We’ve had election fraud in the form of unprecedented gerrymandering that’s left us voting in different Congressional, legislative and even municipal district multiple during the decade since the GOP took power. We’ve had power grabs designed to concentrate power in the legislature protected by those gerrymandered districts. Now, we have apparent scandal and cronyism running rampant in the House Speaker’s office.
The FBI is looking into allegations that Speaker Tim Moore did legal work for clients who benefited from legislation that was passed by the General Assembly. Questions are also floating around about a sweetheart real estate deal down in Chatham County that landed him and his partners hundreds of thousands of dollars with an assist by DEQ. Now, it appears that one of Moore’s staffers stayed on the payroll after he left his job in the legislature.
According to the N&O, former Moore staffer Mitch Gillespie retired but continued to receive almost $100,000 in pay for what appears to be unpaid leave. The State Employees Association of North Carolina says it’s not aware of anyone having accrued that much leave before. Gillespie was also the Moore staffer who ran interference with DEQ in the Chatham County real estate deal. It sure looks a lot like cronyism.
North Carolina politics in turmoil now seems to be the norm. Republicans have left so much uncertainty in their quest to turn the state into a right-wing policy lab that we’re used to having the legitimacy of our elections in doubt. Now, we’re heading into a new legislative session and we can throw scandal into the mix. Republicans got elected in 2010 promising to clean up state government. Instead, they’ve just made more of a mess, leaving us in unending court cases and scandals that harm our reputation.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >