State officials are investigating the 2008 gubernatorial campaign of former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, just weeks before he's expected to announce another run for governor.
A McCrory spokesman called the timing of the Board of Elections "shameful."
The North Carolina Democratic party filed two complaints alleging McCrory violated campaign finance laws during his 2008 campaign. Those complaints were filed in April 2010, and the state is only now investigating them.
McCrory hasn't officially announced he's running for governor against incumbent Bev Perdue, but he told Eyewitness News it's "likely."
The state Board of Elections is a democratic board, appointed by Governor Perdue.
Earlier this week, three of Perdue's workers from her 2008 campaign were indicted on felony charges for campaign finance violations.
Political science professor Michael Bitzer said the timing of this new investigation is suspicious.
"I think this really raises red flags all around," Bitzer said.
He said that the investigation will only help McCrory during next year's campaign.
"If this is an attempt to deflect the indictments, I think it only plays more so into the Republicans and particularly into McCrory's hand, saying, 'Look, this culture of corruption goes into the state Board of Elections. We don't have fair investigations going on.'"
The Democratic party asked the board to investigate if donors illegally gave money, and if fundraisers were illegally organized.
McCrory was out of town Friday night, but his campaign spokesman said it's a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"The timing is much more than suspect or ironic. It's shameful," said spokesman Brian Nick. "Dusting off complaints years later to try and muddy the political waters is not only desperate, but its a waste of taxpayer's money."
A Perdue spokesman told Eyewitness News the governor had no contact with the Board of Elections over the old complaints in more than a year, and she had assumed it was "over and done with."
The spokesman said Governor Perdue is "as surprised as anyone else" that the complaints are being investigated now.
Eyewitness News left messages with the Board of Elections on Friday night, but those calls were not returned.