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ATTORNEY GENERAL THURBERT BAKER ANNOUNCES VERDICT IN FORMER STATE COMMISSIONER RETIREMENT BENEFIT TRIAL

PRESS ADVISORY

ATTORNEY GENERAL THURBERT BAKER ANNOUNCES VERDICT IN FORMER STATE COMMISSIONER RETIREMENT BENEFIT TRIAL

July 19, 2001

Attorney General Thurbert Baker announced today that a verdict has been reached in the trial of former Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Dorothy Roach. After a seven day trial, the jury returned a verdict on Wednesday finding that Roach engaged in conduct that she knew or should have known would lead to her termination. “This is a victory for open and honest government,” said Attorney General Baker. “I have always held that the public should expect public officials to work under a high ethical standard. This jury agreed and found that Ms. Roach failed to reach that standard.”

Roach was fired in 1999 after a probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found that she accepted gifts from a contractor that was awarded contracts by the DOAS.

Roach filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court after the Board of Trustees of the Employees Retirement System unanimously denied her enhanced retirement benefits. Roach claimed that she had been fired without cause and was therefore entitled to increased benefits.

Deputy Attorney General Michael E. Hobbs and Special Assistant Attorney General Susan L. Rutherford put on evidence showing that while Commissioner for the DOAS, Roach accepted several gifts from Pam Davis, a vendor for computer software firm PeopleSoft. The gifts included a $500 hot air balloon ride, as well as a $350.00 gift certificate. Roach ultimately awarded PeopleSoft a $6 million dollar software contract for the state.

Had Roach prevailed, she would have received approximately $34,000.00 in additional retirement benefits per year.