‘Tis the season to be jolly – and, for several North Carolina pols, cooperate with investigators.
In recent weeks, the yuletide has brought us some juicy probes into whether our Carolina pols have been naughty or nice. As the ball drops into 2012, here are a few N.C. probes to watch.
Of course, there’s Harold Cogdell, whose clumsy entrance into the chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission turned positively madcap. His colleagues, many of them still salty over his Machiavellian move to unseat Jennifer Roberts, launched an independent probe of a nonprofit’s questionable hiring of Cogdell, who had pushed the county to give the health center an additional $110,000.
As though to make matters even messier, commissioners also plan to dig into whether commissioner George Dunlap, a Democrat, was aware but turned a blind eye to the shady-looking deal.
Then there’s former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. Once again he’s poised to challenge North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue. While polls show Purdue vs McCrory would be a tight race, McCrory hasn’t quite escaped the past: the State Board of Elections has opened an investigation of McCrory’s campaign finances stemming from his run against Purdue in 2008. The board has dismissed one complaint, and is still investigating another.
These are Democratic Party complaints from some 18 months ago that have been dismissed by McCrory as frivolous and politically motivated. So when did that ever matter?
And, then there’s North Carolina Gov. Purdue herself. Her former campaign finance chairman, Peter Reichard, hid $32,000 in illegal payments from a Perdue donor. The money was used to help pay a campaign worker. Reichard pleaded guilty and was sentenced this month to probation and fined $25,000.
There are also indictments against some former campaign workers and a donor connected to an investigation into unreported air travel during her 2008 campaign. The probe into her campaign casts yet another shadow over Purdue, who has struggled to breathe life into the state’s economy.