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15 December 2009

Bad Deal: Congressional Committee Investigates Republican's Business Affairs

In a piece published Monday evening, Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin writes that both the Office of Congressional Ethics and the U.S. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is inquiring into whether Georgia Republican Nathan Deal engaged in any wrongdoing after it was revealed that Deal's businesses received $1.5 million from the state between 2004 and 2008.

Congressional ethics investigators have interviewed Georgia Department of Revenue officials and received dozens of records regarding U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal's business dealings with the state and indicated at least one subpoena would be issued.

The AJC first reported Aug. 23 that Deal and a business partner have held a no-bid agreement with the state to provide a facility for the state's inspection of vehicles that were junked and then rebuilt. Deal personally earned up to $150,000 a year from the business, Recovery Services. Inc. of Gainesville, which was one of only five firms licensed to provide the service.

"It looks like they're both looking into Deal," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-partisan watchdog group that frequently files ethics complaints against members of Congress. "Subpoenas mean they think something is wrong. It's so infrequent that they get to that stage they have to be concerned there is serious wrongdoing."

Gould Sheinin, Aaron (2009-12-14). Congressional ethics committees inquire about Deal's business. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2009-12-15.

With ethics the new buzzword around the state's political circles, the investigations by two congressional committees only serve to feed into the state Democratic Party's narrative that Georgia Republicans have cultivated a culture of corruption; and that it is time for a change.