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Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 3:37am

Ethics Commission Vice Chair Resigning

The vice chairman of the state ethics commission has resigned, saying he's considering a run for the state Senate.

Josh Belinfante said Friday he submitted his resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this week.

A former counsel for Gov. Sonny Perdue, Belinfante, a Republican, said he is weighing whether to run for a newly-drawn state Senate seat. The seat is now held by Democrat Doug Stoner of Smyrna. It once included only Cobb County but was redrawn to encompass part of north Fulton County.

The new map has passed the state Senate, but must also be approved by the House.

Deal expects to name a replacement for Belinfante Monday.

Belinfante's resignation comes as the state ethics commission looks to hire a new executive secretary and reorganize amid state budget cuts.

Earlier this month, commission chairman Patrick Millsaps also asked the governor to appoint a replacement.

Millsaps said he will continue to serve in the meantime.

Several watchdog groups, including Common Cause Georgia, raised concerns Deal improperly re-appointed the chairman because state law allows commissioners to serve only one term.

Millsaps said the legal issues are hazy enough that he’s leaving the matter to the governor.

Deal’s office has said he will begin searching for Millsaps successor.


Joshua Stewart contributed to this report.