Deal selects panel to weigh suspension of lawmaker

Deal selects panel to weigh suspension of lawmaker

State Senator Don Balfour (Courtesy: Fulton County Jail) State Senator Don Balfour (Courtesy: Fulton County Jail)

ATLANTA (AP) - Two Republican state lawmakers and a retired Georgia Supreme Court chief justice will decide whether to suspend Sen. Don Balfour from office while he faces charges stemming from an investigation into his legislative pay and expenses.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that he has appointed House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal, Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance and former Chief Justice George Carley, who retired last year. The panel has until Nov. 15 to make a decision.

Balfour was indicted last month after prosecutors alleged he falsified reports to claim pay and travel expenses from the General Assembly. Prosecutors say on days when Balfour claimed state pay, lobbyists reported entertaining the lawmaker outside of Georgia.

Balfour's attorney has said Balfour may have made inadvertent mistakes but didn't intentionally misappropriate state funds.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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