State Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville)
ATLANTA -- A panel appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal has decided to suspend Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) from the General Assembly.
The panel handed down its decision Wednesday.
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READ | Suspension document against Balfour
Balfour was indicted in September on 16 counts of making a false certificate, one count of theft by taking, and one count of false statement and writing.
He is accused of double-billing the state and filling out reimbursement vouchers for trips he never made.
11Alive's Paul Crawley spoke with Deal, who said that under state law, he is suspending Balfour pending the outcome of his trial or through the end of his term -- December 31.
"It's a sad day for Georgia," Deal said.
If there is no trial by December 31, the suspension will be lifted, as that marks the end of his present term.
The state's Senate Committee on Assignments on Wednesday stripped Balfour of his committee assignments, including his positions as chairman of the Reapportionment and Redistricting committee, vice-chairman of the Health and Human Services committee, and from memberships ont he Banking and Financial Institutions committee and the Senate State Fair Tax Study committee.