The scandal surrounding the forced, late night resignation of State Board of Elections member Paul Foley has given rise to some pretty creative wordsmithing by SBOE chair Josh Howard. How else to explain these two facts from this story by the Raleigh News & Observer’s Craig Jarvis:
#1- Foley lied repeatedly about his knowledge of his law firm’s representation of a controversial video sweepstakes business. He even did it publicly on Wednesday during an SBOE meeting.
#2 – When Foley decided finally to resign late Wednesday night, Howard issued a statement in which he said, among other things, “There has been no finding of wrongdoing by Mr. Foley….”
I suppose Howard’s claim is technically true in some sense — no official investigator has, apparently, yet, made any formal finding that Foley violated any laws. But good grief, the man out and out lied to Howard and the rest of the Board and the public about a highly important matter just hours before he resigned. That would seem to be an obvious and blatant bit of wrongdoing that Howard would have to be a complete nincompoop not to see.
All of which makes a citizen wonder what else Foley lied about during his stint on the Board and what other acts Chairman Howard and his colleagues are carefully parsing their words over.
Good government watchdog Bob Hall told Jarvis:
“I’ve never seen a board member, Republican or Democrat, so miserably fail to recognize their duty to serve the public interest, rather than a selfish business or partisan interest. The State Board of Elections had no hope of being a credible agency if Foley continued to serve and be accepted as a member by his peers.”