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Deal recruited new ethics chief as probe of his campaign heated up

September 19, 2013 --

Sept. 19, 2013 — Gov. Nathan Deal’s office recruited a new director for the state ethics commission just as it was ramping up a high-profile probe of his 2010 campaign, Atlanta Unfiltered has learned. A year later, the new ethics chief is alleged to have closed the investigation with a minimal penalty on orders from the governor’s office. The new, behind-the-scenes accounts of the Deal probe, emerging in two whistleblower cases, resurrect concerns about the independence of the state’s ethics enforcers and the integrity of its investigations. They also contradict denials that Deal had any role in the shake-up that cost the state’s top two ethics enforcers their jobs.