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Three N.C. Lawmakers At Center Of Debate Over Discretionary Money

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A Republican lawmaker claims three of the most powerful men in the General Assembly -- House Speaker Jim Black, Speaker Pro-Tem Richard Morgan and Senate President Marc Basnight -- used money from discretionary funds to fund pet projects.

Rep. John Rhodes is waiting on a legal opinion from the Attorney General's office. In the meantime, he requested an analysis from the legislative services office at the General Assembly. That analysis concluded that discretionary money was dispersed and approved by executive branch offices -- not members of the General Assembly.

Even so, Basnight has said the process needs to be looked at.

Morgan described Rhodes as "a malcontent, flaming fool who no one in the legislature respects or listens to."

The Attorney General's office is waiting for the state auditor to finish a report before issuing a legal opinion.