Many of the roads in the foothills and mountains of North Georgia have gone unpaved for generations. Most residents of the area don’t have a problem with the gravel roads; in fact, some people in the area embrace it completely.
And then there’s Governor Nathan Deal.
Deal, who resigned from Congress in 2010 not just to run for governor but also to escape an ethics probe, is the subject of a report that suggests he used taxpayer funds to have the road to his home in Demorest, a town in rural North Georgia, paved.
FOX 5 Atlanta reports:
State Patrol Commissioner Colonel Mark McDonough says the paving of the gravel road leading to the Governor’s home was his idea.
He says he wanted to pave the road to help move equipment during a possible emergency. He admits in his 21 years with the State Patrol he’s never seen this done before.
One local good government watchdog calls it a “possible abuse of taxpayer’s money.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more information:
The report quotes government watchdog William Perry saying the deal smacks of cronyism because it “makes the governor’s property more valuable because now there’s a paved road getting to it, not a gravel road.”
McDonough told Russell that the road paving was part of a still-unfinished security “contingency” plan to ensure access to the home in wintry weather. He said he asked Habersham County to pave the road in December, a month after Deal’s re-election win, and that the bill was paid by a state Department of Transportation grant.
The house, off Log Cabin Road in Habersham County, is Deal’s primary residence and he often opts to spend his weekends there rather than the Governor’s Mansion in Buckhead.
The governor’s office declined to comment on the report.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / michal812