Local News

No Criminal Charges for Edmisten

Posted August 11, 1996 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Related WRAL-TV5 News Audio Files:District Attorney Colon Willoughby (pictured, right) comments on the findings of an investigation of Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten. Listen to

The audit also accused Edmisten of switching the license plate on his car to disguise his identity.

Willoughby said his office does not prosecute such cases if the car owner can show it is properly registered and has insurance.

Employees who were accused in the audit of using state telephones for personal calls had reimbursed the state by the time investigators got to them, Willoughby said, and it was difficult to separate business calls from personal calls.

In some cases, Willoughby said, employees probably had reimbursed the state for calls that would be considered business.

About 400 trips between 1993 and 1995 were questioned, including many to concerts and sporting events.

A synopsis of the SBI investigation said Edmisten defended most of the trips as business. But he admitted it was a mistake to ask a uniformed State Capitol Police officer to drive him to a Raleigh restaurant and concert in August 1993.

``Edmisten admitted that he was intoxicated and should have never done this,'' the report says. ``... The State Capitol Police Officer advised that Edmisten was drunk and was drinking from a flask while riding in the marked car.''

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