CABINET/CONFLICT OF INTEREST/LEGAL/TRUMP PEOPLE/USDA/SONNY PERDUE: “In Sonny Perdue’s telling, Georgians were growing weary of the corruption and scandals in their state when he took over as governor in 2003 — a time when he gave his own version of a ‘drain the swamp’ pledge.
Mr. Perdue is one of the last cabinet members awaiting Senate confirmation. No date has been set for his confirmation hearing; a holdup in the release of paperwork accompanying his nomination by the federal Office of Government Ethics has been blamed for the delay. The office must examine Mr. Perdue’s proposal to avoid conflicts of interest while running the U.S.D.A., as the department is known, which may include selling off some of his farming assets.
Before his tenure as governor ended in 2011, 13 complaints had been filed against Mr. Perdue with the State Ethics Commission, which on two occasions ruled that the governor had violated state ethics laws. The commission took the unusual step of fining Mr. Perdue while he was governor.
There were numerous other questions, including some about the role of Mr. Perdue’s personal lawyer — also a state legislator — in pushing a bill through the legislature that included a special provision that gave Mr. Perdue $100,000 in state tax relief.”
-Eric Lipton, “Ethics Questions Dogged Agriculture Nominee as Georgia Governor, ” The New York Times online, March 8, 2017