Local Politics

Wake DA to review elections board's report on Perdue

Posted August 26, 2010

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— Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Thursday that he plans to look at information from the State Board of Elections about dozens of campaign flights taken by Gov. Beverly Perdue on donors' private planes.

The State Board of Elections voted Tuesday to fine Perdue's campaign $30,000 for 41 flights during the 2004 and 2008 elections, which weren't disclosed in campaign-finance reports until the past year.

Perdue and representatives of her campaign have maintained that there was never any intent to conceal the flights, some of which might have violated state limits on contributions to candidates. Rather, they have said, the campaign had "a flawed system for recording flights," and the trips weren't discovered until an audit of campaign records was conducted last year.

The elections board tried to consult Willoughby before assessing the fine, as they are required to do under state law, but he has been tied up in a murder trial and was unavailable.

So the board fined the campaign for late reporting, a narrow scope of state elections law that didn't require Willoughby's input.

Willoughby said he would take a look at the Perdue case next week, but he was quick to note that he hasn't launched any investigation.

Last year, the elections board ordered the campaign of former Gov. Mike Easley to pay $100,000 for dozens of unreported flights, and they turned their findings over to Willoughby to determine if criminal charges were warranted.

The case eventually wound up in the hands of Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly, who is expected to decide next month whether to press charges.

The elections board has investigated campaign flights by Perdue and other 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial candidates since late last year. In June, an investigative report found that most candidates didn't properly account for campaign flights, but Gary Bartlett, executive director of the elections board, said at the time that there was no evidence that anyone tried to skirt campaign finance laws.

Last week, the board released an additional 10-page investigative report that showed how Perdue's campaign kept detailed notes about her travel aboard private planes and how it was funded.

In recent months, Perdue's campaign has filed amended campaign-finance reports to reflect the flights. Some were treated as in-kind donations, and the campaign repaid other donors for flights because they had already given the maximum allowed to her campaign.

The elections board decided Tuesday not to fine the other gubernatorial candidates who improperly reported flights.

38 Comments

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  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Aug 27, 2010

    so is the Joker guilty yet, or will you too sweep it under the tarmac?

  • REALY Aug 27, 2010

    well i didnt mean to forget to report it .but hey im the gov. so just give me a slap on the wrist. i wont do it again ! ( get caught i mean )

  • rgm1266 Aug 27, 2010

    It anyone thought that the election board was going to come down with a different verdict, then I have some beach property in Kansas to sell you!!

    Until the VOTERS realize, most of the people in office are all one thing.....THEY ARE POLITICIANS!!! They all talk a good game. When it gets right down to it, they really don't care about the citizens.

    I hope the WAKE DA will investigate this further to find out if there were any laws broken. If so, then the GOV on down need to be brought up on charges!! I'm sick and tired of these politicians getting away with this mess!! DEMO or REP, we need to clean house.

  • jackcdneh1017 Aug 27, 2010

    It doesn't matter if they are Republican or Democrat. They are all guilty of corruption, influence peddling, cronyism, and lying and cheating. Time for this state to clean up its act.

  • ratherbnnc Aug 27, 2010

    Finally, it clearly outlines the Chairman's powers in the Statutes- which state that he not only has the power to investigate, but an obligation to do so. So I don't understand how he or Bartlett can be said to "meddle" in an investigation in which they were obligated by their job descriptions to oversee.
    gizmo1119

    That is very easy to answer! The R's are screaming because things havent gone their way! Just political rhetoric!

  • gizmo1119 Aug 27, 2010

    There is unfair attention being paid to the Perdue Committee. All of the candidates (both Republican and Democrat) failed to report flights. The 41 flights for which her committee was fined was not any more than those that went unreported by the other committees. I find it unusual that Kim Strach was so persistent in pursuing her investigation of the Perdue Committee, while letting the Republican candidates go with barely a slap on the wrists. With her husband serving as counsel to the Republican Party at the time that they filed the complaint, she should have recused herself immediately. Finally, it clearly outlines the Chairman's powers in the Statutes- which state that he not only has the power to investigate, but an obligation to do so. So I don't understand how he or Bartlett can be said to "meddle" in an investigation in which they were obligated by their job descriptions to oversee.

  • tommys5 Aug 27, 2010

    ju·ve·nile (jv-nl, -nl)
    adj.
    1. Not fully grown or developed; young.
    2. Of, relating to, characteristic of, intended for, or appropriate for children or young people: juvenile fashions.
    3. Marked by immaturity; childish: juvenile behavior.

  • ratherbnnc Aug 27, 2010

    eddyhumphrey- And the Republicans are a bunch of choir boys? Keep[ staying lost in reality okay?

  • eddyhumphrey98 Aug 27, 2010

    When everyone gets enough of all the corupted Dem then we will be able to do somethng maybe.The whole bunch needs to go including Collen W.He is one of the same!!!What was done about Easley???

  • ratherbnnc Aug 27, 2010

    demo7691 - Thank the Bush economy and the TARP bailout for the fine mess we are in.

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