“The Office of the Governor.”
Those are the words painted on the door to Gov. Deal’s office at the State Capitol.
But, the sign’s wrong.
It should read: “Nathan Deal, Inc.”
That’s right. From Congress, to the campaign trail, to the governor’s office, Nathan Deal has a shocking track record of using his public offices and positions for personal gain and for passing the cost along to taxpayers – a pattern that has repeatedly drawn the attention of state and federal investigators.
In 2010, Nathan Deal resigned from Congress to avoid further investigation into his use of his Congressional office, including using senior taxpayer-funded staff, to keep a lucrative state contract for his Gainesville junkyard.
The Office of Congressional Ethics released a 159-page report that found “substantial reason to believe” that Deal may have “improperly used his office to pressure Georgia officials.” But the office couldn’t hold Congressman Deal accountable because he had already packed up and left town.
The ink wasn’t dry on Nathan Deal’s resignation from Congress when he launched his 2010 campaign for Governor of Georgia.
He soon faced five ethics complaints, including allegations that campaign funds were funelled to companies owned by Gov. Deal, his top aides and members of his family.
Georgia’s top ethics chief prepared subpoenas to find out if this activity was criminal but she was thrown out of office before the subpoenas were issued.
A jury found the state’s ethics chief was unfairly forced from her job as retribution for investigating Gov. Deal’s campaign. His hand-picked replacement recently stepped forward with evidence that the governor’s top taxpayer-funded staff threatened and intimidated her in an effort to end the ethics investigation. The subpoenas were never issued and the ethics commission never reviewed the full records.
The result? So far, Georgia taxpayers are stuck with a $3 million bill for damages and settlements while Nathan Deal got off with a $3,350 fine.
Nathan Deal’s pattern of using his public office for personal gain didn’t end when he became governor.
When Gov. Deal took office in 2011, he was millions of dollars in debt.
During the last four years, thanks to a shady business deal with one of Georgia’s largest corporate tax debtors, Gov. Deal has gone from rags to riches while Georgia families have struggled just to keep up.
While Gov. Deal made millions by selling his scandal-plagued auto salvage businessto a company that owes Georgia more than $74 million in taxes, he refused to do anything to make sure the company pays what it owes Georgia.
And, he used his taxpayer-funded staff in the governor’s office to make it happen.
With the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney still investigating, Gov. Deal’s campaign is careening from one scandal to the next.
No wonder, on Friday, the AJC reported that the top staff of the governor’s office are set to abandon their posts to work fulltime on Gov. Deal’s re-election campaign.
Deal, Inc. is in full gear.
Once again, Gov. Deal is taking care of himself, but he’s not taking care of Georgia.
Gov. Deal’s address may have changed from Washington, D.C., to Gainesville, Georgia, to the Gold Dome in Atlanta, but one thing stayed the same – there’s a thin line, and too often, no line at all, between Nathan Deal’s public office and “Nathan Deal, Inc.”
Most Georgians don’t know about Gov. Deal’s history of using his public office to line his own pockets. Share this article on Facebook using the “Share” button below or chip in to Better Georgia now to make sure more people learn the facts. Chip in now.