ATLANTA --- Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is starting a new trade and consulting business called Perdue Partners with people that he previously appointed to state posts, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday.
The firm, which formed on March 22, is an Atlanta-based trading company focused on the export of U.S. goods and services through trading, partnerships, consulting services and strategic acquisitions, according to the firm's Web site. The business formally launches on April 18.
Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Joining Perdue in the venture are three people that he appointed to state posts: David Perdue, a cousin and Georgia Ports Authority board member; Heidi Green, the former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development; and Trey Childress, the chief operating officer for Gov. Nathan Deal. Childress plans to leave his government job this month.
Perdue's business partners have experience that could help him in trade. David Perdue was CEO of Dollar General and Pillowtex and does business in India. Green made international trips promoting business in Georgia.
The former governor is one of the largest independent grain dealers in Georgia. He ran his grain and trucking business throughout his eight years in office.
During his second term, The Journal-Constitution obtained documents showing that Perdue and his company employees had sought business-related information from state workers at the Georgia Ports Authority and the departments of economic development and agriculture.
At the time, Brantley said that Perdue was gathering information available to anyone in Georgia while he prepared for life after leaving the governor's office.
Perdue's business does not raise legal issues, said Yasha Heidari, a former legal counsel to the State Ethics Commission, but she said it prompts questions about Perdue's focus while in office.
"You just have to wonder if he was focusing on building this entity beforehand," she said.