Auditor: probe of ethics commission will be limited to performance review

Georgia’s state auditor said Wednesday that the requested probe of the state ethics commission will be limited to a performance review and not the full-fledged investigation many sought.

Greg Griffin, in a statement, said his office will follow the law, which gives it broad authority to review state programs.

The announcement is likely to fuel more controversy for the ethics commission. The panel originally asked Attorney General Sam Olens to appoint a special assistant attorney general to investigate allegations first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that employees were ordered to destroy records related to the investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 bid for governor and to minimize the charges against him, most of which were later dismissed.

The commission announced Tuesday that it had changed its mind and asked the auditor to conduct an internal investigation and performance review. The auditor’s website says performance reviews seek to determine whether a program is accomplishing its goals, does it do what it is intended to do and does it comply with all applicable laws and regulations. The release from Griffin says “allegations of misconduct or mismanagement will be investigated as appropriate.”