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Dems call for investigation of Tillis

Posted By Rob Schofield On May 3, 2012 @ 3:40 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

[1]Under the Dome has the latest news [2] on the embattled Speaker of the House and the call of legislative Democrats for a closer look at the latest developments in his office and the ethics rules that govern behavior by the people who work there.  

UPDATED:

Here are the letters:
#1-

May 3, 2012

Mr. Perry Newson
Executive Director
North Carolina State Ethics Commission
1324 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1324

Dear Mr. Newson:

The recent disclosures of inappropriate relationships between registered lobbyists and staff members for Speaker Thom Tillis of the North Carolina House of Representatives have raised ethical questions relating to gifts from lobbyists to legislative staff that deserve thorough investigation by your agency or other agencies or investigative units with jurisdiction.

A former staff member for Speaker Tillis disclosed in an article printed in the News & Observer on April 27, 2012 that: “’What happens every day’” with lobbyists and dinners around Raleigh is that one person in a group will pick up a tab for drinks or dinner, with the idea that it will be made up later.” This statement implies that lobbyists pay to entertain legislative staffers covered by the state’s ethics law in violation of the gift ban or that some lobbying expenses may have gone unreported as required by law. This behavior merits close examination by the North Carolina State Ethics Commission.

Additionally, we ask that your agencies investigate whether these gifts, or conduct related to such gifts, influenced any legislation, policies, personnel decisions, budget priorities or other matters within the purview of the Speaker or his staff. We also request that you determine if any inappropriate goodwill lobbying took place within these relationships. The people of North Carolina deserve to know whether decisions intended to be in the best interest of the state came about as a result of unreported or illegal gift-giving between the Speaker’s staff and lobbyists with specific agendas.

We know that you realize the importance of fair play within our government and will handle this request with great thought and care. The residents of our state must not be left with the impression that we allow a few high-placed employees to collude to skirt our laws or to improperly further the causes of favored organizations.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request. We stand ready to assist you in any way possible.

Sincerely,

House Minority Leader Joe Hackney
Deputy Minority Leader William Wainwright
Minority Whip Rick Glazier
Minority Whip Larry Hall
Minority Whip Ray Rapp
Minority Whip Deborah Ross
Minority Whip Michael Wray

cc:  Senator William R. Purcell
Mr. Brad Krehely, Legislative Research Staff
Ms. Erika Churchill, Legislative Research Staff

 

#2-

May 3, 2012

Senator Fletcher Hartsell, Co-Chair
Legislative Ethics Committee
North Carolina General Assembly

Representative Paul Stam, Co-Chair
Legislative Ethics Committee
North Carolina General Assembly

Senator William R. Purcell
North Carolina General Assembly

Representative Rick Glazier
North Carolina General Assembly

Dear Chairman Hartsell, Chairman Stam, Senator Purcell and Representative Glazier:

The recent disclosures of inappropriate relationships between lobbyists and staff members in the office of House Speaker Thom Tillis raise a number of ethical questions and concerns about conflicts of interest, abuse of power and undue influence.

We request that you investigate whether any laws, rules or policies were violated by the individuals participating in these inappropriate relationships. We also ask that you consider whether there are any laws or policies that should be proposed to prevent similar situations in the future. If so, we would like you to recommend these needed changes during the coming session of the General Assembly.

We know that you value high standards of ethics for all who work in the legislature and that you understand that even the appearance of impropriety can erode public confidence in government.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.  We stand ready to assist you in any way possible.

Sincerely,

House Minority Leader Joe Hackney
Deputy Minority Leader William Wainwright
Minority Whip Larry Hall
Minority Whip Ray Rapp
Minority Whip Deborah Ross
Minority Whip Michael Wray

Cc:  Mr. Brad Krehely, Legislative Research Staff
Ms. Erika Churchill, Legislative Research Staff

 

 

 


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[2] the latest news: http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/democrats_call_for_ethics_probes_of_tillis_office_scandal

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