Local Politics

Federal investigation still looms for Perdue

Posted November 24, 2010

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— As the federal investigation into former Gov. Mike Easley comes to a close, current Gov. Bev Perdue remains under the microscope for how her campaign paid for and reported flights on private planes.

Federal and state investigators are looking into during Perdue's 2008 gubernatorial campaign and 41 private flights she took going back to 2005. Her campaign did not report the flights until last year.

The State Board of Elections in August fined Perdue's campaign $30,000 for the flights aboard campaign donors' planes. The campaign has paid the fine.

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.

Easley pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single campaign finance violation.

"He admitted to violating a law, which actually he didn't violate," said Bob Hall, of the campaign finance watchdog group Democracy North Carolina.

Hall said historically campaign treasurers are held responsible for reports, not politicians. Hall thinks the totality of the accusations against Easley led to the plea, so he doubts it means prosecutors will now suddenly go after candidates with bad reports, like Perdue.

Gov. Beverly Perdue Federal probe still looms for Perdue

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into Perdue's campaign in mid-October. He said he had lingering questions about her campaign flights but that they didn't involve Perdue herself.

"Just because a politician gets in the news committing some things that don't look right, should we turn all the investigative power of the state against that politician?" Hall said.

"We know we made errors. We want to take responsibility for those errors," Perdue campaign spokesman Marc Farinella said. "What was most important to us was the recognition that no one was trying to do anything intentionally."

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer has been calling for an investigation into Perdue's campaign flights since last year. He has said that he believes that the campaign broke state law and then tried to cover it up.

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  • fireunclescam Nov 25, 2010

    So what will be HER punishment? A $5 fine?

  • renaizzanceman Nov 25, 2010

    It's time to impeach this broad. I'm tired of her hosing all the good people of NC.

  • independentvoter3 Nov 25, 2010

    Why bother... after Easley getting away with everything from accepting bribes in many forms to insurance fraud... she will most likely be acquitted. An utter disgrace!

  • superman Nov 25, 2010

    With some many people having computers and knowing how they work people should think about buying one to keep up with their campaign reports and contributions. A cardboard box is just not satisfactory anymore.

  • wildcat Nov 25, 2010

    where is the monitor?

  • wildcat Nov 25, 2010

    My goodness, Purdue could be sit down as a governor while on duty if the evidence proves her wrong doing. Then we can get another good governor.

  • elmer Nov 25, 2010

    they all ready looking for a plan to get her off why bother

  • Tax Man Nov 25, 2010

    "He admitted to violating a law, which actually he didn't violate," said Bob Hall, of the campaign finance watchdog group Democracy North Carolina. - That is because he got a really sweet deal by pleading guilty to a minor felony he stopped federal and state investigations into his real crimes that would have given him long prison terms. Good lawyering, but he is still a scumbag felon. NOW, lets convict Bev and get her in prison and out of office so she can do no more harm! Have a special election and move on!

  • early exit Roy Nov 25, 2010

    I doubt Bev will lose any sleep over this investigation. After what we just witnessed in the Sleasley (Easley) case she need not worry. I am sure she has $1000 to cover the fine. I think we should go ahead and fine her instead of continuing to throw state and federal dollars at something that will not amount to anything but a slap on the wrist. This is a very corrupt political state. New Jersey nor Illinois has nothing on NC.

  • Mark G Nov 24, 2010

    In just one day, on one news website, WRAL's, take a look at the stories. Perdue in trouble, the former governor convicted and the state mental health system under federal investigation. Again, that's just one day's worth of news.

    You stagger my imagination if you see these stories and still believe the answer to our problems is to give the government even more control and money to waste.

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