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hooksaw
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A big "oops" from NC SPIN:

Correction and apology

Quote :
"Based on information from a trusted news source we released a special edition of our weekly newsletter Thursday afternoon. Subsequent information from media reports, our source and the State Treasurer’s office have made it clear that our story was wrong. Not just wrong but terribly wrong.

Here is the corrected story. Media sources descended upon the State Treasurer’s Office Thursday morning to review over 12,000 pages of documents. Federal agents were not involved in the actions as we erroneously reported. The documents pertain to the firing of the former chief investment officer for state pension funds.

Much as we deplore shoddy journalism that is exactly what we are guilty of in this instance. We sincerely and humbly apologize to Treasurer Janet Cowell and her staff for our errors."

9/25/2009 9:40:07 AM

nutsmackr
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Either way, I don't think you can hold Janet culpable since she fired the person who was involved.

9/25/2009 9:51:13 AM

hooksaw
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^ I don't. I was just passing along the "info."

I voted for Cowell. I'm not against her.

9/25/2009 10:00:39 AM

Lumex
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At least they have the decency to offer a sincere apology, as opposed to a simple redaction.

[Edited on September 25, 2009 at 10:21 AM. Reason : .]

9/25/2009 10:21:39 AM

PinkandBlack
Suspended
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democrats believe "meh" things and do shady shit

republicans just believe shady shit

9/25/2009 10:50:03 AM

MattJM321
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Finance officer fired Aug. 24



Quote :
"State Treasurer Janet Cowell said last month that her office's chief investment officer - one of the highest-paid employees in state government - had resigned.

But newly released records show that Cowell fired the officer, Patricia Gerrick, on Aug. 24 because of "a review of various agency records" and "other concerns."

Gerrick, 56, of Durham, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The action came as Cowell sought more than $3,000 in reimbursements from Gerrick tied to cell phone calls on Gerrick's state phone that were "personal in nature," according to Cowell's chief of staff, Ron Ottavio.

In addition, Gerrick has recently updated sworn ethics forms disclosing that outside managers of the state's retirement money had paid for her travel to various meetings.

The ethics disclosure came after a ruling Aug. 13 by state ethics officials that travel-related expenses paid by outside agencies for pension fund employees should be reported on ethics forms. Gerrick had listed no such trips on an April filing.

Gerrick filed an amended return early this month that listed 13 trips provided by fund managers worth a total of $19,965.

Most were for "advisory board" meetings, where Gerrick would get updates on strategy and goals from the firms managing the state's retirement money. Others were for conferences or seminars.

Gerrick listed five other trips that had been provided in 2008, but did not include what they cost. One was to London.

Melissa Waller, a spokeswoman for the treasurer's office, said allowing others to pay Gerrick's way is an acceptable practice as long as there is disclosure and oversight. She would not respond to questions about whether there was proper oversight of Gerrick's travels.

One of the state's leading ethics and government reform advocates, Bob Phillips of Common Cause North Carolina, said the issue raises questions.

"Yes, state funding is limited, but you have to wonder if the state's chief investment officer should be flying and traveling on the dime of those seeking and doing business with the state," Phillips said.

International calls

Gerrick's cell phone logs list calls she made all over the world. Many were to Indiana, where she had worked from 2001 to 2003 as a top manager of that state's pension fund.

Gerrick was fired from her post there in a shake-up, according to memos obtained by The Indianapolis Star. After her firing, Gerrick filed a federal discrimination complaint. She later withdrew it, agreed to resign, and was paid a $212,000 settlement that was kept secret for two years.

In late 2004, Gerrick was hired by former North Carolina Treasurer Richard Moore, a Democrat. This year, Gerrick was paid $340,000 a year to oversee about $60 billion in North Carolina retirement system money.

Cowell, a Democrat, could not be reached for an interview.

Cowell gave Gerrick notice she was being fired on Aug. 24, according to a memo Cowell released to the news media. The firing was effective that day, Cowell wrote. Cowell said Gerrick indicated at the time "she hoped for the opportunity to resign."

The next day, Aug. 25, Gerrick wrote a check to the treasurer's office for $3,045, an amount listed as covering the personal phone calls. That same day, Cowell issued a news release saying Gerrick had resigned.

But on Sept. 4, Gerrick told the treasurer's office lawyer that "she had elected not to resign," according to Cowell's memo. Cowell then delivered to Gerrick the original notice that she was fired.

News researcher Brooke Cain contributed to this report.
"


http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/local/story/115560.html
http://www.wral.com/news/local/wral_investigates/story/6080078/
http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=5663

9/29/2009 9:18:57 AM

nutsmackr
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Please explain how that is an indictment of Janet.

9/29/2009 10:03:52 AM

nutsmackr
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Please explain how that is an indictment of Janet.

9/29/2009 10:03:52 AM

MattJM321
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The article is about Gerrick

9/29/2009 10:21:56 AM

nutsmackr
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How do you know Gerrick is a Democrat?

9/29/2009 11:46:48 AM

MattJM321
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Read the Carolina Journal article and her fundraising. Also there have been no calls of wrongdoing from anyone...

You and I both know she was smart about documented donations. However, people that donated on behalf of her for SECU House are all in Democrat circles.

The Carolina Jouranl article:

Quote :
"Other donors to Family House in honor of Gerrick include:

• Michael and Stacie Arpey. Michael Arpey works for Credit Suisse. The pension fund has about $500 million invested with Credit Suisse and paid the company about $3.9 million in management fees last year. A subsidiary of the company, Credit Suisse Securities, has been a broker for the pension fund.

• Wendell McCain, one of the founders of Parish Capital Advisors of Chapel Hill, where the pension fund has invested about $497 million since 2004. The company received almost $3 million in management fees last year.

• Art and Karen Pappas. The state has invested $55 million in three funds run by Pappas Capital Advisors and paid almost $600,000 in management fees last year.

• Isaac and Pamela Green. He is the founder of Piedmont Investment Advisors of Durham. The state has more than $301 million invested with Piedmont and paid the firm $851,554 in management fees last year. Piedmont recently was hired by the U.S. Treasury to help manage investments in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

• Nina LeSavoy. She currently works for Avec Capital in New York but previously worked for Cue Capital, which was an agent for a $100 million investment the state made last year in Avista Capital Partners Equity. North Carolina paid $767,123 in management fees to Avista last year."



I just looked at the FEC database:

Quote :
"GREEN, ISAAC
DURHAM, NC 27707
PIEDMON INVESTMENT ADVISORS/INVES

WATT, MELVIN L
VIA MEL WATT FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
04/24/2002 350.00 22991394379

GREEN, ISAAC
DURHAM, NC 27707
PIEDMONT INVESTMENT ADVISORS/INVE

LEWIS, KENNETH WINSTEAD
VIA KENNETH LEWIS FOR US SENATE INC
06/30/2009 2400.00 29020230016
06/30/2009 2400.00 29020230016

LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I
VIA JOE LIEBERMAN FOR PRESIDENT INC
09/30/2003 2000.00 23992113338

GREEN, ISAAC
DURHAM, NC 27707
PIEDMON INVESTMENT ADVISORS/INVES

WATT, MELVIN L
VIA MEL WATT FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
04/24/2002 350.00 22991394379

GREEN, ISAAC
DURHAM, NC 27707
PIEDMONT INVESTMENT ADVISORS/INVE

LEWIS, KENNETH WINSTEAD
VIA KENNETH LEWIS FOR US SENATE INC
06/30/2009 2400.00 29020230016
06/30/2009 2400.00 29020230016

LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I
VIA JOE LIEBERMAN FOR PRESIDENT INC
09/30/2003 2000.00 23992113338
"


Quote :
"MCCAIN, WENDELL A
CHAPEL HILL, NC 27516
PARISH CAPITAL ADVISORS/FOUNDING

HAGAN, KAY R
VIA HAGAN SENATE COMMITTEE INC
10/20/2008 500.00 28020743246
"


Quote :
"LESAVOY, NINA
NEW YORK, NY 10017
CUE CAPITAL/FINANCIAL ADVISOR

CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM
VIA FRIENDS OF HILLARY
06/05/2006 500.00 26020481888

LESAVOY, NINA
NEW YORK, NY 10075
CUE CAPITAL/MANAGING DIRECTOR

OBAMA, BARACK
VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA
01/15/2008 2300.00 28930644701

Total Contributions: 2800.00"


Quote :
"PAPPAS, ART
DURHAM, NC 27702
EXECUTIVE

OBAMA, BARACK
VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA
06/25/2007 1000.00 27990261787

PAPPAS, ARTHUR
DURHAM, NC 27717
A M PAPPAS &

EDWARDS, JOHN R
VIA EDWARDS FOR SENATE
05/06/1998 1000.00 98020141973

PAPPAS, ARTHUR M
DURHAM, NC 27717
AM PAPPAS & ASSOCIATES LLC

BOWLES, ERSKINE B
VIA ERSKINE BOWLES FOR US SENATE
07/19/2002 -1000.00 22020622777
07/19/2002 1000.00 22020622777
10/07/2004 1000.00 24020960547

"


Follow the money

9/29/2009 2:34:12 PM

nutsmackr
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And the democratic Corruption?

You are making an extremely weak case here.

[Edited on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM. Reason : .]

9/29/2009 2:55:29 PM

MattJM321
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One of the highest paid employees in the state was fired

-Running up a $3,000+ cell phone bill for personal calls
-Recieving almost $20,000 worth of free flights, not including a trip to London (see Mike Easley on this)
-She was fired from a previous job in Indiana on a shaky situation. She filed suit for wrongful termination (see Mary Easley)

I'm sure there is more info behind this that we won't see. Your inside, tell us.

9/29/2009 5:30:26 PM

nutsmackr
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She is not an elected official, she was fired. Where is the corruption?

9/29/2009 7:29:45 PM

MattJM321
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you're*

There are DMV officials and heads of funds that were also appointed (I mean interviewed....cough).

9/29/2009 8:48:31 PM

nutsmackr
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Where is the corruption?

9/29/2009 8:53:33 PM

hooksaw
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Has anyone checked Gerrick's qualifications? If she was fired from a job in Indiana in the manner described, it appears that her background may not have been checked properly.

9/29/2009 9:22:58 PM

MattJM321
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Uh oh, the Democrat State Party might be in trouble.



http://www.newsobserver.com/135/story/118895.html

Quote :
"RALEIGH -- Former Gov. Mike Easley will be the subject of public hearings later this month as part of an ongoing state elections board investigation into questionable activity by the Easley campaign and the state Democratic Party, according to the board's chairman, Larry Leake.

...

The state Democratic Party, which had been listed in reports as providing some of the flights -- but not all -- has since forfeited $24,000 related to Easley flights and said it was an effort to "fully comply with the law."

Leake declined to comment on the scope or subject matters he expects to come up."

9/30/2009 12:10:09 PM

MattJM321
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Again I'm surprised by Perdue. Is she eloquent? No Is she doing a decent job with the mess she won? Sorta

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/politics/story/980599.html

But still the crooked DMV employees are out there.

Quote :
"On Tuesday, DMV released records provided by Verizon that listed more than three dozen state employees who enjoyed the company's hospitality, accepting a total of $21,800 in steak dinners, spa treatments, hockey tickets and other treats. The company also picked up the tab for spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends of the employees."



I really hope this cycle will produce the first Republican controlled legislature in forever (1898).

10/2/2009 9:34:22 AM

MattJM321
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Gerrick is back in the paper:

Quote :
"Firms doing business with the state offered favors to North Carolina's chief pension investment officer such as helping her daughter with a job search, internship and résumé-writing.

The head of one investment firm passed along a free airline ticket so that Pat Gerrick's daughter, Meredith, could attend the Bermuda International Love Festival in February, a celebrity-packed weekend.

Treasurer Janet Cowell fired Gerrick in August from her job overseeing the $60billion-plus pension fund. She since has imposed reforms aimed at disclosing relationships with and fees to investment firms.

The information about the favors was included in e-mails released under public records requests.

Gerrick said the favors were offered but not accepted. Her daughter didn't take the internship, received job advice but not a job and didn't use all the résumé tips. The investment firm CEO who provided the airline ticket didn't pay for it, just passed it along.

She said the investment industry is a "relationship" business, but she never improperly benefitted from her friendships with agents and managers for companies that manage parts of the pension fund.

She said she disclosed to then-State Treasurer Richard Moore friendships with agents and managers before doing business with them.

Moore did not return a telephone call Thursday.

"There's not one firm that was hired that didn't go through the due diligence process," Gerrick said. "And I know I can't have any manager give my daughter a job or give my daughter money. All of the decisions I made were based on what would help the fund perform."

...

"

10/24/2009 8:58:13 PM

MattJM321
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Nutsmack, your buddy heading up GoldenLeaf is back in the paper http://m.newsobserver.com/observer/db_1231/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=4hMgWkAV&storycount=13&detailindex=5&pn=&ps=

11/3/2009 7:32:18 AM

MattJM321
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dbl post

Quote :
"The audit report cited several examples that it found demonstrate the need for Golden LEAF to be bound by state ethics laws, and Gerlach provided additional details. They included a $30 million investment in Hatteras Venture Partners, a Triangle venture capital firm whose partners include John Crumpler, a Raleigh businessman long active in Democratic politics; and a $6 million investment in Carousel Capital, a Charlotte private equity firm co-founded by Erskine Bowles, the president of the University of North Carolina System.

Gerlach said those investments have performed well and were made after proper "due diligence," or investigation into the firms' track record, management and other pertinent details."


Quote :
"The foundation is also deficient in maintaining minutes of its open and closed board sessions, according to the audit. The foundation initially provided the auditor with 400 sets of minutes from meetings held from 1999 through 2009, omitting 29 meetings.

Gerlach said that approving a grant in a closed session was "a mistake" adding, "We won't do it again."

He also said that the audit's concerns about the foundation's minutes are legitimate, although he said that all the missing sets of minutes but one go back more than six years.

"We are going to fix that -- and we have fixed it," he said."


And the most reassuring quote:
Quote :
"Gerlach said the Oct. 8 incident, which took place about a week after he joined the foundation at a time when the financial markets were in serious turmoil, was a misunderstanding. In no way, he said, was Golden LEAF trying to hide something.

"I had just gotten there," Gerlach said. "I wouldn't have known if there was anything to hide. I wouldn't have known where to find it to hide it.""


Gerlach, for those who don't know, was Easley's budget advisor. He was pushed through the hiring process by the governor and crew and made head of this $700m fund. It looks like it's run as a semi-hedge fund for Democrat buddies, but who knows?

11/3/2009 8:42:52 AM

MattJM321
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http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/223085.html

Tony Rand accused of insider trading

Quote :
"The former president of a publicly traded Raleigh company is accusing state Sen. Tony Rand of sharing insider information with other North Carolina politicians.

Paul Feldman, who says he was illegally fired from Law Enforcement Associates in August, made the claims in a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. He said that Rand, one of the state's most powerful lawmakers, schemed to profit from insider trading and manipulating the value of the company's stock.

Rand called the allegations "insane" and "hogwash."


...


LEA disclosed Feldman's allegations, including his Nov. 17 letter to the Labor Department, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

In his complaint, Feldman alleges that he saw a list that included about 50 North Carolina politicians who bought large amounts of LEA stock in 2004 and 2005. That list included "former and present governors" and Feldman claims the list "strongly suggested that these individuals had invested in LEA stock based on inside information obtained from Rand or Carrington, or other LEA insiders."

Feldman also claims that Rand told another LEA executive that he previously had made money trading the stock of First Citizens Bank using inside information from the bank's president, Frank Holding, and that he "planned to do the same to LEA stock." The Holding family, which controls First Citizens Bank of Raleigh, also owns a large stake in First Citizens of South Carolina, a separate publicly traded company.
"


I'm sure we'll get more details later.


http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/viewMember.pl?nUserID=48&sChamber=S


[Edited on December 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM. Reason : .]

12/3/2009 8:58:33 AM

MattJM321
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4003 Posts
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Quote :
"Easley aide quits state foundation board"




http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/232125.html

Quote :
"

RALEIGH -- Ruffin Poole, a top aide to then-Gov. Mike Easley, resigned Tuesday from the board of a state foundation that dispenses millions of dollars in grants for economic assistance.

Poole's resignation from the Golden LEAF Foundation board comes just as Gov. Bev Perdue is expected to issue an executive order today that would remove members of state boards and commissions if they are indicted or if they refuse to cooperate in a criminal investigation, according to a spokeswoman in Perdue's office.

Poole refused to testify in October during a public hearing that was part of an investigation by the State Board of Elections into the campaign fundraising of Easley.

Poole wrote in his resignation letter to Perdue that his presence on the board had become a distraction. Perdue has received calls to remove Poole, which she can't do because she didn't appoint him. Last week, the Golden LEAF board delayed naming a fellow lawyer in Poole's law firm, McGuire Woods, as the board's new chairman because of the connection.
"

12/9/2009 9:48:38 AM

MattJM321
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http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/272306.html

State seeks charges against Sen. R.C. Soles

1/7/2010 9:46:02 AM

MattJM321
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4003 Posts
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N.C. liquor regulator adds to pressure on Helms

Quote :
"RALEIGH The state's top liquor regulator lambasted Mecklenburg County ABC Board Chair Parks Helms Wednesday, highlighting him as an example of a "culture of entitlement" in the alcoholic beverage system.

Helms was headed to the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission headquarters in Raleigh to make a statement Wednesday afternoon, and some county officials expected him to resign.

Helms has been under intense criticism for several weeks over a $12,000 dinner in November for him and a group of ABC board employees that was paid for by the liquor company Diageo. Helms and board employees later paid back their $9,000 share.

But on Wednesday, Helms turned around halfway to Raleigh and headed home after he was told of the comments by state commission Chair Jon Williams.

"I got to Greensboro and had a conversation with (Williams by phone) and headed back to Charlotte," Helms said.
"


http://www.charlotteobserver.com/topstories/story/1179052.html?pageNum=2&mi_pluck_action=page_nav#Comments_Container


He's a Dem:

Quote :
"Contributions to Political Committees

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28211
HELMS CANNON HAMEL & HENDERS/ATTO

NORTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY - FEDERAL
04/19/2004 250.00 24961303074
04/07/2006 1000.00 26950108838

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28211
HELMS CANNON HAMEL & HENDERSON/AT

MILLER, RALPH BRADLEY
VIA BRAD MILLER FOR UNITED STATES CONGRESS
03/31/2006 1000.00 26950062108

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28211
HELMS HENDERSON & ASSOCIATES PA/A

KOURI, CHRISTOPHER HENRY
VIA CHRIS KOURI FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
10/22/2002 250.00 22992950769

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28211
HELMS HENDERSON & PORTER

DODD, CHRISTOPHER J
VIA FRIENDS OF CHRIS DODD
04/16/2003 1000.00 23020281005

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28211
HELMS HENDERSON & PORTER PA

NEILL, SAM
VIA NEILL FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
08/29/2000 250.00 20036254758

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28211
HELMS HENDERSON & PORTER PA/ATTOR

WATT, MELVIN L
VIA MEL WATT FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
04/17/2002 500.00 22991394380

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28282
HELMS CONNOR HAMEL

DODD, CHRISTOPHER J
VIA 98 FRIENDS OF CHRIS DODD
11/26/1997 500.00 98020012547

HELMS, PARKS
CHARLOTTE, NC 28282
MECK COUNTY

SCARBOROUGH, ELLA OLIVIA BUTLER
VIA SCARBOROUGH FOR US SENATE - '98
10/08/1997 200.00 98020062162

Total Contributions: 4950.00"

1/14/2010 12:20:15 PM

MattJM321
All American
4003 Posts
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Did anybody else think the Nick Danger email address was hilarious?

2/5/2010 11:25:38 AM

Wadhead1
Duke is puke
20897 Posts
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http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/334312.html

2/12/2010 8:34:23 AM

MattJM321
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4003 Posts
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Yea, Rand and Basnight are out. Maybe they'll face investigation like Easley since they're out of power.

2/12/2010 11:18:50 AM

EarthDogg
All American
3989 Posts
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Quote :
"
Another Tone-Deaf Democratic Official Cannot Obey the Rules
February 18, 2010

Raleigh, N.C. – According to a report in the News & Observer yesterday, Democratic State Auditor Beth Wood owes more than $1,200 in delinquent property taxes on her Wake County townhouse. When reached for comment, Wood blamed debt accrued during the campaign as a reason why she had not paid her tax bill. She did not indicate whether she had plans to settle the debt with Wake County in the near future.

“Wood, 55, makes $123,000 a year as the auditor, a position that is seen as the state’s top financial watchdog. She said Tuesday that her personal finances are irrelevant to her work in state government.” (“State auditor is behind on her property taxes,” News & Observer, 2/17/10)
"

2/18/2010 10:42:49 AM

MattJM321
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Not exactly crooked but very stupid. Someone with that kind of debt/income would seemingly be more susceptible to back room deals.

2/18/2010 11:37:49 AM

marko
Tom Joad
72750 Posts
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some people will do anything for UNC tickets

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/abc11_investigates&id=7308821

3/3/2010 6:12:30 PM

MattJM321
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4003 Posts
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Quote :
"Law helps to hide cronyism"


http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/03/15/390192/law-helps-to-hide-cronyism.html

Quote :
"
In 2005, the state Division of Motor Vehicles hired Sherry Creech as a nurse consultant at the top of her pay grade, making her among the best paid in the division. Shortly after she arrived, she persuaded the division to send her to examiner school, learning skills that DMV officials later said weren't necessary for her job.

The state spent $8,900 in salary and expenses for Creech to attend the school near Fayetteville, including giving her a $768 examiner's uniform she would never need to wear for her job. She stayed in a hotel for a month.

Today, state officials say it was a waste of money. They no longer send nursing consultants, who determine whether people are physically fit to drive, to the school. Creech, who continues to work at DMV, declined to comment.


None of this spending makes sense unless you know that Creech was one of many DMV hires recommended by a long-standing political patronage boss, Eddie Carroll Thomas of Greene County.

Patronage, nepotism and cronyism can be serious problems for state government, but the state's restrictive personnel law makes them almost impossible to catch. The public has no access to employee applications and résumés. Recommendations from political officials or campaign fundraisers are off-limits. Applicant review panels work behind closed doors.

One consequence is government operated by those in the know, not necessarily those best qualified to serve. Sometimes the employees aren't thoroughly vetted.

These kinds of hires have led to misuse and waste in state and local governments. Federal authorities have investigated how former Gov. Mike Easley's wife, Mary, won a job followed by an 88 percent pay increase at N.C. State University. The university initially cited the personnel law in not releasing key documents showing Mike Easley's involvement in creating Mary Easley's job.

Investigators also have obtained information regarding politically connected hires within DMV.

Some states, including Florida and South Carolina, make much hiring information public. They protect home addresses, Social Security numbers and other personal information by redacting it.

In North Carolina, it takes extraordinary circumstances for hiring details to become public. In Creech's case, the DMV launched an internal investigation after learning that two top job candidates were dumped in place of two others, including one recommended by Thomas. The N&O persuaded the state Transportation Department to release the investigation by contending that DMV's integrity was at stake.

That investigation turned up roughly 20 employees within DMV's Driver and Vehicle Services section who were alleged to have received Thomas' help in getting hired, promoted or assigned to jobs that allowed them to boost their paychecks with overtime and mileage. Six of them were Thomas' relatives.

All told, the investigation found at least $80,000 wasted on expenses related to these employees. The investigation did not assess the cost of hiring people who were less qualified, save for $911 in overtime paid to an examiner to tutor a Thomas-recommended hire so she could pass the examiner's school.

DMV patronage

At the same time Thomas wielded his influence within Driver and Vehicle Services, DMV Commissioner George Tatum brought in several friends and political helpers to the agency's law enforcement arm - the License and Theft Bureau. They too received special treatment that conflicted with their public duties.

Tatum, a former Cumberland County register of deeds, resigned in 2007 after he helped a friend get a replica of a 1937 Ford truck titled as the real thing, a move that had saved the friend hundreds of dollars in highway use taxes.

DMV is the perfect home for patronage. It employs roughly 1,500 people, many in 9-to-5 customer service positions that do not require advanced degrees or hard labor.

Mike Robertson, an appointee of Gov. Bev Perdue and a former director of the Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement, took over the agency a year ago. He has spent much of his time cleaning up one personnel mess after another.

He discovered that the bureau's training director, Neil "Rusty" Callahan, a Tatum hire, had been working out of a DMV office in Elizabethtown -- close to his home but 100 miles from Raleigh. Few if any training exercises were taking place there, Robertson said.

Robertson also discovered that Callahan and three other Tatum hires - Marva Courtney, Brian Hawkins and WilliamToman - had not attended the bureau's basic training school, which grounds employees in DMV laws and procedures.

"I noticed a lack of understanding ... that I think would have been remedied in a basic school," Robertson said.

Hawkins has since gone through the school. The others left. Robertson said Callahan retired after being told he would have to work out of Raleigh. Toman, a district supervisor in Cumberland County, was charged in September with felonies related to his purchase of three lawnmowers that authorities say he knew had been stolen.

The current federal investigation involving DMV has produced a list of employees who were recommended for jobs, promotions or special assignments by Thomas and powerful lawmakers such as former Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat, and former state Sen. John Kerr, a Goldsboro Democrat and Finance Committee co-chairman. The DMV redacted the employees' names, citing the state personnel law, but confirmed nearly all have worked or are working for the agency.

Robertson said he can't prevent the politically connected from suggesting whom to hire, but he said he now requires them to put it in writing.

Fewer applicants?

Representatives of employee groups and local governments oppose efforts to make public how hires and appointments are conducted. They say the exposure would drive away good candidates.

Ellis Hankins, executive director of the N.C. League of Municipalities, said keeping the applicants secret "clearly increases the applicant pool" for professional positions in government. But Florida and South Carolina municipal associations do not report that they have poorly run governments because some candidates choose not to apply. And they are less likely to run into the situation that embarrassed Fayetteville State University two years ago, when it hired a provost who lasted less than two months before quitting.

The search committee that recommended Carol Blackshire-Belay had no idea that she had unsuccessfully accused her former employer of sexism and racism, The Fayetteville Observer reported. FSU Chancellor James Anderson told the newspaper that the university would no longer conduct searches in secret.

"The provost job is too important to take any chances," Anderson said. "



Quote :
"Modified Fri, Mar 12, 2010 10:15 AM NC state auditor pays late tax bill, interest"


http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/03/12/384781/nc-state-auditor-pays-late-tax.html

[Edited on March 15, 2010 at 6:23 PM. Reason : Oh and the state auditor finally paid her taxes.]

3/15/2010 6:21:16 PM

MattJM321
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Perdue falls short on ethics vow

Quote :
"
On the night she was elected governor, Bev Perdue vowed to reporters that she would "hold everybody in this administration to the highest possible ethical conduct."

The consequences would be serious, she said, if important concerns arose about appointees - the people who oversee the state's university system, its transportation networks, its beauty salons, even the auctioneers who sell family treasures.

"I promise you what will happen," the Democrat said that night. "I'm not going to put up with any kind of mess. And that if there is the least whiff, hint, of something that doesn't pass the sniff test, then they need to resign. ... We're going to clean it up."


It's a promise Perdue hasn't kept.

Over the past year, Perdue took no public action against a number of prominent appointees across state government as controversies developed around them. Some, such as developer Randy Allen and coastal resources commissioner Bob Wilson, remain in their positions. Others, such as Ruffin Poole and McQueen Campbell, resigned amid scrutiny and public pressure from outsiders.

An example not as well known: Records show a Perdue appointee to the auctioneer licensing board - a man who had piloted Perdue three times during her 2008 campaign - has been sanctioned in the past.

The appointee, auctioneer Lloyd "Mickey" Meekins Jr. of Lumberton, was disciplined by the auctioneer board in 2002 after being cited for "substantial evidence" of "bad faith or dishonesty" in the sale of a truck. Before that, in the 1980s, he was charged with multiple felonies related to vote-buying that federal authorities said corrupted two elections in South Carolina. Meekins pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.

Meekins said his auction infraction is the equivalent of running a red light, and it's the only blemish out of millions of dollars in auction sales over four decades. Also, he said it's good for people with different experiences to serve.

Perdue said in an interview she was unaware of Meekins' past but would check on it.

A spokeswoman, Chrissy Pearson, later said there was a distinction in that the federal case against Meekins ended up with misdemeanor convictions, not felonies. She said people who have been disciplined by boards can still serve on them.

That position underscores the stand Perdue has now formally adopted, one that is much different from her election-night pledge.

Appointees should resign, the governor now says, if they are indicted on felony charges or if they fail to cooperate in any investigation. She said she can't be a judge and jury who removes people over suspicions or accusations. She adopted the standard in an executive order she issued late last year.

"My litmus test is the same for everybody," Perdue told reporters in December. "Somebody refuses to answer, he or she gets fired. An indictment is an automatic dismissal. ... You have to have some kind of marker as to why you do things."

The attention on appointees comes as Perdue says a priority of this year is to "set government straight."

She is preparing to lead efforts that would enact reforms to bring more confidence to state government, including forcing more disclosures about campaign activities and dealings of appointees to major boards and commissions.

Critics wonder whether Perdue will be able to follow through, saying she has had ample opportunity to take action on appointees but hasn't.

"She wasn't in there cleaning up the mess," said state Republican Party chairman Tom Fetzer. "She has allowed it to continue to fester. It's been talk, not action."

Fetzer said that Perdue's standard for removal now is about as minimal as it could get and that North Carolinians expect better.

Public silence

The past year has seen a wide range of troubles that touched on appointees, and in which Perdue did not speak out.

Some examples:

?Ruffin Poole. Poole refused to testify at a state elections board hearing in October. But he kept his seat on the powerful state board that oversees distribution of millions in national tobacco settlement money until a Democratic consultant and campaign finance watchdog, Joe Sinsheimer of Raleigh, wrote a letter to Perdue saying it was "disgraceful" that Poole was still on the board.

Poole eventually resigned weeks later, just before Perdue first made public her position that people who fail to cooperate in an inquiry should be dismissed. Poole was later indicted on federal corruption charges.

?McQueen Campbell. Campbell, a real estate broker and private pilot, was a trustee at N.C. State University involved in securing a job for former first lady Mary Easley.

As information came out last year about his role in the hiring, and in his piloting of former Gov. Mike Easley for free, it was UNC system President Erskine Bowles who called for Campbell to resign at NCSU, even though Bowles had no authority because Campbell was a gubernatorial appointee. Campbell stepped down a day later.

After Campbell resigned, Perdue said she thought it was best.

?Randy Allen, a member of the Wildlife Resources Commission, which oversees hunting, fishing and other outdoors concerns. Allen was appointed to his seat by Easley in the same month Easley reserved a lot with Allen for a coastal lot at Allen's Cannonsgate development on Bogue Sound in Carteret County. Easley got the lot at a discount of $137,000, records show.

The state's Wildlife Federation has called for an inquiry into whether seats were sold in exchange for major campaign contributions and for Perdue to "immediately demand the resignations of any individuals who were appointed under such inappropriate circumstances." Allen's term expires in April 2011.

?Bob Wilson, a member of the state's Coastal Resources Commission and owner of a company that works on coastal developments, had a contract to work on the marina at Cannonsgate. At one point, he helped quell concerns by environmental regulators about the marina dredging, according to the Poole indictment. At the same time, Wilson was also trying to secure some lots in the project, the indictment says.

The indictment says that an employee of Wilson's wrote about the benefits of Wilson's state appointment in dealing with regulators, saying: "It didn't hurt that [Wilson] sits on the board of commissioners for CAMA" (the Coastal Area Management Act). Wilson has not responded to calls seeking comment.

Republicans have called for him to quit. Wilson's term is up in June.

?Lanny Wilson, a Wilmington developer and investor who is unrelated to Bob Wilson. Lanny Wilson, a major fundraiser for Easley and Perdue, testified in a hearing in October that he made illegal campaign contributions for Easley. In the Poole indictment, federal authorities make clear that Wilson gave money and gifts to Easley's right-hand man to build a close relationship, secure access and help his real estate interests.

But amid calls for him to go, Perdue did not seek Wilson's removal from the state Board of Transportation after he had testified publicly.

Months later, Wilson resigned on his own on the same day the indictment was issued against Poole. But Wilson kept his seat on the state's turnpike authority. After Republicans made that an issue, Wilson gave up that seat as well.

?Nick Garrett, a Wilmington builder who was close to Easley and Lanny Wilson. At the elections hearing last year, Garrett also testified to making contributions that were illegal and has said that he raised other campaign money while pressing for a new state program that would quicken permits.

He sits on the state Architecture Board in a slot that has no end date; he serves "at the pleasure of the governor."

In an interview, Perdue said she has worked "very quietly and behind the scenes" in some instances to seek the removal of appointees, including, she said, in her eight years as lieutenant governor.

But Perdue would not name any people she had suggested should resign, or instances in which she took action on individuals, calling them all confidential.

She said she has made big strides in improving government in a range of areas and intends to continue pushing for changes when lawmakers return to Raleigh in May...."


http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/03/28/410639/perdue-falls-short-on-ethics-vow.html

3/29/2010 9:20:29 AM

MattJM321
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Perdue appointee resigns from panel

Quote :
"
Lloyd "Mickey" Meekins Jr. of Lumberton, who owns an auction company, submitted his resignation late Monday, a day after a report in The News & Observer detailed some aspects of his background.

The resignation letter was released Tuesday by the office of Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat who appointed Meekins last year to the auction board, which licenses and regulates auctioneers.

...


Perdue's office had said that Meekins' removal was not warranted for either his discipline in 2002 for using "bad faith or dishonesty" in an auction, or his conviction related to charges of vote-buying in the 1980s that authorities said corrupted two elections.

Records show that Meekins, a pilot, had flown Perdue three times in her campaign, and his wife had given a $4,000 campaign contribution.
Former Gov. Mike Easley appointed Meekins to the position in 2006. Perdue re-appointed him in October to a three-year term."


4/8/2010 7:21:32 PM

marko
Tom Joad
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i see part of the problem

that top star indicates that she's a cowboys fan

4/8/2010 7:26:11 PM

MattJM321
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ha, it also looks like her head is hollow in that picture

4/8/2010 9:05:15 PM

MattJM321
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Quote :
"Little now faces felony charge

DURHAM -- A former City Council candidate faces a felony charge because of allegations that he misrepresented himself as a lawyer and took money for services he didn't provide.

Darius M. Little is accused of obtaining property by false pretense, a felony charge, according to a warrant provided by District Attorney Tracey Cline. The warrant had not been served Tuesday afternoon.

...

"I promise to be very careful in the future, and now that I have your rules and regulations, completely understand what is inside the scope of 'lawyer only' practice and what is open for others," Little wrote in response to the State Bar.

Little has had felony convictions in Wake, Durham and Orange counties for obtaining property or services by false pretenses and obstructing justice. "


http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/04/14/436061/little-now-faces-felony-charge.html

Here's his profile on indyweek.com http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/darius-m-little/Content?oid=1217307

Quote :
"Occupation & employer: Business Consult and Legal Assistant – Self-Employed
Home phone: 919-951-5983
Work phone: " "
E-mail: Darius.M.Little@alumni.unc.edu"

4/15/2010 10:31:16 AM

MattJM321
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Quote :
"Traffic stop has Davis wondering if lawmakers should be exempt from speeding laws

After Grossman arrived, he spoke with Davis. Thomas gave Davis his speeding ticket — he was cited for driving 84 m.p.h. in a 70-m.p.h. zone. — and Davis was released.

Reached by telephone Friday, Davis said he wondered if there were laws that would allow a member of the state legislature to avoid such traffic citations if they were engaged in public business. He said he addressed that question with Zebulon Town Manager Rick Hardin the afternoon after he got his speeding ticket. "



I wonder how the conversation went between Davis and Grossman?

"Do you know who I am?"
"No."
"I'm a State Senator. You can't give me a ticket."
"Watch me."

4/15/2010 10:40:25 AM

Optimum
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That doesn't make him crooked. That makes him an idiot. And he's hardly unique.

4/15/2010 10:52:44 AM

Supplanter
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Quote :
" RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Andrew Whalen today filed a complaint against the North Carolina Republican Party, the North Carolina Republican Senate Committee, Fred J. Smith, Jr., Riverwood Golf and Athletic Club, LLC, and Senator Phil Berger over a fundraising event held at the club and a reception held at Smith’s home for which no payments appear on campaign finance disclosures.

The golf tournament in question was held by the North Carolina Republican Senate Committee at the Riverwood golf course, which lists Fred Smith as its principal agent, on October 20, 2009. Neither payment to Riverwood for the tournament nor an in-kind contribution from Smith appears on the reports of the North Carolina Republican Executive Committee or Berger’s campaign committee. No reports of any kind have been filed by the North Carolina Republican Senate Committee. "

4/15/2010 2:49:07 PM

MattJM321
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Dang he's even going after the country club. Way to come out of nowhere Andrew Whalen.

But still, that's like 50 to 1.

What's up with Whalen's eyes?

4/15/2010 3:25:52 PM

travis3ncsu
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Frankie Bordeaux

Dude is running for state senate and is crooked as hell. His mental health company stole like 5.4 million from the gov't and is only having to repay like 4 million. And he thinks thats OK! Bad part is he will prolly get elected simply for the fact that he is black.

4/19/2010 3:55:15 PM

nutsmackr
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If Frankie Bordeaux wins the primary I will laugh my ass off. He has no chance in hell.

4/19/2010 4:21:56 PM

MattJM321
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Quote :
"RALEIGH -- Ruffin Poole, an aide to former Gov. Mike Easley, pleaded guilty to a single count of income tax evasion Monday, sparing himself a trial on 57 counts related to corruption."


http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/04/19/444523/plea-deal-reached-for-ruffin-poole.html

^^Oh and http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/candidate_had_to_pay_back_wages?storylink=misearch

[Edited on April 19, 2010 at 8:35 PM. Reason : Frankie Bordeaux]

4/19/2010 8:33:19 PM

EarthDogg
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^
Now he can start singing like a canary about his boss Easley.

4/20/2010 8:59:32 PM

MattJM321
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http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/04/27/455387/former-lobbyist-fined-111000.html#ixzz0mJHtXQjJ

RALEIGH -- Don Beason, the once-influential lobbyist who left the profession because of his entanglements with disgraced House Speaker Jim Black, is fighting a $111,000 fine levied by the N.C. Secretary of State's office.

Beason and his son Mark Beason are accused of doing lobbying work while being paid with money funneled by five undisclosed clients through a New Jersey pipefitting company in an effort to mask who was trying to influence lawmakers.

4/28/2010 8:56:43 AM

EarthDogg
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Technically not crooked..but Mel Watt should get some recognition for voting no on a move to freeze congressional pay raises for next year..

Quote :
"Not everyone agreed with the freeze. "It's a political maneuver," said Rep. Mel Watt , D- N.C. , who voted against it. "I apply the same standard to myself that I do for others. If you were due for a cost of living increase, you should get it."

Watt said he's never made as much in a single year in Congress — he's an 18-year incumbent — as he earned the year before he arrived, when he was practicing law."


Does Watt feel that safe in his gerry-mandered district that he can complain about not getting his raise? After all, congress is doing such a crackerjack job lately.

5/4/2010 10:18:10 AM

MattJM321
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^As of January 1, 2005, members of Congress make $162,100. I don't know what it is now.


http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/05/04/1414465/mackey-loses-his-law-license.html



Quote :
"
Comments (0) | Buzz up!PrintReprint or License Share .Tool NameClose tool goes here Rep. Mackey loses his law license
State representative agrees to 3-year suspension; N.C. Bar cites 'lack of honesty.'
By Mark Johnson and Jim Morrill
mjohnson@charlotteobserver.com and jmorrill@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Tuesday, May. 04, 2010
Rep. Nick Mackey

More Information
The Black Caucus vs. the Counter Caucus


RALEIGH The North Carolina State Bar on Monday suspended state Rep. Nick Mackey's law license in a case the bar described as involving "acts of dishonesty," "a pattern of misconduct" and circumstances reflecting Mackey's "lack of honesty, trustworthiness, or integrity."

Mackey, a Democrat whose district covers parts of north, central and eastern Mecklenburg County, will lose his license for three years, though he can petition to get it back under certain conditions after one year. The suspension was part of a consent order filed Monday to which Mackey agreed"


[Edited on May 4, 2010 at 10:39 AM. Reason : picture]

5/4/2010 10:38:58 AM

marko
Tom Joad
72750 Posts
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RUSTY CARTER
RUSTY CARTER

AWWWWWWWW SHEET

5/4/2010 11:03:42 PM

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