped secure additional funding from the Legislature.