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Goldman says burglary story was politically motivated

Posted October 22, 2012

— Wake County school board member Debra Goldman said Monday that someone is trying to derail her campaign for state auditor by leaking a 2010 police report that details a burglary at her Cary home. The report goes on to suggest Goldman might have had a romantic relationship with fellow school board member Chris Malone, who is running for state House.

Goldman denies the relationship and says the furor caused by the report won't sidetrack her effort to become state government's chief financial watchdog.

"It is obvious that these stories are politically motivated," Goldman said in a statement. "The timing is designed to derail my campaign."

Copies of the 23-page report were delivered anonymously to WRAL News and at least one other news outlet last week, just as early voting began throughout North Carolina. The report details the burglary in which Goldman told police that $20,000 in cash, as well as $100,000 worth of jewelry and $10,000 worth of coins from a coin collection were stolen from her home on June 12, 2010.

According to the report, Goldman said she kept large amounts of money on hand after having trouble accessing her bank account following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Much of the report is not a public record, and it is unclear who provided copies to the media or how they obtained the document. In a statement, Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said her agency is investigating how the report became public.

"Due to the seriousness of this situation and to ensure we have not violated the public's trust in our department, we started an official Internal Investigation through our Professional Standards Division and the investigation is being led by Captain Tracy Jernigan," Bazemore said.

Goldman has not challenged the authenticity of the report, and Bazemore said it does appear to be authentic.

According to the report, there were no signs of forced entry after the burglary at Goldman's house. Goldman told police she had lost her keys the week before at a Wake County Board of Education meeting.

Goldman initially told Cary police that she believed her opponent in the 2009 school board race and other political opponents might be behind the theft.

Several days later, she went to police with the possibility that Malone might be responsible. Malone, also a Republican, is running for state legislature in House District 35.

According to officers' case notes, Goldman said Malone wanted a romantic relationship with her. She told police that he frequently sent her text messages, sometimes after midnight.

"Malone told Goldman even though he knew she was not interested in a relationship with him, he had to tell Goldman he was in love with her," the report said.

Police questioned Malone, who said he and Goldman were involved in a romantic relationship for several months following their election to the school board. Both were married to other people at the time.

It was "like high school kids dating," Malone told officers, according to the case notes.

Goldman contradicted Malone, telling police that the relationship was never romantic and that she rebuffed his advances.

Police cleared Malone of any involvement in the burglary.

WRAL has been trying to reach Goldman for comment since last week. In her statement Monday, she said, she is continuing her campaign for state auditor.

"I am saddened that I have to even dignify these reports with a response," she said. "This is all I will say regarding this issue, and I consider the matter closed."

Malone says media coverage of the police report will not keep him from pushing forward with his campaign. Asked to respond to the specifics of the police report, both Malone and his lawyer, Philip Isley, declined to comment.

Former Wake school board Chairman Ron Margiotta told WRAL Monday that he asked Goldman and Malone about their relationship while they were on the board together. He said they denied it was romantic. Margiotta said he now wonders whether their relationship affected the board's vote on its 2010 reassignment plan. Goldman broke ranks with the Republican majority, and the plan was changed significantly.

Whether or not this incident affected Wake County school board policy, it could affect both Goldman's and Malone's campaigns for higher office.

Goldman, in particular, has been a target of criticism by conservative grass-roots Republicans activists who say her candidacy was pushed by the state party.

Democratic Auditor Beth Wood said Monday that she did not intend to use material from the report in her campaign against Goldman.

"It's always been about the credentials and her lack thereof," Wood said. Wood is a CPA and a specialist in government auditing. Goldman is not an accountant by training.

Lori Millberg, the Democrat running against Malone for state House, said she, too, would avoid mentioning the episode on the campaign trail.

"I have said from the start that I don't want any part of that," said Millberg, adding that rumors about Goldman and Malone have been circulating since she got into the campaign. "I feel so bad for their families."

House District 35 is considered Republican-leaning by many analysts, although voter registration there is closely divided and operatives with both parties are paying close attention to the district.

Asked if it would affect the election, Millberg said, "It's hard to say why people vote the way they vote....I'm just going to continue running my campaign as I have been running it. I believe I'm more qualified to serve."

78 Comments

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  • reverendspam1 Oct 25, 10:17 a.m.

    "I am saddened that I have to even dignify these reports with a response". Sorry, but you need to respond to this since you are running for public office and it speaks about your character.

  • free2bme Oct 24, 1:30 p.m.

    I was never voting for Malone or Goldman in the first place. But what amazes me is how some people still will.

  • westernwake1 Oct 24, 12:02 p.m.

    "Dont know where Goldman banked but I have never had any trouble with my account. Most people have a bank account and pay their bills with a check or credit card. I dont know anyone who pays their bills with cash. I pay almost all my bills with my credit card and pay off the card every month. I get money back a couple times a year from the card." - superman

    I expect that Goldman was just trying to hide this money from her husband in the divorce process. I am making the assumption that the money, coins, and jewelry actually existed and is not a fabrication.

  • superman Oct 24, 11:26 a.m.

    Dont know where Goldman banked but I have never had any trouble with my account. Most people have a bank account and pay their bills with a check or credit card. I dont know anyone who pays their bills with cash. I pay almost all my bills with my credit card and pay off the card every month. I get money back a couple times a year from the card.

  • bill0 Oct 24, 9:48 a.m.

    "So what happens if all the people you want to vote for are in the same party? Should you be required to pick somebody you don't want just to avoid voting a straight ticket?"

    I think you are missing the point. There is currently a separate box on the ballot that you can check to vote "straight party" for all state level races. Nobody is saying you shouldn't be allowed to voted for any candidate that you want, just that you should have to take the time to vote for each candidate individually. We vote for people in the country, not parties.

    And a reminder for anyone who does vote straight party, it does NOT include the presidential race! Thousands of voters accidentally miss the chance to vote for president because they don't read the wording on the "straight ticket" box.

  • Kaitlyn Oct 24, 9:28 a.m.

    According to an article in the Charlotte Observer state GOP chairman Robin Hayes is still encouraging voters to vote straight-ticket republican. And Pat McCrory is trying to deflect the issue by calling this a politically motivated attack and "praying" for everyone involved. Really??

    I guess its their job to support their own party's candidates no matter what, and I'm sure if she was a democrat we would see the same thing from the other side.

    This is the first general election that I am old enough to vote in, and I am already sick of the way both parties are acting. A couple years ago I was actually looking forward to being able to vote. Now, not so much.

  • Ken D. Oct 24, 9:04 a.m.

    "This is why I oppose it should not be allowed to do a straight party voting."

    So what happens if all the people you want to vote for are in the same party? Should you be required to pick somebody you don't want just to avoid voting a straight ticket?

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 23, 7:54 p.m.

    This is why I oppose it should not be allowed to do a straight party voting. It's for lazy, uneducated people. Just think of the damage that could happen if someone like this woman actually got in off of a straight party ticket?

  • westernwake1 Oct 23, 7:18 p.m.

    "Ask yourself: How many times have the police been called to my house in the last two years? Once, twice? More than 36 times to the Goldman house (N&O). Public knowledge is simply the inevitable outcome of such insane behavior. Politically motivated? maybe. Not that I would ever vote for her, but I appreciate someone who tries to stop a runaway train(wreck) myself." -

    Mom2two

    Here is the N&O article on the dozens of calls to the Cary Police from the Goldman residence since Jan 2010:

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/21/2429374/goldman-residence-source-of-many.html

    My favorite line - "to investigate suspicious noises, plastic forks in the driveway, reported thefts and burglaries."

    Plastic forks in the driveway - sounds like major crime.

  • carolinarox Oct 23, 5:51 p.m.

    If the story is true, with Malone being married, under NC Statutes Goldman committed a crime - she could be liable for both alienation of affection and criminal conversation. Nice. tired2

    SHE was also married and Malone could also be liable for alienation of affection.

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