Local News

House Speaker Pro-Tem Wants Moore County Party Chair To Step Down

Posted March 15, 2005 9:53 a.m. EST

— House Speaker Pro-Tem Richard Morgan is at the center of a controversy -- this time involving his own party in Moore County. At issue are comments made by the county's GOP chair.

Elizabeth Kelly received a letter from an attorney for Morgan, accusing her of spreading rumors about a possible federal investigating into unethical lobbying at the Legislature. Morgan also claims she made some comments during public meetings.

When asked whether Kelly slandered Morgan, she replied, "I've never called him by name in a public meeting concerning this subject."

Morgan was not at the meetings in question, but said Kelly not only used his name, but those of other House and Senate leaders as well.

There are questions about whether Kelly mentioned Morgan by name. Sources at one of the meetings in question in Pinehurst said she did not, but did refer to the "leadership" in the General Assembly.

"I think I used the term high-up officials. I don't even think I used the word leadership," Kelly said.

Morgan calls Kelly, "a vicious and deceitful person with a poison tongue." She said he is only targeting her because she no longer supports him.

"You know you hear about dirty politics all the time, but politics is only as dirty as the people involved," Kelly said.

Morgan said there is no truth to the rumors about a federal investigation into unethical lobbying. He is calling on Kelly to resign as county party chair. She is up for re-election in two weeks.