State Board of Elections Chairman Larry Leake offered some clarification this afternoon about his regrets over the Perdue campaign probe.
Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that Leake "says he regrets his vote last year to end an investigation into the campaign of Gov. Beverly Perdue without holding hearings or questioning witnesses under oath."
Reached by phone this afternoon, Leake went into more detail.
"I wish that we had had a better understanding of the matters that came out of Burke County," he said. "All of the indictments which have been returned by the Wake County grand jury, other than Buzzy Stubbs', have come out of Burke Co."
He pointed out that while the board had looked at some of the flights by Buzzy Stubbs, they didn’t know about the illegal $32,000 in payments funneled by Peter Reichard from Morganton fast-food magnate Charles Michael Fulenwider to Perdue campaign worker Juleigh Sitton.
Leake conceded the board could have asked for a more thorough investigation that might have exposed that scheme. “Do I think we should have inquired further about the Burke County matters? Yes,” he said.
“But we didn’t have the information in front of us that set off the warning signals at the time we had the vote," he added. "That, retrospectively, is where I have regrets.”