Washington, D.C. - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Department of Justice requesting a criminal investigation into the conduct of former Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA). Yesterday, the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) issued a report finding Mr. Deal had engaged in misconduct after considering CREW’s August 2009 complaint that Deal had improperly used his position in Congress to influence Georgia state officials for his personal financial interest. In the course of this investigation, OCE discovered that not only had Mr. Deal violated congressional ethics rules with regards to his interaction with state officials, he also had provided incorrect information on his financial disclosure forms.
Specifically, OCE found that while Mr. Deal is the secretary/treasurer of his salvage business, Recovery Services, Inc. a/k/a Gainesville Salvage & Disposal (“GSD”), and is listed as GSD’s corporate secretary with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, on his 2009 personal financial disclosure form for the 2008 calendar year, Mr. Deal listed himself as a “member/partner/owner” of GSD, but did not disclose he is also the corporate secretary.
The OCE also found that on his 2009 personal financial disclosure form Mr. Deal had declared $75,000 he received from the business first as dividends and later as partnership income, but had reported it as wages on his tax returns and had received a W-2 indicating the money was wages.
House rules limited outside earned income in 2008 to $25,830 and prohibit members of Congress from receiving any income while serving as a corporate officer. Falsifying information on personal financial disclosure forms is a felony punishable by up to five years in jail.
CREW executive director Melanie Sloan explained, “Contrasting Mr. Deal’s tax return with his personal financial disclosure form, it is crystal clear that he lied about the true nature of the $75,000 and the fact that he was a corporate officer of his business so that he could keep the money.” Sloan continued, “Mr. Deal can run, but he can’t hide. Although beyond the reach of the House, the Justice Department still has jurisdiction and – particularly given that Mr. Deal is running for another public office – Americans deserve a full and thorough investigation of Mr. Deal’s sordid conduct.”