The Deal/Riley Connection Moves Beyond “Just A Few Emails”

Roll Call is reporting that Chattahoochee Logistics, the LLC that has its address at former Chief of Staff Chris Riley’s home, paid Riley’s wife $245,000 from 2002 to 2008.

An earlier report in the AJC, detailing the relationship between Riley, Deal, and Chattahoochee Logistics, stated that Riley was not paid for this service. Role Call adds that it is illegal for a House member to purchase services from a staff member, but is silent on purchasing services from the staff member’s spouse.

A problem appears to arise, however, in that Riley’s financial disclosures filed for this same period do not include this income paid to his wife.

Also included in both articles is the fact that Chattahoochee Logistics had to repay the House approximately $80,000 after an internal audit in 2008. From Roll Call:

In 2008, Chattahoochee Logistics also reimbursed the House for more than $80,000 in “overpayments” based on revised travel rules as determined by an internal audit, as the Atlanta newspaper reported.

The first two disclosure forms Chris Riley filed indicated that he was president of Chattahoochee Logistics, but the company dropped off his later forms.

Riley said he subsequently removed himself as a member of the LLC, although he continues to manage the company in an uncompensated position. Records maintained by the Georgia secretary of state list the company’s principal office at Riley’s home address in Gainesville.

Riley added that he received advice from the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

“The staff director of the Standards Committee said, ‘Do I get paid to drive a car?’” Riley recalled. “‘So why should you get paid to fly an airplane?’”

Riley has previously been cited by the House and forced to donate $90,000 in excess income paid by Deal’s campaign accounts to charity.

And, in another example of Groundhog day with the Deal campaign, Deal is again referring questions not to his press secretary, but to his attorney.

It is clear that Chris Riley has been the COO of Nathan Deal Inc, and has been warned about his conduct by the House for accepting outside payments for work that was clearly part of his COS duties. He has repeatedly used his position, office, and equipment to support the outside income of both Nathan Deal and apparently himself. And Deal’s oft repeated excuse that this never came up until he decided to run for Governor is negated by his warning from the House in 2008 – when his good friend and muscle over Bart Graham – Casey Cagle – still had a back strong enough to run for Governor.

Fellow Republicans can continue to pretend they are ostriches instead of elephants, as they bury their head in the sand so they see nothing. At this stage, that is sadly expected. But to pretend that Nathan Deal and his staffs’ conduct has done anything other than be self-serving and a constant walk along and sometimes over ethical lines requires a suspension of belief that can only occur with a mother’s love or political self-interest.

64 comments

  1. perimeterprogressive says:

    Wow. Nathan Deal really is out to just better himself and his buddies at the expense of us everyday Georgians.

  2. fishtail says:

    I am beginning to think that Chris Riley is the evil mastermind behind Nathan Deal. His name is included in every ethical mis-step that Deal has made.

    • Charlie says:

      From Page 15 of the OCE report that the Deal folks keep demanding we read (as if we haven’t):

      “When asked why he would attend the meetings, the Chief of Staff stated that he rarely allows Representative Deal to go anywhere without him, unless it is a family matter.”71

      Chew on that one for a moment. We’re about to elect a Governor that can only do what his COS “allows”.

  3. Clint says:

    This is absurd. How can any voter in their right mind trust the reigns of Georgia to these people. Come on and wake up. If Deal had anything behind his name besides an R, almost everyone of these people defending him would be calling for his resignation as a candidate for Governor and probably would be calling on the US Attorney’s office to open (or expand) however the case may be an investigation into all of this corruption and abuse of office for personal gain.

    The inability of people to set aside partisan politics for the good of our state is severely disappointing.

      • Rick Day says:

        Oh Goody. You score a spelling point. Now comment on his statement, straw man or GTFO.

        This is some serious dog piling of issues and you must do better than, “It ain’t a D” as some sort of coherent point of view. If Charles Manson (R-GA) himself ran for Gov of GA you would probably argue he deserves the Reign of Georgia.

        See what I did there?

        • B Balz says:

          This recent revelation goes a bit beyond ‘piling on’ to me.

          James Fannin statements resonate with me, I am deeply disappointed to read about this.

          I maintain a 45 day early voting window is not always the best idea.

  4. James Fannin says:

    Chris Riley is definitely not the evil mastermind behind Nathan Deal. Mastermind is simply not the term that comes to mind when looking at his sloppy, dishonest disclosures and his personal involvement in every single unethical act by Deal. Clearly he has long seen Deal’s Congressional office as his personal gravy train and he has worked it for all it’s worth. Consider that Deal’s campaign paid him big bucks as a political consultant to help mastermind an uncontested race for Congress. How much contempt do you have to have for voters and your boss’s donors to call them demanding contributions so you can pay yourself a big bonus for your unnecessary contribution to a virtually uncontested campaign?

    According to his disclosures, he also owned two condos in Destin, one for personal use and one as a rental. The airplane made it easy to visit and the Deal deal, made it easier to afford the plane. He charged Deal’s Congressional office for the plane and he charged Deal’s campaign for the plane. Great deal. He gets the plane, taxpayers and campaign donors pay the note, the gas and the hanger fees and Chris and his wife can afford to own a plane to fly down to his Destin condo on a Congressional staffer’s salary.

    But here’s the worst part, Deal is still going to get elected because the choices are between our team and their team and just like pulling for the Bulldogs, some folks who should know better don’t care about all those crimes off the field as long as our team wins on the field. After this election, Republican party officials and those who encouraged voters to support this bad Deal for our state are going to have a great deal to answer for. We will need to clean up the leadership of the Republican party and a lot of Georgia legislators will need to face primary opponents and be defeated.

    But it gets better,

    • Clint says:

      I’ll do one better for you – just don’t vote for these jokers. Send them packing. Trust me, they have a lot of other things on their plate to address.

      Roy Barnes is the better choice for Governor.

  5. Progressive Dem says:

    The 15 days between tonight and the end of the election are going to be the slowest in Nathan Deal’s life.

  6. Hm Nathan Deal says:

    1. Cars are not safe anymore since his no-bid salvage contract ended
    2. That he’s proud of the landfill he tried to influence into existence
    3. [ANY TAKERS ON THIS]

    My guess is he will say that he got a bargain on the services provided and that when elected Governor he’ll probably make this woman a state contractor.

    • polisavvy says:

      I keep wondering how the other candidates’ opp researchers missed all of this. How could they have done such a poor job?

      • Three Jack says:

        karen hired all the retreads from perdueless and paid a price. she would have been better off going rogue to run her own campaign w/o dan, marty, et al.

        speaking of suspending disbelief…either handel’s team knew nothing about deal’s problems which would mean they are complete idiots…or they knew and didn’t use the information which makes them inept. Either way, those guys should never be hired to run another statewide campaign in ga.

    • They tried to make the race fit the “everyone loves Karen” theme. So they probably weren’t even looking. Sometimes you need to step out of the box and figure out whether or not you’re being relevant and put aside the cult of the candidate to get the job done.

      • justpeachy says:

        They knew a lot but not what all has come to the table since the runoff. Like Roy or not as a politician he’s a brilliant attorney (trial at that) he could dig up the dirt on anyone.

        • polisavvy says:

          I bet other candidates are going to learn from Roy Barnes about this whole “dirt digging” concept. If they knew anything, why didn’t they come forward with it? I never saw anything close to what we have been seeing the last two weeks. I voted three weeks ago — too late to turn back now for me.

      • Three Jack says:

        you always look, at least if the campaign team is worth the tens of thousands they are being paid. that doesn’t mean you use the dirt, but you damn well better know about it and have a strategy for use when needed.

        • polisavvy says:

          Agreed, TJ (and that’s two days in a row, too). Some of these opp researchers make some big bucks. I agree with you that you shouldn’t use it unless you need to do so. Just think, had Handel’s opps done a more thorough job, we could be in an entirely different situation. It doesn’t take an experienced attorney to dig up dirt.

  7. Three Jack says:

    deal and riley corrupt…noooooo! deal’s lead will increase in the next ia poll as a result of these latest revelations.

  8. ACCmoderate says:

    These ethics issues are too complicated. As a result, they fly over the head of the average voter here in Georgia. It’s much easier to color over the truth a little bit in an effort to make an attack sting.
    As Deal has proven, these kinds of accusations stick. Why? People are stupid, that’s why.

    1. Under Roy Barnes, Georgia ranked dead last in SAT scores.
    That may be true, but even the College Board (the people that administer the SAT) strongly advise against comparing the average SAT score of a state/county/school to another state/county/school. It doesn’t matter though. It’s still a figure that Deal & Co. can throw into a commercial to make Obama… I mean… Roy look like a boogeyman.

    2. Georgia led the nation in job losses.
    To Deal, it’s pure semantics that Georgia led the nation in job growth prior to 9/11 and sheer economic and business theory would lend you to believe that these jobs would be the first to jump ship when the economy went south. Again… it makes for a sexy line in a commercial.

    3. Roy Barnes is just like Obama.
    Makes for a sexy line doesn’t it? People will never check their policy platforms to verify this.

    Roy isn’t going to win by attacking Deal on his ethics scandal. At the end of the day, its way too complicated for the Georgia voter to figure out. As the DPG demonstrated with Mark Taylor, they aren’t the best when it comes to crafting a concise message about the ethical shortcomings of a Republican.

    I’m still voting for Barnes because I believe he’s capable of turning this state in a positive direction. I also believe that he’s running out of a legitimate desire to help the people of Georgia and not to further line his own pocketbook.

    I don’t think Roy Barnes will win. The ethics accusations aren’t damning enough to sink a Republican candidate in a Republican state in a Republican year. Heck, it could come out tomorrow that Nathan Deal is a child molester… people would still vote for the guy with the R next to his name.

    • B Balz says:

      The last point was hyperbolic, but in general, your assessment is pretty accurate. I disagree with “…its way too complicated for the Georgia voter to figure out….”.

      Georgia voters are not stupid, rather, much of these ‘revelations’ become a ‘he said, he said’ race to the bottom. They lose efficacy and become a ‘who cares’ moment ‘they all do that stuff.’ I don’t agree, but that is the net of it.

      The old adage, ‘unless caught with a live boy or a dead girl’ comes to mind…

      I think Ms. Handel’s discourse on Friday will be either very boring or hugely interesting. If the latter, crossover moderate GOPers and a high voter turnout may be Rep. Deals biggest threat.

    • Charlie says:

      “…Heck, it could come out tomorrow that Nathan Deal is a child molester… people would still vote for the guy with the R next to his name.”

      Wouldn’t we need to know what the kid was wearing? He may have been asking for it. #Wedon’tneednostinkinrapeshieldlaws

      • ACCmoderate says:

        That kid and his slutty Bugle Boy t-shirt. Totally wanted it.

        Do kids still wear Bugle Boy? I literally have no idea. I just remembered having one of those shirts when I was little.

      • polisavvy says:

        Wouldn’t it be great if we could turn back the hands of time? I’m sure that many voters in this state would be second guessing some of the choices they made in July.

        • Three Jack says:

          unfortunately, i don’t agree with you polisavvy. most deal voters would still vote the same way because their guy hates baby killers and homos.

          • polisavvy says:

            Well, Three Jack, I was pleased with the votes I cast in the primary and the runoff. Am I pleased with one vote in particular that I cast in the general? Absolutely not. At least I’ll admit that I now question my judgment (or lack thereof). That’s the only thing about early voting that I don’t particularly like — things like this that come out with the “October” surprises. I do wonder how all of this was never discovered by any of the other gubernatorial candidates’ opposition researchers. How did they miss it? I wonder what they are thinking now?

  9. Clint says:

    With all this information and all these accusations against Deal I find it really hard to understand how anyone could, with an honest face, encourage someone to vote for him. To me, that takes the absolute abandonment of principles to do.

    Deal used his Congressional Office and his co-conspirator, his Chief of Staff to repeatedly abuse his office for personal gain. Additionally, Deal’s voting record on domestic violence issues is beyond alarming – it’s plain unexplainable. He was the ONLY VOTE against the bill in the State Senate. Remember there were conservatives in the State Senate at the time who we all respect and they voted in support of the bill, but not Nathan Deal.

    As for this professor – I’ll take the prosecutors who have spoken up both then and now against this bill before I’ll take your ivory tower theory. Deal should have never drafted language to repeal the Rape Shield Act and this would not be an issue. Sometimes, in the law, the threat of repercussions is enough to deter criminals from committing a crime. Deal’s bill would have taken away that threat of certain repercussions.

    • rightofcenter says:

      You have yet to address the fact that Roy Barnes was on the State Bar committee that approved the language of the bill THAT THE STATE BAR ADVOCATED!

      • B Balz says:

        ROC, keep making that point, it won’t matter, it appears that some folks have an agenda. An appearance of an organized plan to influence an election. Perhaps, this thread, and the several others today will be enough….to be declared a breach of ethics???

        Facts mean nothing to pol operatives. They parrot, squawk, and making the same annoying noise repeatedly, hoping somebody will say yes to them if nothing more than to get them to hush.

        As I have stated, I may not vote for Rep. Deal, but I will be hung to see a group pandering ethics violating GA ethic rules.

        Clint insists he know more than Prof. Milich, who wrote the book on Evidence used in GA and is a 27+ year professor. Clint calls this man a resident of an ivory tower.

        I don’t know you, mate, but I tip my hat, you have some brass ones… Incredible, really.

  10. saltycracker says:

    SOME CHOICE …..well Deal can’t self-deal more than Barnes can redistribute….but we’re safer with the self-server over the Obama takeaway guy….. not getting on the trolley ride….votin’ a’gin king Roy…
    doesn’t Georgia politics make you feel good ?

  11. Georgia Judge says:

    Some of us do not need to roll back the clock to remember the dismal governance that was the Barnes administration…put lipstick on him all you want, he is still and will always be KING ROY.

    • bowersville says:

      I hate going backwards. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. It’s just that I don’t know how much more of this progress I can stand.

          • B Balz says:

            This tax commission set up to change the way Georgia extracts ‘revenue’ is THE one to watch, regardless of November 2.

            Georgia keeps attracting good companies, big international business opportunity. 30 trade embassies, GWINCO gets several new companies recently.

            Watch the Georgia Grown program, if we produce more of the food that Georgians buy, UGA estimates a billion dollar revenue stream.

            Lot’s of good news out there!

            • polisavvy says:

              Just think, in 14 days we can actually start talking about all the good things that are coming Georgia’s way. To be quite frank, this election cycle is making me weary. Plus, just last week they were talking about all the movies that are coming to Georgia for filming — more revenues. Georgia’s going to pull through despite whoever is elected Governor, in my opinion. Good days are ahead.

            • polisavvy says:

              Also, and not to rain on our happy parade; but, the tax cuts issues that Congress decided to bail instead of establish could detrimentally affect and impact the farmers. I don’t know what the answer is. I know what should happen, though.

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