ATLANTA, Ga. Jurors awarded the former director of Georgia's ethics commission $700,000 Friday, ruling in her favor in a lawsuit in which she said her salary was cut and a deputy removed for investigating complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal.
The jury ruled in favor of Stacey Kalberman after more than two hours of deliberation, also deciding she would receive attorney's fees and back pay.
"I'm relieved. I've honestly and truly believed what happened to me was wrong," Kalberman said after the verdict. "I'm very thankful that our justice system permits this."
Kalberman claimed in her suit against the commission and its current director that commissioners had slashed her salary and eliminated her deputy's position as they sought approval to issue subpoenas as part of the agency's investigation into Deal's 2010 campaign reports and financial disclosures.
The state argued that the personnel actions were motivated by budget concerns.
The Republican governor was later cleared of major violations in the ethics probe and agreed to pay $3,350 in administrative fees. His political opponents seized on Friday's verdict to raise questions about Deal as he runs for re-election this year.