Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said Thursday he would announce his appointments to a review panel in the case of state Representative Tyrone Brooks on Friday.
Friday marks exactly two weeks since the Governor received a certified copy of the indictment against Brooks from the Attorney General’s Office. Brooks pleaded not guilty to 30 counts of tax fraud charges. According to the indictment, the Atlanta Democrat used nearly a million dollars of money donated to his charity, Universal Humanities, for personal expenses.
By law, the Governor had to wait 14 days to assign a review panel, but he could have chosen to take more time.
The panel must include the Attorney General, one state representative and one state senator. Once appointed, they will determine whether to suspend Brooks from office because of his indictment.
“Well I want people who are going to be open minded, who are going to be fair and as much as possible remove political considerations from their decision,” said Deal.
The Governor said he considered the appointments carefully and that political preferences were not necessarily a factor in his choices.
“The peculiar circumstances are that Representative Brooks would continue to receive his salary and benefits. He would just not be allowed to vote and there would not be a special election to fill that position. So, it is not as large in magnitude as if it were going to be a permanent replacement. That is not the choice that they make.”
If the panel votes to suspend Brooks, he will remain suspended until the expiration of his term or until the conclusion of his case.