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Gov. Deal appoints wife of state COO to board

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed the wife of a high-ranking state official to the Board of Workers' Compensation.

Deal released an executive order Friday naming Elizabeth Gobeil to replace former GOP state Rep. Warren Massey, whose term ended in January.

Gobeil's husband is Bart Gobeil, Deal's chief operating officer. Deal spokesman Brian Robinson called Gobeil "more than qualified" for the new post.

She was hired a week after Deal's chief budget official, Debbie Dlugolenski Alford, became head of the Georgia Lottery. One member of the Lottery Board quit, saying that Deal compromised the selection process by pushing Alford for the job.

Gobeil has been a lawyer for roughly 15 years and senior counsel for two pharmaceutical companies. She was once an aide to Sen. Paul Coverdell.