Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Republican Party has filed a grievance with the State Bar against Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate for governor, following a debate hosted by WRAL News.
Cooper, the state's attorney general, faced off against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory last week. In the midst of a discussion over government transparency, Cooper pointed to questions surrounding McCrory's handling of a state prison contract.
"If he wants to talk about political contributions, he had a contributor who said he wanted something for his contribution in return. Gov. McCrory gave him a private prison contract over the objections of his staff," Cooper said. "If you want to talk about political contributions, governor, you're the one who now has an FBI criminal investigation."
McCrory responded that Cooper should "resign right now" for making that allegation.
In fact, McCrory had faced questions from the FBI, but the day after the debate, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office said prosecutors had concluded their probe of the matter in February. McCrory's denial was the first public mention that the probe had concluded.
In the Republican Party's complaint, Chairman Robin Hayes says Cooper should have known the investigation had concluded.
"I am troubled by the impact of the statements on the integrity of our elective process," Hayes wrote.
Cooper's campaign said it was McCrory, not Cooper, who had explaining to do.
"This political attack from the Republican Party has no basis in reality," said Ford Porter, a spokesman for Cooper. "Gov. McCrory has yet to explain when he met with the FBI, the nature of the investigation and when the inquiry concluded. He should do so now."