Government corruption could impact Alabama's economy - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Government corruption could impact Alabama's economy

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Lawmakers are still reelingfollowing the sudden resignation and guilty plea by four-term HouseRepresentative Greg Wren. 

Wren pled guilty to a misdemeanorethics violation, and agreed to cooperate fully with the Attorney General'sOffice as prosecutors pursue related corruption investigations. 

In a statement from the actingAG, former Representative Greg Wren's plea could be the string that unravelsrumored corruption at high levels of state government, this a significant pointin the ongoing investigation. 

Political economist, Dr. KevianDeravi's says widespread corruption could leave a lasting impact on the state'seconomy.

"If there's a crisis ofreputation, a crisis of trust on the radar and the occurrence is at a very highrate, it could be a problem," Deravi said.  

Deravi's deep knowledge of thestate's fiscal affairs gives a good window of what a string of indictmentscould mean for the state's ability to recruit new industry. 

"If there's a problem that doesn'tgo away, if there's a problem of trust and credibility, it would make it easierto eliminate the state from contention," Deravi said.

As for residents, high levelethics violations would spell failure for any new tax referendums.

"The need to be confident that themoney they are sending to Montgomery will be used in the best possible way,"Deravi said.

Deravi believes the state'sstrongest suit is its workers, who run the agencies and deal directly with thepublic, which is typically unaffected by ethics issues. The second strongestelement is term limits.

"The good thing about all this,politicians have expiration dates, and the voters can exercise that expirationdate," Deravi said.

Wren's date has come andgone. 

The residual criminal charges,yet to be seen.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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