“There’s been a lot of time since the 2010 election cycle, and this all relates to that,” Gov. Deal said.
Until now, Gov. Deal and his team have tried to deflect concerns and say that the investigation only involves a skirmish among employees within the ethics office.
Gov. Deal’s new defense is that the timing of the investigation may be politically motivated.
“I don’t think it’s coincidental in the timing. I don’t know that for sure, but I don’t know why it’s happening now,” Gov. Deal said.
We will help clarify the timing of the FBI’s criminal investigation since Gov. Deal’s memory is a little foggy.
Gov. Deal has worked very hard for three years to keep his financial documents a secret.
He replaced the top ethics chief with his own hand-picked candidate after the threat of subpoenas.
He even made the lead investigator a judge to stall the process.
- November 2, 2010 – Gov. Nathan Deal was elected governor amid charges that he used campaign money to illegally pay family and friends. Voters would later learn that the governor had more than $4 million in personal debt, at least half of which he did not disclose until after the election.
- November 3, 2010 – A Georgia resident filed a complaint with the state ethics commission that accused Gov. Deal of improperly reporting personal debt and of illegally using campaign funds for personal gain.
- April 2011 – Robert McBurney, assistant U.S. Attorney, exchanges emails with deputy ethics chief Sherilyn Streicker. In the email, McBurney said he and an FBI agent discussed the possibility of “seeking to have you designated as a SAUSA to work with us on our version of what you’re looking at.” They were looking at Gov. Deal’s 2010 financial documents – less than a year after the election.
- May 2011 – Ethics Chief Stacey Kalberman asked the five member ethics commission to approve subpoenas seeking Gov. Deal’s financial records. The board, with three members appointed by Gov. Deal, voted down the request for subpoenas.
- May 19, 2011 – Sherilyn Streicker sends an email saying that she and her boss Stacey Kalberman, the state ethics chief, will meet with the FBI.
- Mid-May 2011 – The governor’s office called Holly LaBerge to gauge her interest in the ethics job, according to LaBerge’s own sworn testimony.
- May-June 2011 – The state ethics commission informs Kalberman that her salary will be cut by $35,000 per year and cuts Streicker’s job completely.
- August 26, 2011 – Holly LaBerge announced as new ethics chief.
- February 2012 – Gov. Deal appoints lead investigator Robert McBurney to a Fulton County Superior Court judgeship. This appointment stalls the investigation.
- September 30, 2013– The state ethics commission requests that Attorney General Sam Olens appoint an independent attorney to investigate Gov. Deal’s campaign finances and the alleged cover-up.
- October 22, 2013 – Ethics Chair Kevin Abernathy changes course and announces there will not be independent investigation by the Attorney General. Instead, a performance review will be led by the state auditor, Gov. Deal appointee Greg Griffin.
- November 13, 2013 – The state ethics commission voted retroactively to approve a performance review by the state auditor. (The state auditor was appointed by Gov. Deal).
At any point from his 2010 campaign until now, Gov. Deal could have come clean.
He’s had three years to make all of his campaign finances public.
Instead, he’s worked to end the investigation at every turn.
And today he says the timing of this investigation is questionable.
We know better than believe him.