McCrory: investigation 2008 campaign waste of taxpayer money
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory told Eyewitness News the new state investigation into his 2008 campaign is an unfair attack on his integrity.
McCrory is expected to announce another run for governor in just a few weeks.
He appeared visibly upset when discussing the investigation into his campaign finances with Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Smith.
The Board of Elections is looking to see if McCrory's fundraisers were illegally organized, and if donors improperly gave money to the campaign. The new investigation is based on two complaints from 18 months ago.
McCrory said the investigation is discouraging and unnecessary, and said it's another example of corruption in Raleigh.
"These are very false claims, and, you know, it's really going after my integrity, which has been clean for over 20 years of being in public service. And that's what's so discouraging about it," he said.
Last week, three of Governor Bev Perdue's workers from her 2008 campaign were indicted on felony charges for campaign finance violations.
As governor, Perdue appoints the elections board, which has a Democratic majority.
The board is investigating those two complaints from April 2010.
"Instead of really expressing concern and outrage about the indictments, the Democratic machine is attacking me," McCrory said. "I feel very confident that the system will work, but the problem is that it's at taxpayer's expense."
McCrory wouldn't discuss if he plans on making it an issue on the campaign trail. But political science professor Dr Michael Bitzer said it's a smart move.
"I think this really raises red flags all around," Bitzer said. "If this is an attempt to deflect the indictments, I think it only plays more so into the Republicans, and particularly McCrory's, hand."
Gov. Perdue's staff told Eyewitness News she did not ask the state Board of Elections to investigate.
"We had thought that the SBOE had long ago decided not to investigate that complaint, because there had never seemed to be any activity regarding it, as far as we could tell," said spokesman Marc Farinella. "So this came as a surprise to us as well."
The Board of Elections is expected to finish the investigation by their next meeting later this month.
Eyewitness News left messages at the Board of Elections office Sunday night. Those messages weren't returned.