Update 4;17 p.m. Former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal just finished a nearly 30-minute news conference with reporters in Gainesville.
In it, a defiant Deal said he has done nothing wrong, has no intention to exit the race for governor and renewed his effort to paint his recent troubles as a scheme by Democrats to damage his campaign.
“Sometimes in the world of politics there’s a price for doing what’s right,” Deal said.
More to come.
A Washington-based government watchdog group on Tuesday filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department against former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into Deal’s conduct. On Monday, the U.S. House Office of Congressional Ethics announced they believe Deal might have committed six violations of House ethics rules in connection to a lucrative agreement with the state of Georgia.
Deal, who is a Republican candidate for governor, has said he did nothing wrong and his campaign characterized the ethics office’s investigation as a “witch hunt” prompted by Democrats.
CREW filed the original complaint against Deal with the Office of Congressional Ethics, based on reporting in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year that found Deal personally intervened with state officials to protect the obscure state program of inspecting salvaged vehicles. Deal and a business partner for 20 years had a non-bid agreement with the state to host state inspectors, a business that earned their firm $1.5 million from 2004 to 2008, according to state records.
In the filing to the Justice Department, CREW executive director Melanie Sloan writes that “it is incumbent on the Department of Justice to open a criminal inquiry into Mr. Deal’s conduct. America’s law enforcement officials should not stand by idly while a corrupt politician avoids being held accountable for criminal abuse of his office while at the same time seeking higher office.”
More to come …