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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 21 Sep 2013 04:15:59 EST

DEAL ETHICS Ethics Commission head received pay increases (Information in the following story is from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com ) ATLANTA (AP) — The head of Georgia's Ethics Commission who is accused of intervening in a case involving Gov. Nathan Deal received pay increases despite being hired as the agency said it had to cut costs. Records reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that Holly LaBerge's salary increased from $85,000 in September 2011 to $100,000 by June 2013. Current and former employees have accused LaBerge in testimony of improperly intervening in an investigation of Deal's 2010 gubernatorial campaign. They say LaBerge ordered documents removed from the case file and met with top Deal aides while the probe was under way. Ethics Commission officials said LaBerge increased the agency's legislative funding by more than $100,000 since arriving. They said LaBerge has also successfully collected late fees, generating about $253,000 for the state treasury. MUSIC STUDY COMMITTEE Lawmakers looking at growing music industry in Ga. ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia state legislators plan to look into ways to promote the growth of the music industry in the state. The Georgia House of Representatives' Music Industry Study Committee plans to hold meetings across the state to explore various issues. The committee was created by a House resolution during the 2013 legislative session. It is tasked with looking at the issues facing the state's music industry, identifying opportunities, and exploring strategies to retain existing industry and talent and ensure growth, investment, and jobs. The committee's first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Savannah. DEPUTY-DRUG CHARGES Feds say Ga. sheriff's deputy sold marijuana ATLANTA (AP) — Federal authorities have filed charges against a Georgia sheriff's deputy they say sold marijuana to an undercover law enforcement agent. Darrell Mathis had his initial court appearance Friday. A lawyer was appointed to represent him and he was granted $25,000 bond. An FBI agent's sworn statement filed in federal court in Atlanta says the Newton County sheriff's deputy sold marijuana to an FBI confidential source and to an undercover agent. The FBI says the source had seen several large bags of marijuana in Mathis' apartment during a social visit. On more than one occasion, Mathis arrived at a meeting in his patrol car, wearing his uniform and his police gun as he sold the source marijuana. The FBI also says Mathis sold marijuana to an undercover agent on several occasions. GANG CHARGES Atlanta men accused of demanding protection money (Information in the following story is from: WXIA-TV, http://www.11alive.com/ ) NORCROSS, Ga. (AP) — A federal grand jury has accused five Atlanta men of demanding protection money from Korean businesses in Gwinnett County. Authorities said 39-year-old Eugene Thomas "Yoo Jin" Chung was the gang's ringleader. WXIA-TV reports that Chung and four other men have been charged with extortion, drug trafficking and firearm possession. Prosecutors accuse Chung and his defendants of threatening the owner of a Korean restaurant by demanding payments of $400 to $800. Chung was accused of threatening to harm people and vandalize the restaurant if they were not paid. Authorities said a victim arranged a meeting between gang leaders and an undercover FBI agent. Authorities said Chung told the undercover agent that he could offer gambling, extortion, debt collection and marijuana distribution. It was unclear whether the defendants had lawyers. PLANE-POT PLOT 2 Californians get prison in Texas pot plane case LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A pilot and passenger from California must serve more than three years in prison for smuggling drugs in a rented plane that landed in Texas to refuel. A federal judge in Lubbock on Friday sentenced Michael Gallanter and Ethan Oliver Wynne-Wade. The San Francisco men in June pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Both must surrender in October to begin serving 37-month terms. Officers in April confiscated more than 150 pounds of marijuana on a plane that stopped in Lubbock while bound for Atlanta. The plane earlier refueled in Page, Ariz. Investigators say the men departed in bad weather, refueled the Piper themselves and paid cash. Authorities also learned some renters at Travis Air Force Base Aero Club in Rio Vista, Calif., broke flight rules and procedures.

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