Local Politics

Elections officials question lawmaker's expenses

Posted September 8, 2009 5:38 p.m. EDT
Updated September 8, 2009 6:22 p.m. EDT

— The State Board of Elections has notified state Rep. Ty Harrell that it is auditing his campaign finances, and officials have asked the Wake County Democrat for more information about his expenses.

Because it is an off-year for campaigning by state lawmakers, most of their campaign reports show limited spending and fundraising.

The report Harrell filed last week for the first six months of this year shows 165 expenditures. Some include the notations "candidate obligation," "volunteer recruitment" or "donor cultivation" to explain the purpose of the expense.

Under state law, campaign money can be used only for campaign-related expenses. Money can't be spent for personal use.

The Board of Elections wants Harrell to provide documentation to clarify how his campaign money was spent and to demonstrate that it was for campaign purposes.

Harrell told WRAL News that the expenses are all legitimate. He said he was meeting with people over dinner or drinks to discuss his campaign and, in some cases, to talk about a possible run for higher office.

Harrell also said he has heard discussions of a possible House Ethics Committee investigation targeting him. He said that he feels confident his actions would be cleared by any such investigation.