- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal says lawmakers should consider whether government employees responsible for conducting investigations should be “automatically” granted whistleblower protection if they decide to sue.

The issue stems from a state Supreme Court ruling last year and a recent verdict against the state ethics commission. A jury sided with a former commission employee who alleged retaliation for investigating ethics complaints against Deal.

Deal said Tuesday that lawmakers should review circumstances that may factor into giving whistleblower status to people who are charged with investigations, noting a number of employees fall under that category.

The ethics commission is facing at least two other lawsuits alleging retaliation related to the Deal investigation. Deal has denied any involvement with actions taken by the commission.

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