Gov. Nathan Deal has named his business partner and two top contributors to the Georgia Ports Authority.
Ken Cronan and James Walters, both of Gainesville, and Hugh M. Tarbutton of Sandersville have been appointed to the authority's governing board. Cronan and Deal are partners in Gainesville Salvage & Disposal. Walters leases office space to Deal's campaign and contributed nearly $30,000 to the governor's 2010 election.
Walters also served as chairman of the bank that provided Deal's campaign with a $250,000 line of credit.
Tarbutton gave Deal's campaign more than $16,000.
The authority is a quasi-public agency governed by a 13-member, governor-appointed board. The authority generates more than $39 billion in statewide economic impact. Getting on the board is considered one of state government's most coveted posts.