Local News

Key Planner Of State Inauguration To Watch Event Outside

Posted January 14, 2005 5:16 a.m. EST

— The two-hour

state Inauguration Gala

will be broadcast live on TV Saturday. It is being produced by 1587 Entertainment, but one of the key members of the production will not be allowed in the building after 4 p.m. because the State Bureau of Investigation said he is a security risk.

Kelly Padgett wants to make sure the Governor's Gala is perfect. He is overseeing the production, but the night of the live event, he will watch from the outside.

"I was angry at first, upset, many different things," he said.

Security will be tight at this year's event. For the first time at a North Carolina Inaugural Ball, thousands of guests will pass through metal detectors. Background checks were performed on all workers and volunteers, which is why Padgett is restricted from the building.

"We've all done childish things in the past. We've done things we regret," he said.

In his teens, Padgett had a few run-ins with the law, but an incident six years ago raised eyebrows with the SBI. The 26-year-old had a misdemeanor conviction for impersonating a law enforcement officer. Padgett said it involved gaining access to a hiker in trouble.

"It was me and an EMT. I went to help. He got an attitude. I got an attitude. There was an exchange of words and I said I was a federal agent. I was just trying to help," he said.

The executive producer of the show will take his place back stage while Padgett oversees operations from the production truck.

"I'm glad the governor's office has worked out the compromise for him to be involved," he said. "I'm the most caring person there is. That's why I'm doing this."

The SBI said less than 10 people involved in the inauguration have restricted access because of the background checks. The restrictions involve people who could have come in close contact with the governor.