Gov. flight investigation takes another turn

July 15, 2010 8:41:47 PM PDT
Members of the North Carolina Board of Elections say they are deeply troubled by reports that the board's chairman and executive director interfered with the investigation into flights taken by candidates for governor during the last two elections.The report into flights taken by candidates found that just about all of them broke the rules. But it's the section on Governor Bev Perdue's flights that's getting a lot of attention --specifically what's not in that section.

Some board members say key interviews and questions that should have been asked were not answered.

Chief Investigator Kim Strach says she was told to finish the report before it was done wrapping up and she says an interview with a key Perdue fundraiser was limited to only 15 minutes on the phone.

Strach says she never interviewed Perdue's then chief of staff, Zach Ambrose and in the report, Strach says, she was only allowed to interview people whose names were given to her by the Perdue committee's lawyer.

According to the report, Executive Director Garry Bartlett and the board's chairman Larry Leake, were making all the decisions.

However, Leake tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that he never prevented Strach from interviewing anyone and says if the report was rushed; it was to get it out to the public.

Meanwhile, all of this isn't sitting well with the five member board's two Republicans.

"It's disturbing," Bill Peasley said. "In reading the report outside of the timeline, it left me with a lot of questions."

Chuck Winfree says he's troubled by several things in the report and is concerned that there are people Strach wanted to interview who she wasn't able to.

Both say they plan to get answers.

The next Board of Elections meeting is scheduled in late August in Ashville.

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