Gov. Nathan Deal today appointed state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) and state Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson (D-Tucker) to join Attorney General Sam Olens on a panel that will determine whether or not to suspend state Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) from office.
The governor’s executive order calls for the panel to issue a written report with its determination within 14 days. The panel’s ruling is final.
Charges filed against Brooks by the U.S. Attorney’s Office triggered a provision in the state constitution that requires a panel of the state attorney general and a gubernatorial appointment of one House and one Senate member to rule on an indicted legislator’s fitness to serve in office. If the panel determines that Brooks should stay in office, he’ll continue in his official duties for the remainder of his term in office. If it decides to suspend him, Brooks will continue to receive his legislative pay and benefits but will be unable to act in an official capacity. A suspension would not call for a special election, and the seat would remain vacant until the next regularly scheduled election. Brooks would resume office if the case against him was adjudicated in his favor.