Three Perdue supporters plead guilty to obstruction charges

Posted April 24, 2013

Gov. Beverly Perdue

— Three supporters of former Gov. Beverly Perdue pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges for improperly aiding her 2008 campaign.

Trawick Hamilton "Buzzy" Stubbs Jr., 70, of New Bern, pleaded guilty to providing Perdue more than $28,000 in undisclosed flights on his law firm's plane. A longtime friend of Perdue and the law partner of her late first husband, he provided the flights between January 2007 and November 2008 but billed them as in-kind donations to the North Carolina Democratic Party instead of to the Perdue campaign.

Robert Lee Caldwell, 74, of Morganton, used another man as a front to pay for a Perdue campaign flight and had her campaign record it as an in-kind donation from the other man.

The State Board of Elections fined Perdue's campaign $30,000 in 2010 for not reporting dozens of campaign flights aboard donors' planes during the 2004 and 2008 elections until late 2009.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby reviewed the elections board's investigation and sought indictments against several Perdue supporters. He said there was no evidence that implicated the former governor in any wrongdoing.

In addition to the campaign flights, three people were indicted as part of a scheme to pay for a campaign staffer under the table.

The staffer, fundraiser Julia Leigh Sitton, and former campaign finance chief Peter Reichard, already pleaded guilty, and the man who supplied the money, Charles Michael Fulenwider, 65, of Morganton, pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Fulenwider funneled $32,000 in 2007 and 2008 through Chapel Hill-based Tryon Capital Ventures LLC, where Reichard is an executive, for consulting services provided by Sitton. Prosecutors said the money actually augmented Sitton's salary while she worked on the 2008 campaign but was never reported as a campaign contribution.

Stubbs and Fulenwider were each fined $5,000 and Caldwell's fine was $500.

All three were ordered not to solicit money for any campaign, political action committee or political party.


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  • ConservativeVoter Apr 25, 2013

    More crooked Democrats getting convicted.

    Wonder how much these people got to be pushed under the bus by Perdue and not tell everything they know.

  • pappybigtuna1 Apr 25, 2013

    This is a true travesty of justice, the fines do not even cover the costs incurred by the tax payers.
    Investigators, documentation, court proceedings, court costs (judge, clerks, prosecutor), court room

    I personally think the "fines" should have started at $35,000.00 each and gone up.


  • whatelseisnew Apr 25, 2013

    "And I know there will be no fix in for the GOP antics. Let's see, ties between McCrory, the law firm McCrory worked for and the video gaming industry donations. Obviously just a coincidence."

    ANd that has significance to this in what WAY? Are you saying that each side can violate the law so long as they break an equal number of laws? How about we go after EVERYONE that breaks these laws? How about people stop ignoring what their party does by claiming the other party does the same. I don't care what label these crooks carry on their foreheads. If they break the law, I want them in Prison, especially the politicians. Very few of them end up in Prison and when they do the sentences are a JOKE. Jim Black should have received life.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 25, 2013

    "Just imagine how upset they'd be if found out their new Gov worked for the law firm that represented the insurance company which just carpetbagged those 100K-a-year jobs down here at taxpayer expense."

    So people are not supposed to WORK? Insurance companies can not have lawyers? 100K a year jobs are bad? I want to know WHAT kickbacks these people got from Perdue. Easley ought to be in Prison, and I wonder if the same should apply to Perdue.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Apr 24, 2013

    taking another hit for their fearless leader I see.

  • westernwake1 Apr 24, 2013

    So they all obstructed justice to protect Perdue, the bottom line is that these characters have still not stepped up and told the truth about the corruption involving our former governor.

    How soon until the Feds unpeel all the layers of fraud and indict Bev?

  • TVs_Deceit Apr 24, 2013

    In this case people were willing to take the blame alone.

  • rdc42179 Apr 24, 2013

    People in the Purdue Camp doing something illegal, NO WAY !!!

  • miseem Apr 24, 2013

    The fix was in folks, the fix was in.

    And I know there will be no fix in for the GOP antics. Let's see, ties between McCrory, the law firm McCrory worked for and the video gaming industry donations. Obviously just a coincidence.

  • rmadry Apr 24, 2013

    A pat on the wrist thanks to good democrats Willoughby and Cooper. These perps get off with nothing more than a fine and they won't have to implicate anyone higher up.

    The fix was in folks, the fix was in.