POLITICS

Georgia Ethics Chief Resigns Amid Reports He Watched Porn On Work Computer

The commission has not commented publicly on the contents of the complaints against former Executive Secretary Stefan Ritter.

Georgia’s ethics chief resigned on Friday amid an investigation into improper workplace conduct, including several reports that he watched porn on his state computer.

Stefan Ritter, who served as executive secretary of the Georgia State Ethics Commission since 2015, was placed on paid leave in January after several staffers filed complaints against him. The commission has not commented publicly on the contents of those complaints.

Jake Evans, chairman of the commission, on Friday thanked Ritter for his service.

“The Commission thanks Mr. Ritter for his service and wishes him the best in his future endeavors,” Evans said in a statement to HuffPost. “We will vigorously investigate the pending complaints and will prosecute those having merit. Promptly appointing a qualified replacement Executive Secretary will ensure this is accomplished.”

Multiple outlets reported in January that at least two ethics department employees had filed complaints against Ritter, including allegations that he had pornography on his work computer. The employees also complained about Ritter allegedly failing to show up to work and maintaining irregular hours.

Ritter, a former senior assistant attorney general for the state, called the allegations “incorrect.”

“I haven’t even seen any allegations. It’s puzzling to me,” he told Fox 5 Atlanta in January.

Ritter took the helm of the commission after its previous leader, Holly LaBerge, was sanctioned, fined and fired for failing to turn over documents in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by her predecessor.

Ritter was credited with helping to clean up the commission in the wake of that upheaval.

After staffers filed complaints against him in December, the commission launched an internal investigation and voted unanimously to put Ritter on paid leave. Evans at the time would only comment to news outlets that the move was “based upon allegations of improper workplace conduct” against Ritter.

As part of his settlement with the commission, Ritter will receive three months of his salary, totaling roughly $45,000, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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