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Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 11:01am

Congressman Deal Ends Business with State

Republican Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal has ended a business relationship with the state that prompted a government watchdog group to file an ethics complaint against him this summer.

The salvage company co-owned by Congressman Deal has not applied for a new state contract.

For the past 20 years, the state has used the company's grounds to inspect salvaged vehicles. It earned the congressman $150,000 a year.

The relationship came under public scrutiny after a Washington, D.C. based watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Deal. It alleges he used his position to protect his private interests by arranging meetings with state leaders in attempts to deter privatizing the program and opening it up to a competitive bidding process.

Deal has denied the allegations, and due to the pending ethics complaint, says he declines comment on this latest business decision.

His company issued a statement saying it decided not to apply for the private inspection program because it felt it did not meet the safety threshold of last year's state-operated program.

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