Indicted Perdue aide resigns from state board
Posted November 29, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — A former top aide to Gov. Beverly Perdue indicted on a felony obstruction of justice charge has resigned from the North Carolina Economic Development Board.
Peter Anthony Reichard of Greensboro was appointed by Perdue to serve on the board, which oversees economic development planning and makes policy recommendations to the governor, her commerce secretary and legislators.
Reichard submitted his resignation Monday as he and two others tied to Perdue's 2008 gubernatorial campaign were indicted.
Reichard, Trawick Hamilton "Buzzy" Stubbs and Julia Leigh Sitton are charged with obstruction of justice. Stubbs and Sitton are also charged with certifying false campaign finance reports.
Prosecutors have said more charges could be filed in the investigation but that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Perdue.
Reichard surrendered at the Wake County jail on Tuesday and was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Neither Stubbs nor Sitton have surrendered yet.
"Peter's anxious to move past this and get on with the rest of his life. So, we're looking forward to meeting with the (district attorney)," defense attorney Hart Miles said.
Reichard is accused of funneling $32,000 in under-the-table payments from a wealthy Perdue donor through Tryon Capital Ventures LLC, a Chapel Hill merchant bank where he is managing director. The money was used to augment the salary of Sitton, who was a full-time campaign fundraiser during the 2008 gubernatorial campaign.
Reichard declined to comment as he left the Wake County Courthouse.
"I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment on what he did or didn't do wrong, but as I've said before, he's going to accept responsibility for his actions and be accountable for the things he did do," Miles said. "We hope to compromise in a way that is respectful both to the state of North Carolina and to Peter Reichard."
Gary Bartlett, executive director of the State Board of Elections, called transparency of campaign donations "the cornerstone of all our campaign finance laws."
"The public has a right to know who gives the money and how it is spent. It really tells a lot about that candidate and how (he or she does) business," Bartlett said.
Stubbs, a New Bern lawyer and close friend of Perdue, is accused of providing $28,000 in flights aboard his private plane for Perdue during the 2008 campaign and reporting them as donations to the North Carolina Democratic Party instead of to her campaign.
The State Board of Elections fined Perdue's campaign $30,000 last year for not reporting dozens of campaign flights aboard donors' planes during the 2004 and 2008 elections until late 2009.
Bartlett said it's not unusual that an investigation into campaign flights led to other charges of campaign finance violations.
"When one door closes, it opens to another, and it's continuous," he said.