Gov. Deal admits to campaign ethics "defects"

7:20 PM, Jul 23, 2012   |    comments
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Gov. Nathan Deal

ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal has admitted to dozens of minor violations of state ethics rules relating to his 2010 campaign for Georgia governor.

As part of an agreement with the state ethics commission, the governor has agreed to pay $3,350 -- not in fines, but in what members of the commission called "administrative fees."

The commission described the more than 50 infractions as "technical defects" in the Deal campaign's disclosure reports. The governor didn't attend the hearing, but his attorney chose to look at the bright side.

"I think we ended up being 99.97 percent accurate out of 100,000 entries on our reports," said attorney Randy Evans afterward. "A technical defect is just that you had an error" in the disclosure reports, he said.

There were two more substantial complaints: One claimed the Deal campaign overpaid an a Deal family-owned air service for campaign travel. The ethics commission unanimously dismissed the complaint.

Another alleged that Deal's gubernatorial campaign used state campaign funds to pay legal fees to fight a federal ethics complaint filed when the Governor was a member of Congress. Evans argued the expenditures were legal. The commission voted 3-1 to dismiss the complaint, with former US Attorney Kent Alexander dissenting.

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