My AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin filed this not long ago:
Nathan Deal far exceeded congressional limits on outside income and used his U.S. House office and staff to preserve a private stream of money coming from a no-bid state business deal, a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics has found.
The 138-page report, released Monday, is based on reporting from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from August that Deal and a business partner made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the business and that Deal used his congressional office to try and prevent state officials from making significant changes to it.
Says Deal campaign spokesman Harris Blackwood:
“This has always been a political witch hunt fueled by Democrats who fear that Roy Barnes will lose the governor’s race to Nathan Deal.
“In its own report, the Office of Congressional Ethics admits that its efforts were incomplete and it does not conclude that Mr. Deal did anything wrong. That’s because Nathan Deal did nothing wrong.”
Read the entire report here. But a pair of excerpts show that Deal isn’t the only one who may need to do some explaining. Deal’s lobbying of state Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham required several meetings arranged by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
This from the report by the Office of Congressional Ethics:
The OCE requested, but was unable to conduct, interviews with the Georgia Lieutenant Governor, former members of his staff, and current members of his staff because the Lieutenant Governor refused to cooperate with the OCE investigation.
Elsewhere, ethics investigators recommended that Cagle be subpoenaed:
The OCE requested an interview with the Georgia Lieutenant Governor and a former member of his staff. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office would not cooperate with the OCE’s requests for interviews but did produce some information concerning the Lieutenant Governor’s presence at meetings discussed above concerning vehicle inspections. Thus, the OCE recommends that the Committee on Standards of Official subpoena the Georgia Lieutenant Governor.
We’ve got a call into the lieutenant governor’s office. Then there’s this strange passage about Chris Riley:
Representative Deal’s Chief of Staff attended all three meetings with the Department of Revenue. When asked why he would attend the meetings, the Chief of Staff stated that he rarely allows Representative Deal to go anywhere without him, unless it is a family matter.
Most of the article remains behind a screen, but Roll Call has this intriguing paragraph:
The report’s release also marks an unprecedented move in the fragile relationship between the OCE and the House ethics committee: The OCE said it published its findings in the Deal case because the House ethics committee missed a March 22 deadline to do so — even though Deal submitted his resignation just minutes before the deadline.
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