Former Perdue staffer pleads not guilty to charges

Posted March 5, 2012 11:17 a.m. EST
Updated March 5, 2012 11:53 a.m. EST

— A former aide to Gov. Beverly Perdue pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that she received secret salary payments while working on the Democrat's 2008 campaign.

Julia Leigh Sitton of Morganton entered a written plea Monday through defense attorney Joe Zeszotarski in Wake County Superior Court. She did not appear before the judge.

Sitton is a lawyer who resigned last year as director of the governor's Western Office. She has been a paid fundraiser for Perdue's 2008 campaign.

Sitton was indicted on two felony charges in November, accused of accepting $32,000 in unreported salary payments from illegal campaign donations. Former Perdue fundraising chairman Peter Reichard of Greensboro pleaded guilty in December to funneling the secret payments to Sitton through his company.

A third person with close ties to Perdue, longtime family friend Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs, entered a not guilty plea last week to charges that he provided his private plane to the campaign for several flights that weren't properly reported on campaign finance reports.