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Posted: July 23, 2012 1:05 p.m.

Gov. Deal pays $3k over ethics complaints

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal agreed Monday to pay $3,350 to settle three ethics complaints filed against him over his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

The Republican governor admitted to "technical defects" in multiple campaign finance disclosure reports. Ethics commission staff attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein said one complaint was based on Deal's campaign either leaving blank or incorrectly listing employers in relation to campaign staff.

The man who first filed the complaint, George Anderson, initially raised 14 instances of potential violations, but a more thorough investigation by commission staff found a total of 53 violations, which they labeled "technical defects." The commission imposed a fee of $50 per violation.

Another complaint, filed in October 2010 by Kimberlyn Carter, alleged that Deal accepted campaign donations that exceeded limits for political contributions. Deal refunded $130,000 of those contributions before the election.

An investigation by the commission's staff investigation concluded that two contributions were improperly designated as general election campaign donations that should have gone toward his primary runoff election campaign.

Deal attorney Randy Evans said the discrepancy was "just a bookkeeping error." Deal arrived in Switzerland on Monday as part of an economic development mission and his spokesman, Brian Robinson, declined to comment.

The commission dismissed three complaints against Deal, including a charge raising questions about how Deal's campaign paid for private aircraft use when he was co-owner of North Georgia Aviation. A commission investigation concluded that the law on the issue was vague and a staff attorney said she did not feel a violation of the rules had occurred.

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