Deal Appoints Panel to Review Balfour Case
by Staff Reports
Gov. Nathan Deal today appointed state House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal (R-Bonaire), state Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone) and retired state Supreme Court Chief Justice George Carley to a panel that will determine whether or not to suspend indicted state Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville) from office. According to a release by the Governor’s Office, Deal’s executive order calls for the panel to issue a written report with its determination by Nov. 15. The panel’s ruling is final. The state constitution calls for the panel to determine if the indictment relates to and adversely affects the administration of the elected office. If it determines it does, the panel would suspend Balfour from the General Assembly. The senator would continue to receive his legislative pay and benefits in the meantime, but he would not be able to perform any official functions of his office.