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Finalists named for ethics board executive secretary

ATLANTA -- The president of a consulting firm and the government relations director for the state's public defender standards organization are the finalists to become executive secretary of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Jerry Presley, president/owner of Public Policy Consultant of Georgia LLC in Nicholson, and Holly A. LaBerge, director of government relations for the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, have been named finalists, according to information posted on the agency's website.

The search was necessitated when the commission slashed the salary for the position from $120,000 a year to $85,000, leading then-executive secretary Stacey Kalberman to resign earlier this year.

The commission also cut the No. 2 position, leaving the agency with no investigators. Commissioners said any investigations will be performed by the attorney general's office.

Presley has headed his consulting firm, which he said provides professional contract services to local governments, nonprofits and businesses in regard to public policy, since November 2008. He was city administrator/clerk for the city of Baldwin from September 2009 until February 2011; a lobbyist and senior policy analyst for the Council on Quality Growth in Duluth (March 2007-November 2008); regional planner for government services for the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission in Gainesville (July 2001-March 2006); interim branch chief and assistant branch chief, Georgia Department of Transportation, Atlanta (October 1999-July 2001); communications officer, Jackson County government (March 1999-October 1999); traffic accident researcher, KLD Associates Inc., Tuscaloosa, Ala. (February 1997-January 1999).

Presley is currently enrolled in a master's of public administration program at Northeastern University in Boston, which he expects to complete in May. He has a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Alabama, which he obtained in 1998.

LaBerge has served as director of government relations for the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council since June 2008. Before that, she was budget analyst for the state House Budget Office (October 2006-June 2008). Those jobs, LaBerge said, followed nine years in the private sector where her duties included direct supervision of employees; interaction with the public; management of financial processes and documents, and resolution of customer satisfaction concerns. Her resume posted on the commission's website did not include listings of companies and firms for which she worked.

LaBerge has a bachelor of business administration from Georgia State University in Atlanta (1997), where she majored in finance.