Pin It

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gov. Sonny Perdue forgets to claim Jackson Lake vacation home

Gov. Sonny Perdue is no stranger to controversy when it comes to real estate. In 2004, a firestorm erupted — one that continues to this day — over Oaky Woods, a 19,200-acre tract of land in Houston County that critics say was a sweetheart deal for the governor's developer buddies.

But it's a different piece of land, a home along the shores of a lake created by Georgia Power, that had CL scratching its head over the weekend.

Located in Butts County, Jackson Lake is a 4,750-acre reservoir created in 1910 when the Central Georgia Power Company dammed the Yellow, Alcovy and South Rivers. The lake sits downstream upstream from Plant Scherer, Georgia Power's carbon-belching coal plant in Jolliet Juliette (Thanks to Victor for the correction). Located halfway between the Gold Dome and the governor's home in Houston County, it's considered a recreational hotspot — the lake is nice and full, there's waterskiing aplenty, and if you use the proper bait, you're likely to catch bluegills, largemouth bass or redar sunfish.

And according to the Butts County Tax Assessor, Perdue and his wife purchased two lots on the lake in Sept. 2007. There’s one problem: He never claimed it on his annual finanical disclosure, which would be a no-no according to the State Ethics Commission.

The Jackson Progress-Argus, the county’s local newspaper and legal organ, reported Perdue’s wife requested water and sewer service at the lake house on Sept. 28. Neighbors interviewed by the paper said the couple moved into the home in November. Since then, it’s apparently been a vacation spot for Perdue and his family. On their personal blogs, the couple’s grown children refer to the home and posted photos of family gatherings there.

Click here to view the Butts County Tax Assessor's information about one of the properties. (An employee with the assessor's office says it's currently updating its site and that the posted owner information is not current.  She confirmed that Perdue and his wife purchased two lots totaling 1.81 acres on Sept. 27, 2007.) Click here to view Perdue’s most recent filing report with the State Ethics Commission. In Section IV (property ownership), the Butts County lake house is not listed.

After being contacted by CL on Monday in regards to the property, Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley checked with his boss. He said it was a “complete oversight” and that the governor’s office would file an amended report today.

"They take essentially last year’s report and update it with new figures, and it was a complete and total oversight that didn’t list the new property," Brantley says. "So I can absolutely confirm for you that he owns the property."

“[Personal finance reports] are important so that the public has the ability to review and determine if there is a financial interest in the actions of the elected official,” says Rick Thompson. Failure to provide accurate information on a personal finance report can result in civil penalties.

So all in all, mystery solved! No nefarious goings on here, folks — that we know of. We can sleep easy now...or can we? Dun dun DUN!

Tags: , , , , , ,


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Latest in Fresh Loaf

More by Thomas Wheatley

Search Events

Search Fresh Loaf

Recent Comments

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation