Raleigh, N.C. — A pair of ethics complaints lodged against Gov. Pat McCrory by the liberal advocacy group Progress NC have been dismissed by the State Ethics Commission.
One complaint, filed in January, alleged that McCrory evaded state financial disclosure laws by not properly listing his stock ownership and involvement in Duke Energy and Tree.com. McCrory said at the time he misunderstood the requirements and complied to the best of his abilities.
The group also claimed McCrory misrepresented his role in his brother's firm.
"I was paid staff for my brother," McCrory said at the time that complaint was filed, responding to an allegation that he played a more significant role that he reported.
On Wednesday, McCrory made a point of saying the complaint was also an attempt to "smear his name and the business he's worked so hard to build."
Officials with the Ethics Commission could not immediately be reached for comment. In its dismissal of the complaints, the commission said it had reviewed the claims made by Progress NC in October after gathering relevant information.
"The Panel determined that probable cause did not exist that Respondent violated the Ethics Act or others laws over which the Commission has jurisdiction," the dismissal said.
McCrory said the dismissal shows the complaints were "frivolous" and politically motivated.
"They hired a lawyer to draft and file 585 pages of frivolous documents making malicious and unfounded attacks. I’m pleased to announce that the bipartisan Ethics Commission has dismissed each and every claim contained in those 585 pages," McCrory said in a statement. "This dismissal speaks for itself. It’s a resounding answer to the 'questions raised' in these complaints."
Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action, said the decision "makes a mockery of the state’s ethics law and the Ethics Commission itself. Gov. McCrory’s ethics forms are a minefield of omissions and contradictions, and it’s incredible to think that the governor’s errors were an innocent oversight."
He added, "If Governor McCrory believes he is truly vindicated and has nothing to hide, he should release his written responses to the ethics complaints which were filed with the Ethics Commission but have not been made public."