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Friday, July 16, 2010 - 1:45pm

Oxendine Ethics Probe Clears Hurdle

A Fulton County judge tossed an attempt by two insurance companies that sought to block an ethics investigation
into contributions to Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Oxendine.

Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams said in her ruling Friday that the commission has the power to "find probable cause to initiate hearings and similarly to issue subpoenas in connection with its investigation of public violations."

The two insurance companies are under investigation for funneling money to Oxendine's campaign through 10 Alabama-based political action committees.

Oxendine is the state's insurance commissioner and is barred from taking money directly from companies he regulates.

He has denied wrongdoing and has returned the money.