State Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry told members of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations Wednesday that he was repeatedly reminded of the political donations made by a McCrory supporter, but said he did nothing to show favoritism to Graeme Keith Sr.
Sec. Perry told legislators that the $3 million private prison contract awarded last year to Keith was an effort to find savings in the budget, not a “quid pro quo” arrangement based on past campaign contributions.
Asked to explain the governor’s role at an earlier meeting with Keith in Charlotte, Perry said McCrory served to mediate “as he should do in bringing jobs, and more private sector jobs. I saw it completely proper and good of him.”
Still Sec. Perry made it clear his own staff did not feel the extension of the private maintenance contract would save the state much money, or improve safety at the correctional institutions.
As for his own actions, Perry, a former FBI agent, told the commission he did not feel a duty to report Keith’s comments seeking payback or favoritism for his political contributions:
“I know where the line is. I’ve worked those cases.”
The FBI continues to interview state officials about the contract. Perry declined to comment further about their investigation.
Click below to watch a portion of Sec. Perry’s exchange with House Minority Leader Larry Hall.