State News

House speaker asks for Ethics Committee review of Harrell's campaign

Posted September 9, 2009 5:54 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2009 6:38 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina House Speaker Joe Hackney has asked a legislative ethics panel to examine "irregularities" in a colleague's campaign finance reports.

Hackney said Wednesday he wants the Legislative Ethics Committee to determine whether activities of state Rep. Ty Harrell, D-Wake, violate ethics rules, criminal law or both.

The State Board of Elections is also performing an audit of his campaign finances. State elections director Gary Bartlett said his office wants more information about expenditures identified in reports by the two-term House member.

Harrell didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Hackney's statement. He told WRAL News on Tuesday that his expenses were legitimate and that he was confident he would be cleared in an investigation.

State law requires campaign funds to be spent for limited purposes.