Cowell's lawyer worried about I-485 plan
Posted December 3, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. — A lawyer for State Treasurer Janet Cowell's office said Thursday that a financing plan to build the last leg of Charlotte's outer loop highway could be struck down if it's challenged in court.
Cowell's office on Thursday released a memo from Steve Cordell, an attorney with the McGuire Woords law firm who counsels her on public financing matters. The memo says the Interstate 485 proposal unveiled last month by Gov. Beverly Perdue appears unlawful because state law hasn't explicitly granted that borrowing authority.
Perdue and the Department of Transportation want a contractor to put up $25 million to help pay for the $185 million loop segment. The state would pay the contractor back over time with interest.
Perdue has said the Attorney General's Office indicated the plan as legal before she announced it. Her office said Thursday that she stands by the financing plan.