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Statement from Erin O'Brien, Communications Director for Governor Perdue

Friday, February 7, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - "Today Frank C. Jones, a retired partner from the Atlanta law firm of King & Spalding, agreed to represent the State of Georgia to enforce the Governor's directive to Attorney General Thurbert Baker that the State dismiss its appeal in Georgia v. Ashcroft, the redistricting case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. King & Spalding represents the State in various other matters and it has been suggested that the existence of a conflict would preclude Griffin Bell, a current partner with King & Spalding, from representing the Governor and the State in this matter. Although the Governor's Office contends that no conflict exists, the Governor has retained Mr. Jones to avoid any unnecessary distractions from the central principle at stake: as stated in the Georgia Constitution and related statutes, the Governor, not the Attorney General, determines the State of Georgia's litigation objectives in cases where the State of Georgia is a party."